The Red Dogwood is a rapid-growing, multi-stemmed, suckering, deciduous shrub that is native to eastern and central Asia. It typically matures to 8-10' tall. Creamy white flowers in flat-topped clusters (cymes to 2 1/2" across) bloom in late spring, sometimes with sparse, intermittent, additional flowering continuing into early summer. Flowers give way to white berries (drupes tinged with blue-green) which ripen in mid-summer. Fruits are attractive to birds. Ovate to elliptic leaves (to 4 1/2" long) are bright yellow in full sun but greenish yellow in part shade. Best grown in organically rich, consistently moist, fertile, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. Tolerant of a wide range of soils. Established shrubs tolerate some dry soils as well as occasional standing water. Hardy in zones 3-7.
Growing Instructions for the Red Dogwood
The seeds have a period of dormancy. They can be planted outdoors in the fall or winter for spring germination or they can be cold stratified to simulate winter conditions and to break their dormancy at any time of the year. 1. Scarify the seeds by nicking or sanding the seed coat. The seeds can be sanded with sandpaper, a nail file or an emery board. 2. Soak the seed in water for 24 hours. 3. Place the seeds in a plastic bag and seal it. Store the bag in a refrigerator for 10 weeks. 4. The seeds like moist, well-drained soil. Prepare a mixture of half potting soil and half sand, perlite or vermiculite. Put the soil in a pot. Water the mixture so that it is moist but not wet. 5. Sow the seeds on the soil and cover them with a thin layer of soil. 6. Water the container and leave it to drain. 7. Put the pot in a warm, sunny area. 8. Water the pot regularly so that the soil is moist but not wet. 9. The seedlings can be transplanted when they are a few inches tall.