Cornus kousa var. chinensis

Chinese dogwood

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  • Position: full sun to part shade
  • Soil: fertile, humus-rich, well-drained, neutral to acid soil
  • Rate of growth: slow initially, then average
  • Flowering period: May to June
  • Hardiness: fully hardy

    This is a real showstopper of a tree, with two main seasons of interest. Broadly conical in shape, it produces tiny green flowers in June, which are surrounded by showy, creamy-white, petal-like bracts, that fade to lovely shades of pink as they age. In autumn the dark green leaves turn crimson-purple, and mature trees produce strawberry-like fruits. It's an excellent specimen tree for a small garden or woodland edge, and the leaf colour is best in fertile, well-drained, neutral to acid soil.

  • Garden care: Incorporate a good amount of well-rotted leafmould when planting. Requires minimal pruning once established, although as it is naturally low-branching and shrubby, you may need to clear a short, single stem when young. This should be tackled when the plant is fully dormant from autumn to early spring.


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REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
CrocusCornus kousavar.chinensis
 
4.3

(based on 4 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (3)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

75%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Healthy (4)
  • Hardy (3)

Cons

No Cons

Best Uses

  • Garden (3)

Reviewed by 4 customers

Displaying reviews 1-4

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5.0

Patience is rewarded

By Swimbo

from Wetherby, West Yorkshire

About Me Avid Gardener

Verified Reviewer

Pros

  • Attractive
  • Hardy
  • Healthy

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Garden

    Comments about Crocus Cornus kousavar.chinensis:

    I bought this shrub some years ago and while it flourished it remained totally green. This year has been a joy, worth the wait, there is now a profusion of white leaves which look like blossom and have caused a few enquiries about the shrub. It is beautiful, so glad I waited.

    • Your Gardening Experience:
    • Experienced
    • Primary use:
    • Personal

    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    I would recommend this Cornus

    By Gardening Grannie

    from Fleet

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Accurate Instructions
    • Fragrant
    • Hardy
    • Healthy

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Garden

      Comments about Cornus kousa var. chinensis:

      I bought a Cornus Kousa to replace a tree that had died. It was coloured bracts in Spring, and coloured leaves in Autumn. It has grown well since I bought it and flowered last Spring. I chose it because it is a small tree, and would fit in the space I could give it. The plant was carefully packed. I have since seen a number of these attractive trees at Wisley.

      • Your Gardening Experience:
      • Experienced

      (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

       
      2.0

      More like a cutting than a 9cm pot plant

      By Aud

      from Fife

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Healthy

      Cons

      • Small In Size

      Best Uses

        Comments about Cornus kousa var. chinensis:

        Nice healthy plant but very small in height frifgtened I might forget where I have planted these take a week while to get a Autumn display I would recommend purchasing a larger plant.

        • Your Gardening Experience:
        • Experienced

        (11 of 11 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        Waiting for the flowers

        By Frankslass

        from Wetherby, Yorkshire

        Pros

        • Accurate Instructions
        • Attractive
        • Hardy
        • Healthy
        • Versatile

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Garden
          • Outdoors

          Comments about Crocus Cornus kousavar.chinensis:

          I have been searching for this shrub for years and found it at last on Crocus. It arrived with the usual speed and care in packing. It is growing well, opposite a window where I hope to see some of the white bracts in due course.

          • Your Gardening Experience:
          • Experienced

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          Do you want to ask a question about this?

          If so, click on the button and fill in the box below. We will post the question on the website, together with your alias (bunnykins, digger1, plantdotty etc etc) and where you are from (Sunningdale/Glasgow etc). We'll also post the answer to your question!
          8 Questions | 8 Answers
          Displaying questions 1-8
          • Q:

            Hi

            I was wondering if I could use this as an informal hedge in my back garden; along with plants such as a saracocca and Viburnum Tinus?

            Many thanks
            Asked on 1/2/2017 by Green and green fingered from Berkshire

            1 answer

            • Plant Doctor

              A:

              Hello there
              This is not usually used as a hedge as really you want to appreciate it's lovely shape which is quite rounded and bushy. It is often used as a specimen and focal point in a garden, so would be a shame to restrict it.
              Also this plant requires minimal pruning once it is established, so you wouldn't be able to prune as you might a hedge.

