A moist property line needed an attractive low maintenance hedge and we chose redtwig dogwood for its pleasing foliage from spring to fall and its smashing red stems in winter. In just two years the five bushes we planted have grown into a handsome thicket forming a dense mass that provides a unique hedge in this difficult area. The rich autumn color of the leaves in fall are followed by a haze of red of the stems. At Christmas time I use the red stems in arrangements with conifer greens for a lovely effect.
Type: Deciduous shrub.
Outstanding Feature: Coral red stems in winter.
Form: Multistemmed, unbranched mound.
Growth Rate: Rapid.
Bloom: Small, inconspicuous yellowish-white flowers in spring.
Size: 4-7’ H x 3-5’ W.
Light: Full sun to part shade.
Soil: Well-drained, consistently moist soil, high in organic matter, but tolerates less including poorly drained soils.
Hardiness: Zones 3-7.
Care: Pruning is not necessary but many gardeners prune 20-25% of the oldest stems each year in early spring to encourage new grow that develops the best color. Alternatively, all the stems may be reduced every 2-3 years.
Pests and Diseases: Canker, leaf spot, twig and leaf blights, canker, cale, leaf miner and borers can be a problem.
Propagation: Softwood cuttings in late summer.
Comments: Flowers attract butterflies and berries attract birds.