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How to Plant White Flowering Dogwood

By Meg Butler ; Updated September 21, 2017

White flowering dogwood is renowned for its elegant beauty, making it a favorite among gardeners and landscapers alike. In the spring it explodes in breathtakingly beautiful white flowers and bright, shiny green leaves. In the fall, after the flowers have gone, its leaves turn a reddish-purple that accents clusters of bright red berries. And in the winter, the ornamental shape of its branches and the color of its bark strike an elegant silhouette against the snow. And considering its year-round appeal, white flowering dogwood takes very little effort to plant and maintain in your yard.

Find a place for your dogwood. Dogwoods need partial shade to bloom fully. If your dogwood must be placed in full sun, choose a northern or eastern exposure.

Dig the hole. It should be three times as wide as the root ball (at least three feet in diameter), and just as deep.

Enrich half of the excavated soil with an equal amount of compost. If your soil does not provide adequate drainage, replace the excavated soil with a well-draining soil that contains vermiculite.

Place the tree in the hole. The top of the root ball should be flush with the top of the soil or an inch or so higher.

Fill the hole halfway with the enriched soil. Then fill the hole with water and allow it to drain completely.

Fill the hole to the top and tamp the soil down with your foot.

Water thoroughly.

Spread a layer of shredded bark mulch around the tree that is four inches deep. The circle of mulch should extend a foot and a half from the trunk but should not touch the trunk itself.

Water the tree every three days until new growth begins.


Things You Will Need

  • Shovel
  • Compost
  • Sredded-bark mulch


  • If your white flowering dogwood is more than six to eight feet tall, you may need to stake it during the first year.

About the Author


Based in Houston, Texas, Meg Butler is a professional farmer, house flipper and landscaper. When not busy learning about homes and appliances she's sharing that knowledge. Butler began blogging, editing and writing in 2000. Her work has appered in the "Houston Press" and several other publications. She has an A.A. in journalism and a B.A. in history from New York University.