Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Don't Let The Door Hit You OnThe Way Out

February has decided to leave us with a memorable blast of cold and as I have mentioned before, February does not rank very high on my ‘favorite months’ list. There is one plant that truly stands out in this cold month and that is the Red Twig Dogwood. As its name implies, this shrub grabs the spotlight in winter when its stems turn bright red, earning a spot in any garden.

Photo: Greenwood Nursery
Though it’s time to shine is winter, this plant has value throughout the year. In the spring it produces clusters of white flowers which have a light fragrance. In summer the medium green foliage provides a nice back drop for perennials. In late fall the leaves turn a rich coppery color and drop their leaves late.

This shrub prefers full sun to part shade. It has a loose growth habit and reaches eight to ten feet in height and width if left to itself. Regular pruning will keep this plant looking best and keep it looking stunning in winter since the reddest color is on younger stems. Pruning should be done after bloom time. If however, you have an overgrown plant, it can be cut back to the ground, rewarding you with a flush of new red stems the next year.

This is a wonderful shrub to place where it can be seen from a window in winter, to be enjoyed from the comfort of your couch. And those few times we get snow, the red stems against the white snow will take your breath away, and almost, make you like February.


  1. Any plants that makes you look forward to February has to be fabulous! Yours are gorgeous! I doubt February is on very few gardener's list of 'favorite months'! :)

  2. We have five redtwig dogwoods. I had such a case of fungal leaf spot...had to move three of them to get better air circulation. I do like them in the winter, with or without snow under foot.

  3. My neighbors asked me to help them landscape their yard and I immediately suggested dogwood shrubs. :o) The red/yellow twigs are so cool! I'm completely over the extra day in Feb. We're starting March with a forecast of 69! Bring on the blooms! :o)