Red Twig Dogwood Not Turning Red In Winter - Knowledgebase Question

Kittery Point, ME
Question by shayke
October 27, 2002
We have had 2 red twig dogwood bushes for 3 years, yet every fall/winter they really never turn red as we see other plants. What can we add to the soil to enhance this progression?

Answer from NGA
October 27, 2002


Red twig dogwoods have the reddest coloring on the newest stems or growth. For this reason, gardeners will cut the shrubs back very hard, say a foot from the ground, to force lots of twiggy new growth. This is done in late winter each year. Having said that, there are named varieties selected for their color while the species will show variation with some plants simply better colored than others. In my experience there is nothing you can do to affect the color apart from the pruning. You might try that and see what happens next year. Good luck with your red twig dogwoods!

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