Red Robin Hedging container grown hedging perfect for Spring planting


Dogwood Hedging

Dogwood Hedging, is an attractive hedging species that provides seasonal interest, with brightly coloured stems that offer a splash of colour in the winter and produces black berries that are a hit with birds and other wildlife.

Dogwood hedging consists of; Cornus sanguinea, also known as Orange Dogwood, Cornus alba 'Sibirica', also known as Red Dogwood, Cornus stolonifera 'Flaviramea', also known as Yellow Dogwood and Cornus 'Midwinter Fire', also known as Midwinter Fire Dogwood.

Popular varieties of Dogwood Hedge Plants

Choose from our most popular varieties of Dogwood Hedging plants, available in a range of sizes and root types.

Midwinter Fire Dogwood Hedge

Midwinter Fire Dogwood Hedge

(Cornus 'Midwinter Fire')

Midwinter Fire Dogwood is best known for its flame coloured stems that offer a splash of colour throughout the winter. It has green ovate leaves turning orange and yellow in the autumn, and small white flowers followed by black berries.

Growth rate: Slow 10-20cm per year

Overall height: Small up to 3 metres

Position: Sheltered, Full Shade

Root Types: Bare Root, Pot Grown

Common Dogwood Hedge

Common Dogwood Hedge

(Cornus sanguinea)

Common Dogwood is best known for its bright orange stems that offer a splash of colour throughout the winter. It has green ovate leaves turning deep red in the autumn and small white flowers followed by black berries.

Growth rate: Medium 20-40cm per year

Overall height: Small up to 3 metres

Position: Full Sun, Full Shade

Root Types: Bare Root, Pot Grown

Red Stemmed Dogwood Hedge

Red Stemmed Dogwood Hedge

(Cornus alba 'Sibirica')

Red Dogwood is best known for its bright red stems that offer a splash of colour throughout the winter. It has green ovate leaves turning deep red in the autumn, and small white flowers followed by black berries.

Growth rate: Medium 20-40cm per year

Overall height: Small up to 3 metres

Position: Full Sun, Full Shade

Root Types: Bare Root, Pot Grown

Yellow Stemmed Dogwood Hedge

Yellow Stemmed Dogwood Hedge

(Cornus stolonifera 'Flaviramea')

Yellow Dogwood Hedge is best known for its bright yellow stems that offer a splash of colour throughout the winter. It has green ovate leaves turning deep red in the autumn, and small white flowers followed by black berries.

Growth rate: Medium 20-40cm per year

Overall height: Small up to 3 metres

Position: Full Sun, Full Shade

Root Types: Bare Root, Pot Grown

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What is Dogwood?

Dogwood, known scientifically as Cornus, is a diverse genus of plants, encompassing a variety of shrubs and small trees that are highly regarded for their ornamental value and environmental benefits. Dogwood hedges, particularly, stand out for their striking beauty and adaptability, making them a favoured choice among gardeners and landscapers.

 These hedges are celebrated for their vibrant foliage, which transitions through a palette of colours with the changing seasons, and their delicate flowers that bloom profusely in spring or early summer, depending on the species. Beyond their aesthetic appeal, dogwood hedges offer habitats and food for wildlife, supporting local biodiversity. Additionally, dogwood hedges encourage local birds and other small animals into outdoor areas, providing sustenance for wildlife and creating a sheltered nesting site for birds.

This introduction aims to highlight the essential qualities and uses of dogwood hedges, setting the stage for a deeper exploration of their care, varieties, and landscaping potential.

Dogwood hedge plants

Dogwood Growth Rates

One of the key considerations when incorporating dogwood into your garden or landscape is understanding its growth rate and mature size. Generally, dogwoods exhibit a moderate growth rate, approximately 1 to 2 feet per year, depending on the specific variety and growing conditions. This manageable rate of growth makes them ideal for hedges and landscape features, as they do not require frequent pruning to maintain shape and size. Mature sizes can vary widely among the different species of dogwood. While some shrub varieties may only reach heights of 3 to 4 feet, certain tree species can grow up to 20 to 30 feet tall. The spread of dogwood plants is also quite variable, with some species extending outwards as much as they grow tall. This variability emphasises the importance of selecting a species that matches the intended use and available space in your garden or landscape design.

