Plant Of The Month January : Dogwood

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Plant Of The Month January : Dogwood

Our great residential gardener, Jason Large of Summit Gardens is back once again with his 'plant of the month'. 
This time he has a plant that's hardy, easy to grow and will bring some much needed colour into the dark winter months...


Dogwood, or Cornus are grown mostly for their stem colour. Whilst they do flower, these are insignificant compared to the vibrant colours of their bark.
On a sunny winter day dogwoods provide a stunning statement in a garden when other shrubs are out of season, and bulbs and perennials have not yet ventured above ground.
There are many varieties or Cornus but the ones that really stand out for me are;

Cornus sericea ‘Flaviramea’ for its bright yellow stems:


Cornus alba ‘Sibirica’ for its vivid red stems:

red cornus dogwood

Cornus sanguinea ‘Midwinter Fire’ for its stem which graduate from yellow at the base to fiery orange at the tips:

  Cornus Sanuinea
These shrubs are fully hardy, will tolerate most soil types and are easy to grow.

How to look after your Cornus

To achieve the best stem colour the Cornus sericea and alba varieties need to be hard pruned in early Spring, just as the buds are about to break.
Pruning can be annual or every 2 to 3 years.
Kept well pruned like this and the shrub will put on approximately 150cm of new growth each year!
There is no need to prune the Cornus sanguinea varieties as these are much slower growing, just a little shaping occasionally and removal of dead stems.

Personally, I think these varieties just have to be grown in large groups for a fabulous winter display, they can look a little lost standing alone.

yellow and red Cornus
red and yellow Cornus
red and yellow Cornus
Plant some of these now, you won’t be disappointed!
Have you got a fine dogwood example in your garden? Tweet us a photo or share it to our Facebook page, we'd love to see!

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