Native Dogwoods: Right On Time

Our native dogwoods are sensational in bloom

Our native dogwoods are sensational in bloom.

Dogwood blossoms

Dogwood blossoms

pink dogwood flower

Pink Dogwood

There is a lot to say about our native dogwoods. They have beautiful flowers, great fall color, neat clusters of red berries, and lots of named selections in all variations, from pure white and pure pink to even one that is almost red. So why are they not used more in the home landscape? Frankly, I really do not know why, except that I think since you see them in the woods, you don’t think one is needed in the garden.

Here is my take on how to grow dogwoods. They like good drainage and the best soil your garden has for great results. Also, I like to plant them slighter higher than the root ball or container top when putting them into the ground. Mulch them well, and keep them watered this summer and fall. Now here is the rub: I think they do best in high filtered shade, like you see them on the roadside. My garden friend, Steve Bender, and the director of the Birmingham Botanical Gardens, Fred Spicer, disagree and say they do just fine in full sun. So what is your take on one of the South’s most beautiful trees about their sun/shade needs? Let me know. But one thing is for sure; the tree that is supposed to be in bloom on Easter, is in bloom on Easter this year in Birmingham.

John Floyd

John Floyd has been gardening--and learning about Birmingham area gardening--for more than 30 years. In addition to his day-to-day experience, John has degrees in horticulture from Auburn and Clemson Universities and was Editor-in-Chief of Southern Living.

2 thoughts on “Native Dogwoods: Right On Time

  1. I agree with you Floyd. While it is obvious they will grow in full sun it is also obvious they are not thrilled to be there. Witness their behavior in August and September if in doubt. Plant them where they grow naturally.

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