The Q&A Archives: Dogwood Not Blooming

Question: I have had dogwood tree for 5 years. This tree has never bloomed. We think it is because our dog religiously releaved himself on this tree twice a day. This year the tree has started to grow. Is there anything I can do over the summer or fall to encourage blooms next year?

Answer: Dogwoods often are shy bloomers, meaning they need to settle in after planting which can take several years and then also gain sufficient maturity before they will bloom. The flower buds are formed the previous year, so any late season pruning would remove them; drought or stress the previous year can also reduce blooming. Dogwoods are shallow rooted and resent disturbance to their root zone, too. Probably the best thing you can do is make sure the plant receives enough water during dry spells so that the soil stays moist but not soggy or sopping wet. It should be kept moist right through fall until the ground freezes. Several inches of mulch over the root zone can help keep the soil cool and moist.

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