Can Dogwood Trees Grow In Full Sun?

Figuring out whether your tree can grow in full sun can be tricky without some help. Do you want to plant a dogwood tree but don't know whether it can handle all that sun, or is your garden too shady? We have done the work to bring you the answer. Let's discuss.

According to what we found, dogwood trees can grow in full sun but prefer partial shade. Typically, dogwoods are an understory tree in the wild, so shade is something they like. However, if your tree is in full sun during the day, that is fine as long as you keep it properly watered. Regardless of where you live, dogwoods are a relatively easy tree to care for and don't require too much attention.

As we dive into this post, we will share tips to grow a dogwood tree and tag some helpful products. Although dogwoods are a lower maintenance tree, the place you plant them needs to be roomy and bright enough for them to thrive. With that said, let's get into this topic!

white dogwood tree, Can Dogwood Trees Grow In Full Sun

Dogwood Tree - The Understory

Dogwood trees are another name for the genus Cornus and belong to the Cornaceae family. These blooming trees are known for their beautiful flowers and intricate bark and grow anywhere from 15 to over 40 feet tall.

Although these trees are widely planted around the world, they are native to Eurasia and North America. Dogwoods primarily grow in hardiness zones three through eight and prefer to be in shaded forest areas.

From what we found, an understory tree grows underneath the canopy of a forest or other tree protected from direct sun and weather. Typically, understory plants and trees include seedlings, saplings, and other shrubs and herbs. Dogwood, for example, is an understory tree that is also capable of being in the full sun without overhead protection.

Flowering dogwood blossoms

How Many Hours Of Sun Does A Dogwood Tree Need?

When it comes to how many hours of sun a dogwood tree needs, we found that four hours is sufficient. Whether you plant your dogwood in the shade or the sun, your tree must have morning or afternoon sunlight. Although dogwoods in the wild grow in the shade, freestanding trees require the sun to bloom and grow.

Where Should I Plant My Dogwood Tree?

Blooming Tree in Spring

Despite being easy to grow and care for, the best place to plant dogwood is a well-draining, nutrient-rich spot with partial shade. Dogwoods adapt well to their environments and only require good draining soil that doesn't get too dry. If you live in a climate with extreme dryness, dogwood might not be the tree for your garden.

This tree comes bare root and has a satisfaction guarantee upon arrival.

View this flowering dogwood on Amazon here.

Can You Plant Dogwood In The Summer?

Dogwood tree in full bloom

You should plant dogwood right before the spring growing season. With that said, if you live in a place with moderate summers and light winters, you can certainly plant your dogwood in the summer.

Dogwoods are not highly time or season-sensitive and do well in the cold as well as heat. Typically, dogwoods grow in cooler, moderate climates and don't mind snow every so often.

Are Dogwood Trees Heat Tolerant?

Flowering Dogwood Tree at Missouri Botanical Gardens

When it comes to the heat, dogwoods are not so tolerant. As we mentioned above, this type of tree prefers moderate temperatures, so extreme heat will not be suitable for your plant. Generally speaking, dogwoods will start to wither and lose foliage in extreme heat to save water.

If you live somewhere very dry and hot, mulching around your dogwood will help drainage and water conservation in hotter seasons. Dogwoods need frequent watering during hotter temperatures, so make sure to do so every day or at least every other.

This 11-pound bag of mulch has high water retention, is nontoxic, and lasts up to two years.

See this mulch on Amazon here.

Can Pink Dogwoods Take Full Sun?

Branch of eastern pink dogwood trees in bloom in the spring

Similar to other dogwood trees, pink is also able to take full sun. Although these understory trees prefer partial shade, they can survive heat as long as they have plenty of moisture.

Mulching around the base of a pink dogwood in the summer is a great way to keep it from dehydrating and dying. If you want to plant pink dogwood in your garden, make sure its soil is slightly acidic and it has good drainage around it.

Dr. Earth Acid Lovers Planting Mix

Here is an acidic soil mix from Dr. Earth to use around your dogwood tree. This planting mix is 100% natural, is 42.5 liters, and contains aloe vera and yucca extracts.

View this mix on Amazon here.

How Big Does A Pink Dogwood Get?

Typically, pink dogwoods grow between 15 and 25 feet tall once fully mature. Despite other dogwoods growing 30 to 40 feet, pink dogwoods stay around 25 feet, making them a smaller dogwood species.

Another tip for anyone with a pink dogwood is that they are more susceptible to disease versus other dogwoods, so more care is needed. Regardless of where you live, make sure to give your pink dogwood enough room to grow and water it very frequently in hotter seasons.

Pixies Gardens Cherokee Brave Pink Dogwood Tree

This pink dogwood tree is planted in a two-gallon pot and is recommended for zones five through nine.

Check out this pink dogwood on Amazon here.

How Fast Does A Dogwood Tree Grow?

Close up dogwood tree blossoms

Although dogwoods are easier trees to manage, they have a fairly slow-growing time. On average, dogwood trees grow at a rate of around 20 feet every 25 years, so under a foot per. Of course, this number is not the same for all dogwoods, but you can expect them to be relatively slow-growing in general.

Regular fertilization can help boost dogwood growth and overall health, so if you are worried about your dogwood's growing speed, we recommend trying a fertilizer.

Miracle-Gro Shake 'N Feed Flowering Tree Plant Food

Here is a flowering tree slow-release plant food from Miracle-Gro that is perfect for a dogwood. This fertilizer is eight pounds, formulated for flowering trees, and feeds plants for three months after use.

View this product on Amazon here.

How Long Does A Dogwood Tree Live?

When it comes to the lifespan of a dogwood tree, you can expect it to live between 70 and 80 years. In general, in less urban environments, dogwoods tend to last the full 70 to 80 years, while city trees live for about 30. 

When Do Dogwood Trees Bloom?

White spring blossoms of the flowering dogwood tree

Typically, dogwoods bloom in the spring months, between March and May. Although not every tree has the same bloom time, you can expect flowering sometime in the spring. Dogwood trees also bloom in the fall, depending on where they live, so multiple blooms are possible throughout the year. When it comes to how long their blooms last, flowers stick around for about a month during blooming season.

How Old Do Dogwoods Have To Be To Flower?

Dogwoods begin to flower once they hit three to five years old. You may see flowering in younger plants, but full blooming will take three to five years or even longer in certain situations. Generally, dogwoods in ideal conditions bloom faster than those in the heat or less nutrient soil, so that is something to think about.

Final Words

Whether you have dogwoods in your garden or want to plant one for the first time, these flowering trees are a long-living, easy to manage option. Dogwoods can handle the full sun as long as you water them frequently and adequately. If you live in a warmer place year-round, dogwood might have trouble growing if there is not enough shade during peak daytime hours.

When it comes to the ideal place for a dogwood tree, moderate climate and moist, well-draining soil are what they thrive in. Regardless of where you live or plant your dogwood tree, make sure to give it some shade and water it as much as you can.

Still with us? Head on over to the garden-related posts below!

Hawthorn Tree Not Flowering - What To Do?

45 Acid Loving (Ericaceous) Plants For Your Garden

How Fast Do Elms Grow And How Long Do They Live? [By Type Of Elm]

A dogwood tree in full bloom with blue sky on the background, Can Dogwood Trees Grow In Full Sun?

One comment

  1. Hello. I’m wondering if dogwood trees are surviving ok. in California/ zip code 92882 . Please let me know. Thank you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *