I have a white dogwood that was planted approximately 5 years ago. It did not bloom the first two years. The last two years, the dogwood blooms, but not all of it. Some of the tree does not bloom and I don't know why. Do I need to fertilize? What kind? Perhaps, I need to do something else? Thank you for your weekly series, which I find very helpful. Sincerely, Jane
Newly planted Flowering Dogwood trees take a while (years) to fully bloom. They do exactly what you describe in your letter - a bloom here and there the first few years. As each year goes by, you'll see more and more blooms.
Flowering Dogwoods (Cornus florida) are naturally found growing on the edge of a woodland under the canopy of Oaks, Maples and Hickories. They thrive in a part sun location in normal to moist soil with lots of organic matter. Make sure your tree is well-watered throughout the growing season especially if your tree is planted in full sun. Place 1-2" of mulch around the base of the tree to keep the soil cool and moist, but don't pile the mulch on the trunk. Only fertilize in April with an organic, slow release fertilizer such as Flowertone. Work the fertilizer into the soil and water in. Do not fertilize in the fall.
You will notice more flowers as your Dogwood grows older and in no time the whole tree will be full of flowers each spring. You will also notice the upright growing habit of the young tree slowing evolving into the typical horizontal growing habit of a mature Flowering Dogwood.
Thank you for your letter. I'm glad you find the weekly articles helpful.
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About Linda Lillie
Linda K. Lillie is the President of Sprigs & Twigs, Inc, the premier
landscape design and maintenance, tree care, lawn care, stonework, and carpentry
service provider in southeastern Connecticut since 1997. She is a graduate of
Connecticut College in Botany, a Connecticut Master Gardener and a national
award winning landscape designer for her landscape design and landscape installation work.