How to Germinate Dogwood Cuttings

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The classic look of dogwood trees in bloom can brighten any sunny area of your landscaping with white and pink petals in spring while providing pockets of shade for your lawn and smaller plants through the summer and fall. While potted dogwood tree seedlings can often be found for sale in garden centers, if you already have at least one dogwood you can take cuttings to turn into individual plants.

Difficulty:
Moderate

Instructions

Things You’ll Need
  • Hand pruners
  • Paper towels
  • Dark plastic bag
  • Hormone rooting powder
  • 5-inch pot
  • Peat
  • Perlite
  • Gallon-sized clear plastic bag
    1. Select a stem to use from your dogwood tree that has new growth forming on the tip from May to June to make a softwood cutting or choose a semi-hardwood cutting from July to early fall which has grown a large amount of healthy leaves.
    2. Collect the cutting in early morning by clipping the selected stem from the tree on a slight angle about 6 inches down from the tip just below a leaf. Strip away leaves that are growing along the bottom half of the stem as well as any flowers or buds.
    3. Wrap the cuttings in damp paper towels and slip them into a dark plastic bag until you are ready to plant. Place the cuttings in a fridge if you won’t be planting within the next hour.
    4. Fill a 5-inch pot with one cup each of peat and perlite and wet the soil mix to thoroughly dampen it. Push a pencil down into the soil to form a hole 3 inches deep. Use one pot per cutting.
    5. Wet the bottom inch of your cutting with water and dip the end into hormone rooting powder. Tap the cutting to drop excess powder and push the cutting into the hole in the potting soil. Firm the soil around the cutting to hold it steady.
    6. Set the pot in a warm, sunny area of your home but not in direct sunlight. Open a clear plastic bag and turn it upside down to slip it over the cutting.
    7. Water the soil as often as needed to keep it from drying. After six to eight weeks new growth should appear as a sign the cuttings have rooted. Remove the plastic bag and set the cutting into a window with direct sun. Plant the cutting outdoors in spring.

Tips & Warnings

  • Only collect cuttings from healthy dogwoods that are disease free and not suffering from nutrient deficiencies or overly fertilized with nitrogen.

  • Young dogwood trees produce stronger cuttings than old trees where most of the growth is already mature.

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