Making More Red Twig Dogwoods (Cornus stolinifera)

I took a few more red twig dogwood (Cornus stolonifera) cuttings yesterday. One of them did not even need rooting. You can see the mass of roots on the bottom of this little guy. The base of this stem was touching the ground which stimulated root growth. When this happens it is simple task to clip the branch with the roots to separate it from the mother plant and make a new self sustaining plant. This technique is called layering. In this case it was done naturally but you can do it easily yourself. Just cut a small slit into a low hanging branch of the stem and place the section of stem beneath the soil. The stem stays connected to the other plant while roots are being formed which gives the stem plenty of nutrients for growing.

Layering is a very safe way to propagate plants since it is usually successful. The only disadvantage is that you can’t make quite as many as you could if you made cuttings and it may take longer.

Red twig dogwoods (Cornus stolonifera) are very easily raised from stem cuttings. Here is a picture of the 11 stem cuttings I took yesterday. Each cutting has at least two nodes (nodes are the growth points which can create leaves and roots).

Since some are longer than others I’ll observe which one’s root quicker and use that as a guideline for future cuttings.

I placed them in sand after putting some rooting hormone on them and in a couple weeks there should be some good root growth happening. Later in the week I’ll show you the previous red twig dogwood cuttings I’ve made. They are doing very well! I may be able to plant them in the ground this spring.

For more plant propagation information check out this page. Thanks for reading!

10 thoughts on “Making More Red Twig Dogwoods (Cornus stolinifera)”

  1. for some reason my first comment was lost. if it shows up-sorry. i like this plant and got about 10 babies one year. i may have to start cuttings now since i limb up the bush more and the stems don’t hang down as low. this bush is good for holding soil in low areas but also works in dry areas in my garden. love it. cutting sound good…

  2. Morning Dave,

    I went to the Perennial Plant Society meeting last night and wondered if you and your wife were in the crowd. There were about 140 people to hear the speaker, George Bennet speaking on High Performance Annuals. Some very good looking plants many of them Proven Winners…Hope you were there.

    You have had good success with the Red Twig dogwood…it’s a really dramatic plant in the winter. It’s one of the few times I wish we had snow…the stems would look very dramatic.

    I am ready for it to stop raining. How about you?


  3. I think they’re beautiful, and it’s good to know they’re so easy to root.

    I was very interested in this post, as I’m thinking about planting a red twig dogwood in a boggy spot in my yard. I’ve read they do well in wet conditions. Do you have any experience with them in a wet area? My spot is often wet in the winter and spring and dries out during summer dry spells.

  4. Hi, Dave! Thanks for the post. I have read a bit on cuttings, but I don’t really do them – – yet. I may do some rose cuttings this year. Have you ever done any replication of pine trees?

    Isn’t B-1 a beautiful thing??

  5. Huzzah to red twig dogwoods! I’ve got two isanti, and am getting 7 arctic fire and 1 or 2 ivory halo as soon as I can. Just make sure, everyone, to leave them somewhat close together if you want blooms and berries at some point in their lives.

  6. Dave, I have a wonderful variety of red twig dogwood. It stays small, under four feet high. I’ve been layering it but exactly like you say, I’m not getting enough plants fast enough. How did you know when to take your cuttings? If I compared my season to yours, I guess I’d have to wait a few weeks still.

  7. Tina,

    No problem on the post. I didn’t see the other one so it must be lost in cyber-space. were the babies you got seedlings or just offshoots of the mother plant? Cuttings do well, I think Gail said she rooted some just by sticking them in the ground which works for forsythia also.


    Thanks for coming by. The red twig dogwoods are one of the best plants for winter interest I think!


    No we weren’t there. I really intend to go but my brother has been in town from Arizona so we’ve been staying close to home to visit. Maybe soon I’ll get the chance to get to one of the meetings. The youngest of the family is adjusting better now to other people and she can drink from the bottle so things are looking up!

    It does need to stop raining. I have a list of projects a mile long that need done. I can’t do them in the rain!

    Garden girl,

    I don’t know how well they will do in boggy spots since we don’t have many of those around here but they are a highly adaptable plant and probably would do well there. If I were you I would give it a try. If things don’t go so well just move the plant or take some cuttings and make a new one. A lot of gardening is trial and error. I suspect that an experiment with RTD and boggy conditions would turn out good.


    I hope so! The more blooms the merrier!


    I haven’t tried rose cuttings yet but I plan to this year in late spring. The evergreens I have tried are hemlock, yew, and boxwoods. I haven’t had much success with any of those yet. I need a heat mat to provide some bottom heat for the cuttings. Once I have that going I think rooting will be easier on the evergreen. For many of the pine trees getting them to establish from seed might be the easier way to go.


    That’s good advice to plant them close together. It aids in the cross pollination. Most people probably just think of the stems with RTD but blooms and berries come with the package!


    My first 4 cuttings I took some time ago. I left them in the garage and nothing happened for a while. It was too cold. One day I just decided to stick them in another pot and bring them indoors. It was a pot that was vacated by some butterfly bush cuttings. The heat of our house warmed them up and they rooted very quickly. These were hardwood cuttings so I them in the fall but winter should work also. Generally you can take greenwood cuttings in the spring, semi-ripe in late spring to summer and hardwood the rest of the year. I think if you have the space to bring them into a heated environment they will work at any stage. I hope to make some more of these later in the spring. It’s such a great plant that I can always find a spot for it!

  8. they rooted on their own. my dogwood has a fountain shape and it grew to 10×10 in just about three years. lots of small offshoots which i gladly cut off and replanted elsewhere. they are all doing well. it does like a wet area but does well in dry area too. i have not needed another red twig to get berries. i get tons-course the birds and squirrels eat them pretty quickly. the blue berries are so lovely.

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