How to Propagate Redosier Dogwood (Cornus sericea)

how to propagate redosier dogwood Cornus sericea

This guide is meant to teach you how to propagate Redosier Dogwood (Cornus sericea) and hopefully make it easier for you to sell them at your own nursery.

Hardiness Zone: 2-8

Soil Type: Moist but well-drained chalk, clay, loam, sand

Water: Average to High

Exposure: Full Sun to Partial Shade

Redosier dogwood (Cornus sericea) is a vibrant zone 2 perennial shrub that adds color to the otherwise bland winter months. The red branches on this tree keep their colors all year long.

Dogwood leaves are elliptical to egg-shaped, with entire margins (smooth), and grow on the stems in opposite arrangements.

It grows fast, blooms fragrant white flowers, and produces attractive white berries eaten by birds and boreal forest mammals.

Redosier dogwood is a suckering plant, which means it sends out new shoots nearby through rhizomes underground and spreads quickly.

Wildlife value

Redosier dogwood attracts Waterfowl, Marshbirds, and Shorebirds.

It is the larval host of the Spring Azur butterfly.

Best Way to Propagate Redosier Dogwood

Method: Layering

Since redosier dogwood naturally propagates through layering, it does much of the work for you!

What you can do to encourage ground layering is to plant a ‘mother’ dogwood deeper into the ground than you normally would. This plant will be your source of new plants through layering.

When you do that, its branches will be closer to the ground and have more chances of rooting naturally.

Alternatively, you can select the longest branches and bury them underground yourself. Hold them down with a landscaping pin and eventually, they will root. Afterward, you can separate the branch from the main plant and transplant it.

Ground layering

Method: Cuttings

The best method to propagate redosier dogwood is by taking cuttings.

Take cuttings from 1-year-old wood during spring, before the buds start to open. Redosier dogwood cuttings need to be about 12-15 inches long ea (30-38cm) and at least 3/8 inch (1cm) in diameter on small ends.

Propagate redosier dogwood by cuttings in 4 easy steps

  1. Take a cutting and make sure it includes at least 3 pairs of buds. Cut at the node in a slanted way.
  2. Prepare a propagation bed with a sterile medium like coarse sand.
  3. Dip the moistened cutting end in rooting medium and plant deep enough into the sand that 2 pairs of buds are covered.
  4. Keep the propagation bed moistened with automatic misters or water and cover with plastic like a greenhouse.
Redosier Rooted Cuttings

How to Ready Redosier Dogwood For Sale

The redosier dogwood cuttings will look like twigs even when you got them to root.

You can try to put one twig per pot but it might take some time to turn into a bush. To hasten the process, you can put more than one rooted cutting into a pot to make a fuller plant.

Trim the main stem to encourage new branch growth and favor more of a bush shape.

Pot them up in a well-drained, organic potting mix, place them in full sun, and keep them sufficiently moist and they will thrive!

Redosier dogwood bushes can grow as high as 9 feet in height and as wide as 12 feet in spread.

Still trying to figure out how to start your plant nursery? Check out our plant nursery guide here.


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