Dogwood Bonsai Care [Cornus Florida]

Bonsai is one of the few things that can bring charm as well as a piece of nature in your room or any part of your house. It has now become a trend and can be found in almost all regions around the world. People love to grow bonsai and the ability to keep them indoors is one of the major reasons behind this boost. As there are various options to be used as bonsai, people can get confused sometimes in choosing the best one. Well, you should go for the one that attracts you the most but if you ask for a good one, a dogwood bonsai tree could be a good choice.

Some people usually skip this idea of having a bonsai at home because they feel that growing bonsai is a complex job and requires a lot of care and time. Well, it is totally a wrong assumption as most of the bonsais are just easy to grow and take care of. Before going for the dogwood bonsai, continue reading this guide to get things going perfectly.

SpeciesCornus Florida
Average Height12 to 24 inches
Average Spread10 to 18 inches
Origin CountryEastern Asia (Japan, China, Korea)
Flower Bloom TimeApril to November
VarietiesRed osier, Kousa dogwood, Pagoda dogwood bonsai, Red twig, Chinese dogwood bonsai, Pacific dogwood bonsai
WaterModerate, Tepid Water (allow the soil to dry a bit between two watering cycles)
SunlightModerate to High

Can dogwood be bonsai?

A dogwood tree is an outdoor tree that can be converted into an indoor bonsai as well. There are no specific seeds that can grow dogwood bonsai as you need to use the actual tree seed for growing dogwood.

Making Bonsai from Dogwood

The thing that makes a long tree remain small and look like a bonsai is the cultivation techniques, pruning, and the container in which dogwood is grown.

Although the dogwood is the miniature version of the dogwood tree, it will have all the same properties along with its beautiful leaves and blooming flowers.

Dogwood bonsai history

The dogwood tree comes from the lands of eastern Asia and now has huge popularity all around the world. It has showy flowers that look huge and charming during its fully blooming days. It has simple, evergreen, opposite leaves that are of small size and unique pattern.

The tree was first found in Asia but it has great popularity among Western countries because of a myth associated with this very tree. It is claimed that during the time period of Jesus, this tree was frequently found in Jerusalem, Palestine. They were extremely tall in size and were usually referred to as oak trees because of their similarities.

The legends claim that this was the tree that was cut down and the cross was created on which Jesus was crucified according to some beliefs. Although there is no solid proof about any of these claims, the tree got the status of both a cursed as well as a blessed tree.

Dogwood bonsai care

Flowering Dogwood Bonsai Maintenance

Care and maintenance are important because they will allow you to keep your bonsai tree healthy, strong, and in its unique bonsai shape for years if not decades. As bonsai only look beautiful if it is in miniature form, caring is the only way to keep your bonsai looking charming and beautiful along with enjoying its beautiful pattern and blooms as well.

Dogwood bonsai temperature

  • Temperature ranging from 20 degrees Celsius to 30 degrees celsius is considered efficient for dogwood bonsai.
  • This temperature range may vary during the winter season if there’s frost outside.
  • Temperature below 60 degrees Fahrenheit could be deadly for the health and growth of plants.

Dogwood bonsai fertilizer

  • Feeding fertilizers at regular intervals is highly recommended especially from the late summer to the whole spring.
  • Never feed fertilizer to dogwood bonsai during cold days (fall or winter) and only use the ones that are leveled to be best for acid-loving plants.

Dogwood bonsai pruning/trimming

  • Pruning, as said earlier, is necessary if you want to keep dogwood bonsai in a special shape, pattern, and size.
  • Neither trim too much foliage/leaves nor let the leaves grow big and look bulky after some time.

Dogwood bonsai repotting

  • Repotting should be done every couple of years if not on an annual basis.
  • The time period before the spring starts is considered the best suitable time for dogwood bonsai repotting.
  • Cut down the dead roots entirely as they can slow down the bonsai growth while healthy roots should be trimmed only a little bit.

Dogwood bonsai pests and diseases

  • Dogwood bonsai is very prone to pests and disease but can be taken care of.
  • Scales, mites, aphids, and spiders can attack bonsai especially if they are placed in outdoor conditions.
  • Some diseases can also attack which can either stop the growth or may end the blooming to a greater extent.

Dogwood bonsai soil

  • The pH level of the soil should be 5.5 to 6.0 as it is considered the best.
  • The soil should have some acidity along with good moisture and drainage system.
  • Organic compost, nutrients, sand, moss, pebbles, and stones should also be added to bonsai soil in specific amounts.

Dogwood bonsai watering

  • Water should be given on a regular basis but in enough amounts.
  • There should be some time for the soil to dry before going for the next watering cycle.
  • Overwatering can cause the roots as well as the trunk of bonsai to rot and may even lead to dead plants as well.

Dogwood bonsai sunlight requirements

  • A good amount of sunlight along with the best suitable temperature is extremely important for better growth.
  • It is highly recommended not to expose bonsai directly to the sun for a long time as it can cause leaves to burn.

Dogwood bonsai indoor or outdoor?

