Best Soil And Best Mulch For Dogwood Trees

Dogwood trees are known for their beautiful red or pink blooms and their low-effort maintenance requirements. A part of these requirements is quality mulch and soil, both of which can help your dogwood tree remain vibrant and healthy. But what type of soil mixture and what type of mulch is the best for these trees? We researched the answer to this question, and it is supposed we will go over them with you.

Dogwood trees preferred soil that is moist, acidic, well-draining, and full of nutrients. They don't require expensive soil, but moisture is essential to their growth and development. They can be grown using typical garden soil that contains sand, peat moss, vermiculite, pine bark, or perlite, amongst other ingredients.

Dogwoods also benefit from the use of mulch. There are several types of organic materials that you can use as mulch, including cow manure, coco chips, shredded leaves, grass clippings, among other organic materials.

Keep reading to learn more about the soil and mulch that will work best for your dogwood trees!

a wheelbarrow of grass clippings in a yard with olive trees, Best Soil And Best Mulch For Dogwood Trees

Best Type of Soil for Mulch for Dogwood Trees

Sometimes it can be confusing trying to find the right potting mix when so many mixes include several different ingredients. Here are a few of the best potting soil mixes that you can use on your dogwood.

Garden soil

Garden soil will work wonderfully for dogs trees, and it is the most popular cereal you'll find in local gardening stores. Overall, this regular potting soil is typically cheaper and more readily available than alternatives such as loam, clay, and sand mixes. However, this dries off quickly once the water settles into the soil. Regular potting soil should typically make up the majority of your potting mix.

Now let's look at a few other organic materials that you can add to the soil to help its aeration, texture, acidity, and moisture levels.

Find garden soil on Amazon.

Peat moss

You can also use peat moss in your dogwood tree's soil. Keep in mind that peat moss is very dry, and in some cases, you may find it actually repels water. The best thing to do in this case is to soak the peat moss in a barrel of water and then add it to the soil. You can also add sand to the peat moss to help with any potential moisture issues. Overall, peat moss is a bit more expensive in garden soil, but it works great for dogwood trees because it's acidic.

Find peat moss on Amazon.

Pine bark

Pine bark works well on dogwood trees as it provides excellent moisture and is great for fertilizer retention. It's also fairly airy and helps to keep the soil well-draining. Pine bark itself doesn't do much for the trees from a nutritional standpoint.

However, combining pine bark with peat moss can be especially beneficial to dogwood trees as it will create better water retention and more air space for the soil to breathe. Pine bark is made at paper mills all over the country and is pretty inexpensive to purchase. You can find it at local hardware stores or online.


Limestone can help add weight and acidity to light or alkaline soil mixtures. If you're looking to neutralize your tree's soil, add a bit of limestone. This may be necessary if you have a lot of peat moss in your soil mixture. Dogwood trees prefer soil that is about 5.5 to 6.0 on the pH scale. Anything higher than this can be potentially damaging for the tree.

Find limestone on Amazon.

Vermiculite and Perlite

These two soil additives are made from volcanic substances and create aeration within the potting tree soil. If you have a sand or limescale mixture in your soil, either one of these additives can help to lighten it up so that it's less dense and heavy. Keep in mind that neither one of these ingredients provides any benefits from a nutritional standpoint from the soil, but they can help your soil retain moisture and extend the fertilizer's life.

Find this perlite on Amazon.


Loam is a mixture of clay, sand, and some organic matter that can also be used as an additive. It's best used with regular potting mix and can help your soil to hold on to water and nutrients from fertilizer. If you're struggling with dryness with your dogwood trees, adding a bit of loam can help to help it stay hydrated long after your next watering session.

Best Mulch For Dogwood Trees

You can use several different materials for your tree to help it retain nutrients and moisture better. Mulch can also help spread out sand and clay particles so that water can more easily access the plant's roots. Let's look at some of the best times for dogwood trees.

Cow Manure

Animal compost is one of the most readily available and inexpensive types of mulch that you can purchase. It's best to find a tender compost, and not hardened, as it will be easier to apply and spread around the tree's soil. Also, try to find your animal compost locally; as you'll find it, it'll typically be fresher and thus easier to spread.

Grass Clippings

a wheelbarrow of grass clippings in a yard with olive trees, Best Soil And Best Mulch For Dogwood Trees

If you have a large lawn, you can also use the lawn clippings from the lawn to mulch for your tree. It's best if the clippings are fresh and not rotted. Typically clippings that are 1 to 3 days old will work best. You can also add dry clippings to the surrounding trunk area of the tree as well.

However, be sure not to use clippings from a lawn that has recently been treated with any pesticide or herbicide, as this can contaminate your dogwood tree.

Pine Needles

Another expensive mulch option to consider is pine needles. The great thing about pine needles is that they are acidic and can help raise the acidity in the soil if it's the only low side. You can find pine mulch almost anywhere, and it's fairly inexpensive to purchase.

However, the only downside with this type of mulch is its ability to blow away with strong winds. But you can prevent this by mixing it with a bit of sand or other dense organic matter.

Buy pine mulch on Amazon.


Also known as "coco coir," are small chips derived from coconuts' husk. These are great for helping your plant's soil maintain moisture, aeration and can help to extend the life of fertilizer. You can find coco chips online or at your local hardware store. You may find it to be slightly more expensive than other types of mulch.

Find cocoa coir on Amazon.

Shredded Leaves

Shredded leaves provide another inexpensive and easy mulch solution to your dogwood trees. Not only are they in great abundance, but they are fairly easy to spread. Shredded leaves can help the soil to remain insulated from periods of extreme temperatures. They can also provide great moisture retention and suppress weed growth around the tree.

When Should You Mulch A Dogwood Tree?

You can apply mulch to your dogwood tree at any time of the year. However, it's best to apply the mulch after the winter frost and right before the spring season to ensure that the ground is warm enough. Try to add mulch to the tree's soil once a year or semi-annually if you live in a warmer area.

How Do You Mulch A Dogwood Tree?

Applying mulch to a dogwood tree is very simple. Apply the mulch to the soil around the tree trunk at a radius of about 3 to 6 ft. Lay it anywhere from 2 to 4 inches deep. Also, be sure to spread the mulch evenly around the tree and avoid creating a "mulch volcano" where there's an apex at the top of the mulch.

Do Dogwood Trees Need Mulch?

Dogwood trees typically thrive better when mulch has been applied to the base of the tree. This is especially true for trees located in warmer regions, where soil made more quickly dry out, leaving the roots parched. The mulch can also help to suppress weeds.

Do Dogwoods Like Coffee Grounds?

Yes. Dogwoods are acid-loving trees, and they can definitely benefit from the natural acidity coffee grounds.

Is Epsom Salt Good For Dogwood Trees?

Yes. Epsom salt is a dependable soil amendment and organic fertilizer that dogwoods can benefit from. It can help increase nutrient absorption in the trees and prevent leaf curling and yellowing caused by magnesium deficiencies.

Find Epsom salt on Amazon.

Wrapping things up

Beautiful Springtime Dogwood Trees With Pink Blossoms

As you can see, you have quite a few different options when it comes to finding the right soil mixture and mulch for your dogwood tree. The most important takeaways would be to ensure that the soil is acidic, well-draining and that the mulch is made from organic matter that aids the tree in retaining moisture.

Before you go, be sure to check out our other posts:

Should You Deadhead Amaryllis? [And How To]

How Much Light Does A Weeping Fig Need?

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