The Q&A Archives: Growing Gray Dogwood

Question: I recently received small gray dogwood seedlings for Arbor Day and need to know the growing habits, best soil and location.

Answer: What a nice Arbor Day gift! I love dogwoods. Gray dogwood (Cornus racemosa) is a dense, bushy shrub that grows to about 15 feet tall. It bears flat clusters of creamy-white flowers in the spring. This dogwood lacks the red stems of some other species.

Plant your dogwoods in full sun, if possible, or in partial shade. They tolerate average soil as long as it's not excessively dry. No regular pruning is needed. Fertilize your shrubs at planting time with a complete garden fertilizer and water deeply every 7-10 days this spring and summer. It's best to mulch the base of the shrubs in a ring about 1-2 feet wide so that grass doesn't grow right underneath.

Enjoy your new dogwoods!

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