Red osier dogwood is a deciduous shrub with a rounded, spreading form. Opposite leaves with rounded bases are ovate to lance-shaped and dark green, turning a dull red, purple-red, or orange in autumn. Clusters of white flowers appear in late May to early June, followed by white to pale blue fruit. Green stems turn reddish or purple-red from late summer into early fall, becoming brighter in winter.
Noteworthy CharacteristicsNative from Newfoundland to Manitoba, south to the central U.S. May be hardy to Zone 2. Use as a screen, in a shrub border, or in mass plantings.
CareEasy to grow, it prefers moist soil but adapts to a range of soils and locations. Tolerates wet soils. Removing older stems produces vigorous new shoots with vivid coloration.
PropagationSpreads by suckering.
ProblemsDogwood blight, powdery mildew, Discula blight, canker, bacterial leaf spot, and mushroom root rot. Common: twig borers, weevils, sawfly, scale insects, aphids, leafhoppers, root knot nematodes, and thrips.
- Genus : Cornus
- Plant Width : 10 to 15 feet
- Zones : 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
- Plant Height : 3 to 6 feet
- Moisture : Adaptable
- Bloom Time : Early Summer, Summer
- Growth Rate : Fast
- Light : Full Sun to Partial Shade
- Characteristics : Interesting Bark
- Maintenance : Moderate
- Plant Type : Shrubs
- Plant Seasonal Interest : Spring Interest
- Flower Color : White
Plant Characteristics are only available to Fine Gardening members
Sign up for a free trial and get instant access to our complete plant guide as well as our entire collection of articles and videos.