The Q&A Archives: Stunted Dogwoods

Question: Ten years ago I planted dogwoods. Sixteen (out of 65) survived, but only 2 have grown and bloomed - for the first time, this year. The rest of the trees range from 12" -3'. I fertilize and mulch them yearly. Any ideas what I can do to get them to grow?

Answer: Most dogwoods just don't grow well that far south. Most are described with a growth range of USDA Zones 5-8. You have coaxed a couple to bloom, though, so you may be onto something! Just to be sure, check soil pH and nutrient levels - your agricultural extension office (ph# 937-7176) can help you with a soil test. Dogwoods prefer a rich, well-drained forestlike soil, and yours could probably use some shade, too. Wayside Gardens (1 Garden Lane, Hodges SC 29695; ph# 800/845-1124) offers a variety of a red-flowering dogwood that does grow well in zone 9 (Cornus florida 'Cherokee Chief'). Hope this helps!

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