The Q&A Archives: Would Dogwood Bloom In Southern California/sunset Zone 20?

Question: I am determined to find a dogwood specimen which will bloom for my zoning. There is one Chinese dogwood in the local Armstrong, yet they are not sure if it will thrive in my area. Nuccio staff told me that their Cornus Florida will do fine in this dry, hot climate. According to sunset Western Garden book, neither will work here. What is your experience?

Answer: Dogwood (Cornus) does best in colder climates, but if you provide a micro-climate within the immediate vicinity by keeping the soil moist and on the acid side, and providing shade from hot summer sun, a dogwood can perform well in your gardening region. If you can plant your dogwood in filtered shade from larger trees, amend the soil with lots of peatmoss (to acidify it), feed with an acidified fertilizer, and keep the rootmass moist, it should grow well for you. Pagoda Dogwood (Cornus alternifolia) grows in the warmer zones of the U.S. so it's probably the best choice for your garden.

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