How to Grow Dogwood Trees in a Pot


Bonsai trees are any trees that are grown in containers. Whether small or large, the potted tree serves as a bonsai that can be grown indoors or outdoors, depending on the tree's requirements and your growing desires. The dogwood tree is a good selection for bonsai. It is a hardy tree that adapts quickly to pruning and the indoor environment. The dogwood tree, even as bonsai, blooms fragrant white blossoms during the summer months and is quite showy with attractive and colorful fall foliage.

Step 1

Plant your dogwood in a well-drained potting container. Choose a deep container with a width that is slightly larger than the root system of the dogwood. Ensure that the container has several drainage holes at the bottom, rather than just one. This will allow the excess water to flow evenly away from the root system.

Step 2

Plant the dogwood tree in a nutrient rich, loamy soil. Combine equal amounts of nutrient rich soil and organic compost or use a bonsai combination as explained by Incorporate the selected materials thoroughly to ensure a balanced mixture.

Step 3

Line the bottom of the potting container with 2 or 3 inches of stones, as recommended by Gardening Know How, to promote increased drainage. Fill the container with a layer of soil. Position the dogwood tree in the center of the container. Fill the container halfway with soil and irrigate the soil to remove any potential air pockets. Repeat to finish the process.

Step 4

Place your newly planted dogwood in a warm, sunny location. Choose a location that provides about eight hours of partially shaded to full sunlight. Select an indoor or outdoor location, as desired.

Step 5

Irrigate the dogwood tree thoroughly and frequently to maintain a moist soil environment. Still, allow the dogwood tree to dry slightly between each irrigation, without allowing it to dry out completely. Water the dogwood with a watering can until the water flows evenly from the drainage system. Check the soil's moisture levels before each watering to prevent overwatering.

Step 6

Feed the potted dogwood tree with a well-balanced, slow-release fertilizer, as stated by Gardening Know How. Apply the feed at half strength approximately every 90 days during the growing season. Distribute the feed evenly throughout the container and water in thoroughly.

Step 7

Prune your potted dogwood tree during its dormancy period. Use sharp, sterile pruning shears. Thin interior branches to increase air circulation and sunlight penetration throughout the dogwood tree. Follow the recommendations of the U.S. National Arboretum and remove any dead or diseased branches and stems as they appear.

Things You'll Need

  • Fertilizer
  • Organic compost
  • Potting soil
  • Pruning shears
  • Stones
  • Water


  • Bonsai4me: Cornus species/ Dogwood
  • Floridata: Cornus florida
  • Gardening Know How: How to Grow Container Trees
  • The U.S. National Arboretum: Dogwood Questions and Answers
  • Bonsai Site: Bonsai Soil
Keywords: potted dogwood care, dogwood bonsai care, caring for dogwood

About this Author

Charmayne Smith is a business professional and freelance writer. She has worked in management for successful organizations since 1994. Smith draws on her business background to write articles, and her work has appeared in a variety of online outlets. She holds a degree in business from Cleveland State University.