love red twig dogwoods but...

julescap(z6 NE)August 11, 2012

I love love love them...have many but they just get so big and unruly when they're leafed out. I happen to have the non-varigated ,grows to 10x10 variety..can't think of it's name right now. Is anyone growing smaller,more manageable sized variety?

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bogturtle(SE NJ 7a)

I am growing Arctic Fire, which is supposed to stay dwarf. Just one Summer of growth, so we will see. My other, which I call Midwinter Fire, grows quickly and is huge, but they can be pruned severely, and the youngest branches carry the best color, anyway. Another minus is that they tend to colonize, or sucker, but I am willing to tend to that, and will, certainly, prune them severly. Forest Farm has, from time to time, listed other dwarf sorts I have not tried.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2012 at 1:25AM
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bogturtle(SE NJ 7a)

To manage color and size you can cut them to a few inches from the ground at the end of Winter, or remove one third of the sprouts each year, since many stems over three years of age are less colorful than new sprouts.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2012 at 1:11AM
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I wish we could "like" others comments...but since we cannot, bogturtle, I agree with your suggestions for management. Also, try the variety 'Isanti' is more dense and compact, growing only 4-6' by 4-6'.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2012 at 4:37PM
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Sara Malone Zone 9b

I too have 'Arctic Fire' and it is a manageable size...also you could try 'Silver and Gold' which has yellow stems and variegated leaves, also stays a nice 4x4x4 more or less, though will get wider with suckering.

Since it is the new growth on these plants that has the most color, selectively pruning out the older stems each year gets you the most impact. As they are often the biggest stems, it also keeps your shrub a bit tidier and more compact. Standard rejuvenation pruning technique.

Good luck!


    Bookmark   November 18, 2012 at 10:58AM
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I have had very good luck with 'Arctic Fire' staying small. I have had it for four seasons now and it is still a under three feet high. I did have a little blight on the foliage, one of those seasons, but otherwise it has been a solid performer.


Here is a link that might be useful: Blog post about two red stem plants

    Bookmark   January 20, 2013 at 9:18PM
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