Dogwood trees (Cornus florida) bear colorful white or pink blossoms in the spring and summer months. Native to North America, these trees grow in hardiness zones 5 to 9. Gardeners with one dogwood tree on their property can use propagation to produce dogwood saplings. Propagating a flowering dogwood is not difficult, but it does require patience. Cuttings take several weeks to root and several years to grow into full-sized dogwood trees.
- Moderately Easy
Things You’ll Need
- 12-inch pots
- Rooting powder
- Clear plastic bag
- Prepare to take softwood or semi-hardwood cuttings from your dogwood in either late spring to early summer (for softwood) or mid-summer to fall. Dogwoods are ready for soft cutting before the green new season growth hardens, or for semi-hardwood when the new wood begins to firm up. Softwood cuttings root faster.
- Clip cuttings at least 4 inches long from your dogwood tree. North Carolina State University recommends avoiding branches with flowers. Since propagation doesn’t have a 100 percent success rate, take more cuttings that you want to root.
- Strip leaves from the bottom third of your cutting, using your fingers to pull them off.
- Mix peat and perlite in a 1-to-1 ratio. Fill a container with this mixture. North Carolina State University recommends using a large flowerpot (i.e. 12 to 16 inches) to root three to four cuttings.
- Dip the end of your dogwood cutting in rooting hormone or rooting powder. This helps the cuttings root quicker.
- Poke 2- to 3-inch deep holes in the potting medium with a pencil. Stick one dogwood cutting in each hole so that 1/3 to 1/2 of the cutting is buried. Push the potting medium around the cutting to plant it. Plant all cuttings in this manner.
- Water the container until liquid flows through the drainage holes at the bottom.
- Place the container in a clear plastic garbage bag. Tie the garbage bag. This keeps the container humid, which holds moisture in and promotes faster rooting.
- Leave the container in indirect sunlight. Monitor the moisture level, adding more water if the potting medium feels dry to the touch.
- Pull on the cutting to check whether it has rooted. If it has not rooted, it will move up toward you. Rooted cuttings will resist moving.
- Transplant the cuttings into their own 12-inch pots once they have rooted. Plant them in potting soil, filling each container with potting soil and poking a hole for the cutting with a pencil. This time, plant cuttings only as deep as they were planted in the rooting container.
- Continue to water the rooted cuttings. When they grow too large for their 12-inch pots, you can transplant them into the ground.
Tips & Warnings
Take dogwood cuttings in the morning, when the weather is cool.