Spring is here and the Dogwoods are blooming! Many of our clients love Dogwoods and want to incorporate one (or more) into their landscape design. Fortunately, there are a variety of Dogwoods available in the landscape industry, making it easy to find one that will work for almost any site. Read on to learn about how to pick the best Dogwood for your property.
Sun vs. Shade
Cornus florida – the native Dogwood
When a client requests a Dogwood we typically start by evaluating the light conditions on their property. The native Dogwood (Cornus florida) is typically found at the edge of the woods, receiving partial shade from the larger trees that surround it while the Asian Dogwood (Cornus kousa) thrives in full sun.
Cornus kousa – the Asian Dogwood – blooming after foliage has developed.
The next factor to consider is bloom time. Although both are spring bloomers Cornus florida typically blooms several weeks before Cornus kousa. As a result, the Cornus florida blooms prior to developing it’s yearly foliage, leading to a very delicate look, while the Cornus kousa blooms after leafing out – which can make the flowers even more showy by providing a green backdrop. Also worth considering are the plants surrounding your Dogwood – ask yourself, would an early bloomer coincide with other plants in the garden, or will a late bloomer show off my garden to its best advantage?
Native Plant vs. Disease Resistance
Other factors to consider when selecting a Dogwood are whether you have a preference for native plants – which many of our clients do. While the native Dogwood (Cornus florida) is a great plant and is often considered to be more supportive of native wildlife, it has also struggled with disease. There are currently many disease resistant varieties of this great native plant, but it is worth noting that the Asian Dogwood has been largely immune from this issue.
Additional design features
Cornus florida ‘Rubra’ (left) Cornus kousa ‘Wolf Eyes’ (right)
Finally, think about additional plant characteristics that would add interest to your design. For example, the pink flowering dogwood Cornus florida ‘Rubra’ is a native option that blooms with pale pink flowers. Cornus kousa ‘Wolf Eyes’ is an Asian variety with brightly variegated leaves, which echo the tree’s white flowers. Both are great options for adding additional seasonal interest to your garden.
Need help selecting a Dogwood or other shrubs and trees for your garden? Contact Bright Leaf Landscaping at 919-475-1015 or fill out our contact form. Design and installation are our expertise, and we are always happy to meet with new clients to discuss potential projects!