Benefits & Features of Dogwood Hedges

Dogwood hedges are not only visually stunning but also bring numerous advantages to both gardens and local ecosystems. These plants are celebrated for their versatility and ease of care, making them a popular choice for gardeners of all skill levels. Here's a closer look at some of the key benefits and features that make dogwood hedges a standout choice:

  • Versatile Beauty: Dogwoods offer year-round visual interest with their springtime flowers, summer fruits, autumn-hued foliage, and distinctive winter bark.

  • Wildlife Support: The berries produced by dogwood are a vital food source for birds and other wildlife, promoting biodiversity.

  • Low Maintenance: Once established, dogwood hedges require minimal care, making them suitable for busy gardeners.

  • Pollinator-Friendly: The flowers of dogwood attract bees, butterflies, and other pollinating insects, supporting the health of the surrounding environment.

  • Adaptable: Dogwood can thrive in a range of soil types and conditions, from full sun to partial shade.

  • Erosion Control: Their root system helps stabilize soil, reducing erosion on slopes and in other vulnerable areas.

  • Privacy and Security: When used as a hedge, dogwood can provide privacy and enhance security around property boundaries.

  • Seasonal Interest: From flowers in the spring to colorful leaves in the fall and bright berries in the winter, dogwood hedges are constantly changing, providing ongoing interest.

  • Natural Air Conditioning: The dense foliage of dogwood hedges can provide cooling shade during hot summer months.

  • Cultural Significance: In many cultures, dogwood has symbolic meanings, including purity and renewal, adding a layer of depth to its planting.

By integrating dogwood into landscape designs, gardeners can enjoy a multitude of benefits that extend beyond mere aesthetics, contributing positively to the local environment and biodiversity.

Planting tips for Dogwood Hedge Plants

When planting dogwood hedges, selecting the right time and location is crucial for their long-term success. Here are some useful tips to ensure these beautiful plants thrive in your garden or landscape:

  • Best Planting Time: The ideal time to plant dogwood hedges is during the dormancy period, either in late autumn after the leaves have fallen or in early spring before new growth begins. This timing allows the plants to establish roots in their new location before the stress of the growing season begins.

  • Site Selection: Choose a site that receives full to partial sunlight. While dogwoods are adaptable to various light conditions, their flowering and foliage coloration are more vibrant with adequate sunlight. The sunlight striking the plants can transform the leaves to a stunning crimson colour in autumn and make the twigs appear lime green in the shade, enhancing the visual appeal of your garden throughout the seasons.

  • Soil Preparation: Dogwoods prefer well-drained soil rich in organic matter. Before planting, amend the planting site with compost or well-rotted manure to improve soil fertility and structure. Ensure the pH is between 5.5 and 7.0 for optimal growth.

  • Planting Depth: Dig a hole that is twice as wide and just as deep as the root ball of the plant. Place the dogwood in the hole so that the top of the root ball is level with the ground surface. Backfill with the amended soil, gently tamping down to remove air pockets.

  • Watering: After planting, thoroughly water the dogwood plants to settle the soil around the roots. Continue to water the plants deeply and regularly during the first growing season to promote strong root development, especially during dry periods.

  • Mulching: Apply a 2 to 3-inch layer of organic mulch around the base of each plant, extending out to the drip line. Mulch helps retain soil moisture, regulate soil temperature, and suppress weeds.

  • Initial Pruning: Pruning is not necessary immediately after planting unless to remove damaged or broken branches. Regular pruning to shape the hedge and encourage dense growth can begin in the second or third year.

By following these planting tips, your dogwood hedge will be well-positioned to grow vigorously and become a beautiful, beneficial feature in your garden design.

