Dogwood (Cornus spp.) comes in a wide variety of forms, from small shrubs to large trees. The vivid blossoms they display, which are actually colorful bracts that sprout from fall-colored leaves, are their most distinctive feature. The real blooms, which are located in the heart of the bracts, are much more difficult to see. Dogwoods can thrive in USDA plant hardiness zones 5 to 9, depending on the species. Clemson Cooperative Extension Home & Garden Information Center recommends that customers purchase dogwoods that are already established and ready to be planted in the landscape in order to avoid disease risks. The good news is that you can start your own supply of dogwood seeds at home.
1. Collect dogwood seeds
To start a dogwood plant from seed, gather fallen seeds from nearby trees in the autumn. The drupes of flowering dogwood (Cornus florida, USDA zones 5 through 9) contain two seeds. After they fall naturally from trees, the drupes can be harvested. Place the drupes in a bowl of water for one or two days to soften the outer covering. You should discard any floating drupes, according to the University of Georgia Extension. This is a sign that they are not viable and most likely will not grow. Remove the drupes from the water and use a fine wire mesh or a kitchen sieve to remove the softened skin. Spread the dogwood seeds out on a paper towel and let them dry for a while.
2. Stratify dogwood seeds
Fill a plastic bag with moistened sphagnum peat moss and then use a pencil to poke several holes in the bag. Place the dogwood seeds into the bag and put the bag into a refrigerator that is set to 40 degrees Fahrenheit. In order to stimulate seed germination, stratification is used, which mimics the effects of a winter cool spell. The temperature should be maintained at this level for approximately four months. Make sure the seeds remain moist but not dripping wet at all times.
3. Plant seeds in pots
When germinating dogwoods, prepare several 4-inch pots with drainage holes. Pour one-part sand into each pot, and then add one-part sphagnum peat moss to the mixture. The center of each pot should be poked with the end of a pencil. Each hole should have a dogwood seed dropped into it, and the potting mix you created should be used to cover the seeds. The pots should be placed on a tray and watered well, so that water runs out of the bottom of the pot. Let them sit in the water for 10 minutes, then remove the water from the tray and dry them off completely.
4. Water and fertilize pots
Always keep the soil moist, but not squishy. Once in the spring and once in the middle of the summer, use an all-purpose 12-4-8 liquid fertilizer at the label’s instructions. You should repot the dogwood if it becomes a little root-bound. It will grow 12 to 30 inches in the first year and blossom in five to seven years, at which point you can transplant it into your yard.
Things You Will Need
- Mesh made of wire
- Cloth napkins
- A plastic bag
- A peaty moss called Sphagnum
- Pots with a 4-inch diameter
- It’s 12-4-8 fertilizer.
Dogwood Seed Germination – Growing A Dogwood Tree From Seed
If planted correctly, flowering dogwoods (Cornus florida) are easygoing ornamentals. Everyone will understand if you want a few extra bushes because these native plants are such a spring treat with their brilliant spring blossoms. Reproduction in the manner of Mother Nature is the only way to grow a dogwood tree from seed. Learn how to grow dogwood from seed and how to plant dogwood seeds in this article.
Dogwood Seed Propagation
Dogwoods can be easily propagated from seed. So, it’s no surprise that dogwoods are so common in nature. They germinate on their own after being dropped on the ground. Collecting seeds from natural trees is an important initial step in dogwood seed cultivation. If you live in the South, you can begin collecting seeds in the early fall; however, if you live in the North, you must wait until November to begin collecting. Once you’ve found the seeds, the next step is to plant the seedlings. Each fleshy drupe has a single seed inside of it. When the drupe’s outer flesh turns red, the seed is ripe. Waiting too long will only result in the drupes being eaten by birds as well.
How to Plant Dogwood Seeds
To begin the process of propagating dogwood seeds, immerse the seeds for two days in water. Non-viable seeds will float to the surface of the water and should be discarded as soon as they are discovered there. Dogwood seed germination is accelerated by soaking the seeds in water, making it easier to remove the outer pulp. You can remove the pulp by hand or with a small wire filter if necessary. It’s time to plant as soon as the soaking and pulp removal is complete. Soil or a flat with a well-draining medium should be prepared for seedlings. Planting dogwood seeds at a depth of.5 inches (1.25 cm) with a spacing of 1 inch (2.5 cm) apart in rows 6 inches (15 cm) apart results in the best germination. To keep moisture in the soil, mulch the planted area with a light compost, such as pine straw. It takes time and patience to grow dogwoods from seed. When you finally see the germination of dogwood seeds, it’s usually in the spring, following an autumn sowing.