Red Twig Dogwood Propagation (Cornus stolonifera)

This week I was excited to find that something I had given up for lost actually worked. I took some cuttings in an attempt to propagate Red Twig Dogwood (Cornus stolonifera) back in the fall. After I prepared the cuttings they sat for several weeks without anything happening. Just after I transplanted my butterfly bush cuttings (Adventures on a Warm Winter Day!) I thought I would try to bring in a few more cuttings from outside and the dogwoods were the main candidates. I had been keeping them in the garage near a window so I figured that bringing them inside into the warmth might hasten the rooting process.

I re-stuck the dogwoods into the same pot I used for the rooted butterfly bush cuttings then brought them inside. My hope for the little dogwoods turned out to be well founded. Two of them are leafing out and two others have roots but no leaves yet. It’s it can be a good sign that roots have appeared when propagated plants have started to leaf out.

Red twig dogwoods or red-osier dogwoods are great for winter color. I have a plan in mind for our front porch planting bed using dwarf cherry laurels and red twig dogwoods to give our drab winter landscape a little color interest.

Here’s how to propagate red twig dogwood cuttings:

  • I selected 5 cuttings with at least 3 nodes each. I made the bottom cut of each stem just below a node.
  • Dabbed each of the cut ends of the red twig dogwoods with rooting hormone.
  • Placed them in sand and watered gently.
  • I kept the medium moist but not soggy and waited until leaves on at least one of the cuttings began to form then checked for roots.
Plant Propagation

An excellent resource for learning more about plant propagation. Amazon Aff. Link.

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About Dave

Dave has written since 2007. He gardens on an acre and a half where he raises his 4 children. He enjoys growing vegetables, herbs, and propagating plants. Dave has a side business growing and selling heirloom vegetables and herb plants through Blue Shed Gardens and works as a real estate agent in Spring Hill, TN.


  1. How wonderful. We have those red twig dogwoods, the kind with variegated leaves called Elegantissima. They suffered last years drought but look better now with our recent rains. I know they like wet soils. Good luck, it looks like you have it already!

    Frances at Faire Garden

  2. Nice. Red Twig Dogwood is such a great shrub, quite versatile. I agree with frances the variegated varieties are a wonderful addition to the garden.

  3. I always like plants with interesting foliage like variegation. Hopefully the rain will help the drought conditions from last summer! These are just the regular non-variegated kind but they’ll look good in the winter.

  4. Your successes in propagation is an inspiration to us all. I may give my redtwig Dogwoods a try next year.

  5. How did your plan with the propagated red twig dogwood turn out?

    Curious Charlotte

  6. Hi Charlotte!

    The Red Twig dogwoods turned into 4 shrubs that are now about 3-4 feet high and around. I need to trim them back and start some new cuttings. I took cuttings from them in the fall and just stuck them in a holding bin. I need to check and see if those have rooted yet.

  7. I painted 10 clay pots with white paint and planted some of these Red Twig. Now, along with my new garden furniture in perth, they make my Holiday decorations outside. Thanks for sharing!

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