Dogwood bonsai are best suitable for outdoor conditions and can live efficiently in climates with moderate cold temperatures. This is the reason that dogwood bonsai is often referred to as plants that love to have dormant season conditions.

They don’t need to be protected in cold temperatures as they are hardy and can bear frosts and direct sunlight as well. You may keep dogwood bonsai indoors occasionally but it is highly recommended to take it back to its outdoor places once the event or need has been concluded.

Types of dogwood bonsai

This genus of dogwood has more than 45 species that are best suitable to be used as bonsai. Almost all types have the same opposite dark green leaves but flower shades change a bit with different types. They are only grown as bonsais because of their beautiful flowers and foliage that looks charming all year round.

Red osier dogwood bonsai

  • Red osier has great popularity among gardeners and bonsai lovers because of its versatile nature and hardiness.
  • It can grow efficiently in a wide range of climates as well as soil conditions that require minimum maintenance.

Kousa dogwood bonsai

  • Kousa is one of the fastest-growing species in the dogwood genus and you need to do continuous pruning so that it can be kept small and look like a proper bonsai for a long time.
  • Taking care of pruning techniques and doing it in the wrong manner may cost you the loss of flowers to some extent.

Pagoda dogwood bonsai

  • Pagoda is one of the easiest to grow species of dogwood as it can grow in varying conditions.
  • It is a bit choosy in terms of soil so it should be well-drained, acidic, and remain moist almost all the time.
  • It can grow effectively in full sunlight but partial shade is considered the best suitable position for better cultivation.

Red twig dogwood bonsai

  • Red twig dogwood loves to have a good amount of moisture all the time in its soil.
  • It grows faster and can bloom more flowers and foliage if given more sunlight.
  • The bonsai has a unique fragrance that usually comes from its beautiful and extremely clear white-colored flowers.

Chinese dogwood bonsai

  • In Asia, Chinese dogwood bonsai is also known as the cousin of dogwood which is native to European countries.
  • It’s a small to medium size bonsai that can easily reach a height of about 12-20 inches in almost no time.
  • Chinese dogwood requires the same growing condition as any other bonsai as they were first used as bonsai in Japan and China which are considered as the hub of bonsais.

Pacific dogwood bonsai

  • Pacific dogwood bonsai is a heavy flowering plant that can sometimes cover the whole bonsai with flowers during blooming seasons.
  • They may need a little more care as compared to other dogwood bonsai because of their different status.
  • It is considered one of the best dogwood bonsai to be kept indoors but that too should not be kept inside for a long time.

How to grow a dogwood bonsai?

The procedure for growing bonsai is almost the same as any other type. You have two main ways of growing bonsai: one is through cutting and the other is simply through the seeds. Below is the step-by-step procedure for both ways and to get the job done efficiently.

Dogwood bonsai from cutting

  1. Cut the stems of dogwood trees during the growing season and they should be at least 4 to 6 inches in length.
  2. Remove the leaves from the bottom of the cuttings as it will prevent the rotting of leaves and issues in propagation as well.
  3. Now fill a pot or container with a rooting medium and place the cutting standing up straight.
  4. Add water so that the cutting does have moisture as it will boost the rooting process.
  5. Seal the cutting with plastic lamination while ensuring that cutting or its leaves are not in contact with the plastic lamination.
  6. Let the cutting remain in this greenhouse effect without any further maintenance.
  7. Keep an eye on the cutting and look at the bottom of the pot to notice if roots are coming out from the cuttings. The complete propagation process usually takes 4 to 6 weeks.
  8. Once roots have come out, take the cuttings out of their location and place them in their required conditions under sunlight and provide it with maximum water necessary.
  9. You should re-pot it whenever it feels necessary to enhance its growth rate and increase its life as well.

Dogwood bonsai from seeds

  1. Dogwood trees began to make seeds just after the petals or flowers got shed. This process usually occurs in summer and the final days of this season are probably the best time to collect seeds for bonsai.
  2. Keep an eye on the seeds and don’t pluck them while they are not mature completely. You should wait until they turn red and the tree will drop seeds by itself very often.
  3. If the tree looks fully ripe and does not fall down, you may collect them directly from the tree as you can get late or creatures may also eat them at the spot as well.
  4. Soak the seeds in water for a week or so as it will separate the seed from the pulp by making it soft and easy to remove.
  5. When the time comes for bonsai making, sow the seed in soil with a pH level of 5.5 to 6.
  6. Add water until it starts draining from the bottom of the container.
  7. Add a thin layer of sand or moss to keep the water in the soil for a relatively long time.

How to get a dogwood bonsai to bloom?

  1. Place dogwood bonsai in full sunlight as the more you provide dogwood with light, the more flowers will bloom on it.
  2. Use treatment to prevent dogwood from pests and disease. Anthracnose is one of the worst diseases as it can badly affect the blooming process of almost any bonsai.
  3.  Maintain the pH level of soil at the best suitable range which ranges from 5.5 to 6.0.
  4. Use the liquid as well as solid fertilizers to boost the blooming process but don’t go beyond recommended limits.
  5. Prune the dogwood bonsai tree at the most appropriate time that too in a frequent manner.

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