The Q&A Archives: Wilting, Dry Leaves On Variegated Dogwood

Question: According to plant care my variegated red twig dogwood is planted in sun to partial with drier soil. I try to keep it watered but it does dry out quickly. I've had it for two seasons and although I haven't lost it, the leaves wilt and are dry and curling up as well as the flowers not coming to full bloom. Why?

Answer: Although redtwig dogwoods will tolerate drier soil they really prefer it damp to quite wet. This is especially true if they are in full sun. In my experience, the variegated varieties are more sensitive to drier soil than the plain green ones and may burn up without enough water much as you are describing. If the area where they are planted is not naturally a low spot or otherwise moist, you might consider transplanting them to either a wetter spot or a slightly shadier spot. A more humusy soil and several inches of organic mulch will also help the soil stay cooler and moister. They do very well in full morning sun as opposed to full sun all day or the hot afternoon sun. When you water, water deeply but less often rather than a daily light sprinkling. You might try watering, wait a few hours, then dig down and see how effective it was -- sometimes it is surprising. Good luck with your dogwoods, they are so pretty when they are healthy!

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