How to Plant a Dogwood Seed

Overview

Dogwood trees are a group of flowering trees that are found growing wild throughout the eastern United States. The showy pink or white-colored flowers appear in early spring, even before the leaves appear. Dogwood trees can grow to between 30 and 40 feet tall in their native habitat. Planting a dogwood seed is easily accomplished by collecting the fruit in late summer.

Preparing Dogwood Seed

Step 1

Remove the fruit from a dogwood tree to extract its seeds. Do this in late summer. The seeds are ready to harvest when the seeds can be popped out by squeezing the fruit.

Step 2

Soak the seeds in a bowl of water for 48 hours to soften the pulp. Discard any dogwood seeds that are left floating, since they will not be viable. Rub the seeds across wire screening to separate the seeds from the pulp.

Step 3

Place the dogwood seeds into a sieve, colander or wire basket. Wash the seeds off using a small brush, if necessary, to remove any leftover residue or pulp.

Step 4

Break the dormancy of the dogwood seeds. Place between 1/2 and 1 cup of sphagnum moss into a plastic sandwich bag. Add enough water to the sphagnum moss to moisten it to the touch. Place the dogwood seeds into the bag of sphagnum moss and seal it closed.

Step 5

Put the bag into a refrigerator that has the temperature set between 35 and 40 degrees F. Check on the sphagnum moss twice weekly to make sure it is remaining moist. Spray with water as required. If any of the seeds start to germinate, proceed to section 2, Step 1 below.

Step 6

Remove the bag from the refrigerator after no more than 4 months has passed and plant the seeds immediately.

Planting Dogwood Seed

Step 1

Fill up 1-gallon planting pots with equal amounts of perlite and peat moss.

Step 2

Pack the soil down firmly in each of the planting pots using a trowel, the base of a 3 or 4-inch pot or your hands.

Step 3

Create 1/2-inch deep holes in the middle of each 1-gallon pot. You can use a chopstick, or the eraser end of a pencil.

Step 4

Plant a dogwood seed into a planting pot. Cover up the seed with no more than 1/2 inch of the peat moss and perlite mixture.

Step 5

Move each of the planting pots to a location that will offer 8 to 10 hours of filtered sunlight every day (not direct sunlight as that will cook the seeds). Keep the soil in the pots moist, not sodden wet. The dogwood seeds will begin sprouting in about 2 to 3 weeks.

Step 6

Acclimate the seedlings to exterior temperatures once they are about 2 or 3 inches tall. Set the pots in protected area in your garden out of direct wind or sunlight for 3 to 4 hours a day. Do this for approximately 2 to 3 weeks before you plant them into their permanent location.

Things You'll Need

  • Bowl
  • Wire screening
  • Sieve, colander or wire basket
  • Sphagnum moss
  • Plastic bag
  • Spray bottle
  • 1-gallon pots
  • Trowel or 3 or 4-inch pot
  • Perlite and peat moss
  • Chopstick or pencil

References

  • North Carolina State University: Flowering Dogwood Trees
  • Floridata: Cornus Florida Information
  • The University of Georgia Cooperative Extension: Growing Dogwoods
  • Cooperative Extension System: How to Plant Dogwood Seeds
Keywords: planting dogwood seed, propagating cornus florida, growing dogwood

About this Author

Katelyn Lynn is a certified holistic health practitioner who specializes in orthomolecular medicine and preventative modalities. She also has extensive experience in botany and horticulture. Lynn has been writing articles for various websites relating to health and wellness since 2007. She has been published on gardenguides.com. She is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science in alternative medicine from Everglades University.