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The Variegated Red Twig Dogwood: A Colorful and Versatile Shrub

variegated red twig dogwood

The variegated red twig dogwood is a stunning shrub with many uses in landscaping. Known for its colorful bark, this plant is often used to add interest to winter gardens or as an accent in mixed borders. In this blog post, we'll explore the variegated red twig dogwood, its characteristics, and how to grow and care for it.

What is a Variegated Red Twig Dogwood?

The variegated red twig dogwood (Cornus sericea 'Flaviramea') is a deciduous shrub that grows up to 6 feet tall and wide. It has green leaves with yellow margins that turn red in the fall. The stems are bright red in the winter, making it a popular choice for winter landscapes.

Characteristics

The variegated red twig dogwood is a hardy plant that can tolerate a range of growing conditions. Here are some of its characteristics:

  • Grows up to 6 feet tall and wide
  • Green leaves with yellow margins that turn red in fall
  • Bright red stems in winter
  • Tolerates wet soils
  • Drought-tolerant once established

Uses

The variegated red twig dogwood is a versatile shrub that can be used in a variety of ways in landscaping. Here are some of its uses:

  • Winter interest - the bright red stems add color to winter landscapes
  • Accent plant - it can be used as a focal point in mixed borders or as a specimen plant
  • Hedging - it can be used to create a hedge or screen
  • Erosion control - it can be used on slopes or in areas with runoff to help control erosion

Growing and Caring for Variegated Red Twig Dogwoods

Planting

The variegated red twig dogwood prefers moist, well-drained soils but can tolerate wet soils. It should be planted in full sun to part shade. Here are some tips for planting:

  1. Dig a hole that is the same depth as the root ball and twice as wide
  2. Add compost or other organic matter to the soil
  3. Place the plant in the hole and backfill with soil
  4. Water thoroughly

Care

The variegated red twig dogwood is a low-maintenance plant, but there are a few things you can do to keep it healthy:

  • Water regularly during the first year after planting
  • Fertilize in spring with a balanced fertilizer
  • Prune in late winter or early spring to remove dead wood and shape the plant
  • Remove any suckers that appear at the base of the plant

Variegated Red Twig Dogwood Varieties

There are several varieties of red twig dogwood, including:

Cornus sericea 'Flaviramea'

This variety has green leaves with yellow margins that turn red in fall. The stems are bright red in winter.

Cornus alba 'Sibirica'

This variety has green leaves that turn red in fall. The stems are bright red in winter.

Cornus sanguinea 'Midwinter Fire'

This variety has green leaves that turn orange and red in fall. The stems are orange at the base and red at the tips in winter.

FAQs

Q: How often should I water my variegated red twig dogwood?

A: Water regularly during the first year after planting. After that, it can tolerate some drought but should be watered during dry spells.

Q: When should I prune my variegated red twig dogwood?

A: Prune in late winter or early spring to remove dead wood and shape the plant.

Q: Can I use variegated red twig dogwood as a hedge?

A: Yes, it can be used to create a hedge or screen.

Q: Does variegated red twig dogwood attract wildlife?

A: Yes, the berries are attractive to birds.

Q: Can variegated red twig dogwood be grown in containers?

A: Yes, it can be grown in containers but will require more frequent watering and fertilizing.

The variegated red twig dogwood is a beautiful and versatile shrub that can add interest to any landscape. With its colorful bark, it's a popular choice for winter gardens, but it can also be used as an accent plant, hedge, or erosion control. By following a few simple care instructions, you can enjoy this stunning plant for years to come.

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