How to Plant White Dogwood


Dogwoods are flowering trees that are mostly found on the east coast. They can grow anywhere from 15 to 40 feet tall depending on conditions and usually are wider than they are tall. Branches of the dogwood twist and turn making them interesting features in a garden. Locating them areas that are either too sunny or too shady will result in shorter trees. Flowers bloom in the spring in white or pink, and they are the state flower of North Carolina.

Step 1

Find the right location. Dogwoods prefer rich, damp, well draining soil in the eastern United States. The type of soil is not as important as the drainage. These trees also like partial shade so that they have a break from the scorching sun.

Step 2

Check the pH level of possible locations. Dogwoods grow best in soil with a pH level of between 5.0 to 6.0. This is just slightly acidic. If it is higher than 6.0, then soil is leaning toward a neutral or base. Add a little bit of acidic fertilizer to bring it back down. If the soil is lower than 5.0, then it is too acidic and adding an alkaline fertilizer will adjust it.

Step 3

Dig a hole for the root system with a shovel. Make sure it is wider than the root system by two or three times and deep enough for the root ball to fit. Do not make it so deep that you will be planting the tree lower in the ground than it is used or so you cover up part of the base of the tree.

Step 4

Mix compost or fertilizer into the soil you dug up. This will give it some added nutrients to help the white dogwood survive until it gets established. Lower the tree into the hole and cover back up with the soil. Work the dirt in between all of the roots so that there are no air pockets. Stake the tree if it is tall so that it stays upright until the roots establish.

Step 5

Put some mulch around the base of the tree to keep moisture in and feed the plant. It also will keep weeds from growing around the white dogwood's base.

Step 6

Water the soil around the tree to keep soil damp but not soggy. Too much water will stunt growth.

Things You'll Need

  • pH test kit
  • Acidic or alkaline fertilizer (optional)
  • Shovel
  • Compost or fertilizer
  • Stakes and twine
  • Mulch
  • Garden hose


  • NC State University Cooperative Extension: Flowering Dogwood
Keywords: plant dogwood tree, white dogwood tree, dogwood tree care