The Q&A Archives: Red and Yellow Twig Dogwoods

Question: In another catalog. (Gurney's) I found the following: "Golden Twig Dogwood", and "Red Dogwood". According to the add they grow 7-9 feet tall. The branches stay their respective color all year round. Burpee does not have these items, (as far as I know). Are these "good" to get? I thought they might look nice in the winter on the South side of my house. What complications might result? Can they be ordered from Burpee?

Answer: The shrubby or twig dogwoods are very hardy plants and look lovely during the winter if you can site them so that their twigs show up against a background of either snow or evergreens. However, in order to exhibit the best winter color, the stems need to be cut off short to the ground in early spring every year. In addition, the bushes grow in a scraggly manner and are not particularly decorative the rest of the year. They also tend to sucker and colonize a rather large area -- which incidentally is one of the ways they look best -- as a mass planting. Finally, they prefer a moist soil and will grow in sun or shade and are a good plant for wildlife.

You might wish to order the upcoming Burpee catalogs for easy reference; you can do that through the Burpee web site ( or by calling 800--888-1447. They can also take orders and give you up to the minute availability information on the telephone.

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