Dwarf Dogwood Tree

Dogwood trees (Cornus spp.) are one of the quintessential flowering trees of spring. There are several popular varieties available – choosing one depends on where you live in the country and the unique context of your home landscape.

The various species of dogwood differ somewhat in appearance and growing requirements, but there are number of things that characterize them as a group.

Dogwoods are small trees or shrubs with simple, oval leaves, generally dark green. However, some garden varieties of dogwoods have or red leaves or leaves with white edges.

Furthermore, they are popular plants among gardeners, but they can be a little challenging to grow successfully. They grow in well-drained acid soil. In addition, dogwood trees require care and protection from wind and sun.

Dogwoods are beautiful plants for gardens in cooler areas to thrive. You can use them to create a beautiful fence to protect your property from small wild animals.


When to plant: Plant dogwoods in the spring, before tree growth starts and when the soil is moist.

Where to plant: Dogwoods thrive in both sun and shade, making it a great understory tree or shrub.

Soil: Dogwoods do best in moist, well-drained, slightly acidic soil that contains organic matter.

Planting tips:

  • Dig an extra-wide hole to ensure the roots have room to grow outwards
  • Don’t plant too deeply, the root flare should be above ground level
  • For container grown dogwoods, loosen the root ball with a soil knife to prevent the roots from continuing to grow in the circular shape of the pot
  • For bare root dogwoods, soak the roots in a bucket of water prior to planting
  • Create a berm of soil around the outer edge of the root ball to hold water


Little Poncho Dogwood flourishes when these growing conditions are met:

  • Sun. Full to part sun, with some afternoon shade in warmer Southern regions.
  • Soil. Well-draining soil ensures the roots don’t stand in water after heavy rains, which can cause rotting.
  • Water. Natural rainfall typically offers sufficient water for established trees, but be sure to keep plants well-watered when conditions are dry or extremely hot. Water them thoroughly and deeply for newly transplanted trees during their first growing season.
  • Fertilizer. Apply fertilizer based on soil-test recommendations.
  • Pruning. This is one tree you won’t have to prune! Remove broken branches so they don’t rub against healthy branches and cause open wounds.