Monday Magic – Pruning Cornus (Dogwood)

The mild air over the past few days, including that brought by Storm Doris, has got the garden in a spring-like frame of mind, it seems. Bulbs are popping up everywhere, herbacious perennials are putting forth luminous new leaves and many shrubs are beginning to bud. This includes my two red dogwoods, both of which are beginning to form the first leaves of the year. This means, that pruning cornus needs to be done sooner rather than later.



I love dogwoods, and I really should get more. My two plants are actually rooting stems from a plant in my old garden. They’re both red, but sometime this year, I’m going to acquire a couple of other colours too so that next winter can be a fiery scene in my back garden.

With a whiff of warm air, plants can be quick to shoot in the spring. With dogwoods, particularly because you’re growing them for their stem colour rather than anything else, it’s important to keep specimens compact; this is why pruning cornus is important – if you leave it, the base stems will become woodier and duller over the years. Any vibrant colour will be left only in the most recent shoots. And, if you haven’t pruned, these are going to be wafting in the air at head height!


Pruning cornus gives great autumn leaves too

The autumnal leaves of cornus look great too.


The weather this week is not looking dry. However, if the sun comes out for even a few minutes, then get out an prune those cornus plants. It might seem a little harsh, rather unfair even – especially with those young shoots showing. But by the coming autumn there will be loads of new growth. And, it is this growth that will light the garden with those hot hues during the cold, bland winter season.

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I'm Geoff, and I'm a plant hoarder.

Like magpies collect bright shiny things, I can't resist plants. An exquisite flower, soft ferny foliage or a beautiful majestic tree - I love them all!

Here, I'll indulge in all things flora and share my passion. Join me as I develop my garden and hoard more plants without apology.