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How to Propagate a Dogwood Tree

By Diane Watkins ; Updated September 21, 2017
Propagate dogwood in the spring, before flowers appear.

Propagate dogwood trees from cuttings to produce new trees that are genetically identical to the mother tree. Propagation from cuttings is much faster than starting from seeds and is preferable when the conditions are right. Dogwood trees can be propagated from softwood or semi-hardwood. New, supple softwood is preferable and more reliable. Some dogwood cuttings do not root, so be sure to take more cuttings than you need.

Prepare rooting hormone according to the package directions. Fill a 6-inch pot with potting mix.

Take cuttings from dogwood trees in the spring when the tree is producing new shoots, before flowering. Use a clean, sharp knife to cut off a 6- to 8-inch shoot that is green and supple.

Remove all of the leaves on the stem except for the top set. Remove any flower buds.

Stick the cut end of the dogwood shoot into the rooting hormone and then push it gently into the potting mix.

Water the soil generously, until water drains from the bottom of the pot.

Cover the pot with a plastic bag and place it in a southern-facing window.

Check that the plant is not getting too warm under the plastic. If the temperature rises above 80 degrees F, cut a few slits in the plastic for ventilation.

Water the soil every other day, or as needed to maintain moisture. Replace the plastic covering.

Remove the plastic covering for good once the new dogwood tree has rooted. This should take about three to four weeks. Confirm that the tree has rooted by giving the shoot a little tug. The roots should hold it in the ground and should be at least an inch long.

Care for the new dogwood tree in the container, keeping it moist.

Move the rooted dogwood tree to the outdoors slowly, increasing the time outside daily until it is spending the entire day outdoors. Then transplant it into the landscape early in the fall.

 

Things You Will Need

  • 6-inch pot
  • Potting mix
  • Rooting hormone
  • Sharp knife
  • Plastic bag
  • South-facing window or light source

About the Author

 

Diane Watkins has been writing since 1984, with experience in newspaper, newsletter and Web content. She writes two electronic newsletters and has a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry from Clemson University. She has taken graduate courses in biochemistry and education.