The flowering dogwood (Cornus florida) is a favorite specimen tree in the home garden. Flowering dogwood is easy to grow. An understanding of the plant’s native habitat will help the gardener grow it with success.
Flowering dogwood is a native understory tree in the forests of the southeastern United States. It grows in moist, well-draining soils rich in organic matter.
Flowering dogwood is susceptible to dogwood anthracnose, a lethal fungal disease affecting plants in the wild and in the garden. Anthracnose thrives in the shady, moist conditions of the forest.
Though native to the forest, dogwood should be planted in full sun to prevent anthracnose. Mimic the rich soil of the forest by providing it with plenty of organic matter. Mulching and regular watering at ground level will minimize water loss during summer.