Dogwood hedge spacing chart

Depending on the variety and the desired thickness of the hedge, space dogwood plants approximately 2 to 5 feet apart from one another. Closer spacing will result in a denser hedge more quickly but requires more plants per linear foot. Please see the chart below for specific spacing distances based on different hedge plant sizes.


Preferred Soil Types

Dogwood hedges are best suited to soils that are moist, well-drained, and rich in organic matter. However, one of the reasons gardeners favour dogwood so highly is its remarkable adaptability to a range of soil types. Whether your garden features clay, loam, or sandy soil, dogwood can thrive with the right care and preparation. The key is ensuring good drainage to prevent waterlogging, which can lead to root rot and other diseases.

  • Loamy Soil: Ideal for dogwood, offering a balance of moisture retention and drainage.

  • Sandy Soil: Requires the addition of organic matter to improve water and nutrient retention.

  • Clay Soil: Benefits from the incorporation of compost and coarse sand to enhance drainage and aeration.

Optimal Positions

  • Sunlight: Although dogwoods are adaptable, a position that receives partial to full sunlight will ensure the best growth, flowering, and foliage coloration. Aim for at least 4 hours of direct sunlight daily.

  • Shelter: Choosing a location that offers some protection against strong winds can help ensure the health and longevity of your dogwood hedge. Wind can dry out soils, dislodge new plantings, and damage delicate flowers.

  • Spacing from Structures: When planning your hedge, consider the mature size of the dogwood variety you have chosen. Plant hedges far enough away from buildings, fences, and other structures to allow for air circulation and avoid overcrowding as the plants grow.

Monitoring soil pH is also crucial, as dogwoods prefer slightly acidic to neutral soil (pH 5.5 to 7.0). Use a soil test kit to check the pH level of your planting site, and adjust accordingly using soil amendments. Sulfur can lower pH if the soil is too alkaline, while limestone can raise it if it is too acidic.

By carefully selecting the right soil type and position for your dogwood hedge, you can create a stunning and thriving feature that enhances your garden throughout the year.

Pruning and caring for Dogwood Hedges

Pruning dogwood hedges is essential for maintaining their health, shape, and to encourage the growth of thick, vibrant foliage. The best time for pruning is in late winter or early spring, just before the new growth starts. This timing avoids cutting off the flower buds that form on the previous year's wood, ensuring a beautiful display of blooms.

  • Shaping: To shape a dogwood hedge, use clean, sharp pruning shears. Make your cuts just above a set of leaves to encourage branching. For a formal hedge, trim the sides slightly narrower at the top to allow sunlight to reach the lower branches, promoting even growth throughout.

  • Thinning: Remove any dead, diseased, or overcrowded branches to improve air circulation and light penetration within the hedge. This can help prevent fungal diseases and pest infestations. Thinning cuts should be made back to a main branch or the trunk to encourage healing and reduce stress on the plant.

  • Renewal Pruning: If your dogwood hedge has become overgrown or is aging, consider renewal pruning. This involves cutting back one-third of the oldest, largest branches to the ground each year over three years. This gradual process invigorates the hedge, promoting new growth from the base and ensuring the hedge remains dense and healthy.

Regular pruning not only maintains the desired shape and health of your dogwood hedge but also enhances its flowering and foliage. With proper care, your dogwood hedge can become a vibrant, long-lasting boundary or backdrop in your garden landscape.

Best time to prune Dogwood hedges

The optimal time to prune dogwood hedges is during the dormant season, typically from late winter to early spring. This period minimizes stress on the plants and allows for vigorous growth in the spring. Pruning before the onset of new growth ensures that the energy is directed towards producing fresh, healthy shoots. It's also easier to see the structure of the hedge without the leaves, allowing for more precise cuts.

Always ensure your pruning tools are clean and sharp to make clean cuts that heal quickly, preventing disease. Remember to wear appropriate protective gear to avoid injuries while pruning.

For dogwood hedges, annual pruning is recommended to maintain shape, density, and to encourage the growth of flowers and berries. However, avoid heavy pruning late in the season, as this can reduce the display of flowers and berries in the following year.


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