              Answered on 2/2/2017 by Anonymous from crocus
          • Q:

            Hi I would like to order one of these plants but as our soil is lime /chalk would it be possible to grow it in a large container?
            Kind regards,Brian Birds.
            Asked on 20/7/2013 by crazybird from The wollops

            1 answer

            • Plant Doctor

              A:

              Hello,

              It will be quite happy in a really large pot filled with ericaceous compost for several years, but eventually it will be happier in the ground.

              Answered on 22/7/2013 by Helen from Crocus
          • Q:

            Cornus Kousa - when will it start to grow in the Spring?

            I bought a Cornus Kousa from you last year. It is March now and at the moment it isn't showing much signs of life. Have the severe frosts etc. slowed down the growing process, and when can I expect it to start budding etc? Thank you
            Asked on 9/3/2010 by dorothy law

            1 answer

            • A:

              Hello There, It is still too early for most plants to be showing any signs of life and as we have had such a severe winter, everything is even slower than usual. I would not expect to see any signs of life on your Cornus for at least 6 - 8 weeks. I hope this helps. Helen Plant Doctor

              Answered on 10/3/2010 by Crocus Helpdesk
          • Q:

            Specimen Ceanothus or another large bushy shrub....

            Good afternoon, When I was first looking for a Ceanothus to replace the one we have in our front garden, I looked on your website, but you only had small ones. Our once lovely Ceanothus has been pruned out of all recognition again this year, as I planted it a bit too near our boundary when it was a baby. I know it may come back, but it is getting ridiculous as every time it grows back it has to be cut back again severely and then ooks a mess for most of the year. Have you got a nice, tall, bushy Ceanothus to replace it? I love my Ceanothus but perhaps if you don't have a big one, do you have another large, flowering shrub as an alternative? Hope you can help Regards Margaret
            Asked on 5/12/2009 by D DRAKETT

            1 answer

            • A:

              Hello Margaret, it is rare to find larger sized Ceanothus as they are usually quite short-lived and don't normally live longer than 6 - 8 years. We do have a selection of larger shrubs on our site like Hamamelis, Hydrangeas, Magnolias, Acer, Cornus, Cotinus, Philadelphus, Syringa and Viburnum, so you may find something of interest. They will be listed in this section. http://www.crocus.co.uk/plants/ I hope this helps. Helen Plant Doctor

              Answered on 8/12/2009 by Crocus Helpdesk
          • Q:

            Cornus kousa care

            Have just received delivery of a Cornus kousa. Could you please let me have full instructions on how to keep it happy etc. Thanks
            Asked on 12/10/2009 by dorothy law

            1 answer

          • Q:

            Cornus kousa for a pot?

            How long could I grow a Cornus Kousa for in a pot? When is the best time to buy? I only have a small garden but would consider planting it out next year. Thank you.
            Asked on 18/9/2009 by dorothy law

            1 answer

            • A:

              Hello There, These trees are quite slow growing, so you could pot it up into a much larger pot using ericaceous compost, and as long as you make sure it is kept well fed and watered it should be happy for a couple of years. I hope this helps. Helen Plant Doctor

              Answered on 23/9/2009 by Crocus Helpdesk
          • Q:

            My Cornus has not flowered?

            I have a dogwood - Cornus 'Eddies White Wonder' and it has not flowered. Can you tell me why?
            Asked on 8/7/2009 by B Homer

            1 answer

            • A:

              Hello There, It is not unusual for these plants to take a few years to settle in before they start to produce flowers so you may need a little patience - but once they start they are well worth the wait. You can help them along by making sure they get lots of sun, and feed them with a good general purpose fertilise during the growing season.

              Answered on 9/7/2009 by Crocus Helpdesk
          • Q:

            Can I prune my dogwood now?

            I have a small Cornus florida that was planted in the Autumn. It is bushier than I would like as I want a tree rather than shrub. Its starting to bud now and I probably should have pruned it in the winter, but is it too late now?
            Asked on 17/3/2005 by Richard Stanaro

            1 answer

            • A:

              Ideally you should prune this Cornus in late winter or early spring. However you may still get away with it if you do it very soon. Just cut back the branches you don't want by pruning to an outward facing bud.

              Answered on 21/3/2005 by Crocus
          Displaying questions 1-8

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          November pruning of trees and shrubs

          By November the garden is well and truly dormant, so it’s a good time to prune many deciduous garden trees. As for October, prune newly planted trees to remove any damaged growth and help balance the shape of the canopy as well as maintain a dominant main

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