This shrub has deciduous leaves native to central-southern Asia, which reaches 150-200 cm in height.
The thin stems have erect habit, branch abundantly with the passing of the years; they have green bark, which becomes red-brown in winter, when the plant has already lost all its leaves.
The leaves are oval, or lanceolate, light green; there are numerous cultivars, even with variegated leaves, such as C. alba elegantissima; in autumn they show a bright red or orange color.
In late spring they produce clusters of small white-cream flowers, followed by white or bluish berries. THE cornus alba they produce numerous basal suckers, which often have a more intense coloring than the older stems, so it is advisable not to eradicate them all.
Dogwood cultivation does not present particular difficulties, it is only necessary to have some small precautions to obtain splendid blooms.
The cornel tree prefers sunny positions in places with not too hot summers, otherwise it likes slightly shaded places during the hottest hours of the day. It does not fear winter cold, but can suffer from late spring frosts. If the winter cold is very intense it is advisable to cover the collar with mulch. Cultivation is not demanding and is within everyone's reach, thanks to the excellent resistance qualities of this variety.
In the vegetative period, from March to October, it needs abundant watering, waiting anyway for the soil to dry between one watering and another, in the cold months the watering can be suspended, to allow the plant to enter in vegetative rest. It can easily withstand short periods of drought, especially if the plant has been planted for some years. In spring it is good to bury organic fertilizer at the foot of the plant. With young specimens it is appropriate to provide at least one weekly watering, while for adult plants it is not necessary as they are satisfied with rainwater.
Particularly loves loose, fertile and fairly drained, slightly acid soils; when placing it at home it is good to remember to prepare a large hole, which must be filled on the bottom with expanded clay or other draining material, then cover with a mixture of balanced soil, leaf soil and little sand. In general, however, the cornus alba prove to be able to develop without problems even in the common garden soil.
There are many different varieties of this plant with some differences in growth and flowers, but with a very similar structure that lends itself to the creation of cuttings. For the cultivation of dogwood it is sufficient to respect some simple rules; in spring or early summer you can practice semi-woody cuttings. In spring it is also possible to propagate the cornus alba by sowing, using the seeds of the previous year.
Dogwood cultivation - Cornus: Pests and diseases
Dogwood can be affected by pests and diseases that can undermine its health. This plant is frequently affected by the cochineal and red spider mites, it can get sick of white mal. Cultivation must take into account these possible attacks, so as to be able to combat them effectively and lastingly.