Gardening secrets: how to grow Kousa dogwood in your garden
Do you know a miscellaneous tree called Kousa dogwood? The appearance of white flowers blooming all over the plant as if it were covered with snow in early summer is very dynamic and shows its charm as a symbol tree. You can also harvest fruits in the fall. In this article, we will introduce in detail the charm and characteristics of Kousa dogwood, which is popular as a garden tree, how to use it, and how to grow it.
What is Kousa dogwood?
Kousa dogwood is a deciduous tree of the genus Cornus (genus Kousa) of the dogwood family, and its origins are Japan, the Korean Peninsula, and China. It grows naturally in the mountains and is a tree that is familiar to the environment and easy to grow even for beginners. During the last years, it became popular as a beautiful flowering tree in Europe and the United States.
Flower colors include white, slightly greenish-white, and pink. I wrote it as flower color, but the part that looks like a flower is a bract, and the leaves have changed. Since the bracts are long-lasting, the advantage is that the viewing period is long. The flowers are green spheres in the center of the bract.
What is the best time to bloom?
The flowering time of Kousa dogwood is from May to June. The flowers and trees that bloom in spring bloom in full bloom during the off-season when they have finished blooming, making them stand out. A white four-petaled bract is attached to the top of the flower stalk, and a ball-shaped pale green flower blooms in the center.
By the way, the life cycle of Kousa dogwood is as follows. From around March, sprouts will sprout and many leaves will grow. It blooms from May to June, and the red fruits ripen and can be harvested around September. After enjoying the autumn leaves around November, all the leaves are dropped and dormant. It is a tree that changes its expression throughout the year, such as fresh green, flowering, fruiting, and autumn leaves, and conveys the changes of the four seasons.
Can you eat Kousa dogwood?
Kousa dogwood that bears fruit in autumn. Do you know that this fruit can be eaten? Here, we will introduce the fruits of Kousa dogwood with a spotlight. There are various ways to use Kousa dogwood. It can be eaten raw and can be dried and enjoyed as dried fruit. You can also enjoy it by processing it into jam or fruit wine. The flesh contains many seeds, but it is fragrant and sweet, with a characteristic mango and banana-like flavor. The fruit of Kousa dogwood contains vitamins, carotene, anthocyanins, etc., and is said to be effective in relieving fatigue.
Popular as a garden tree
Kousa dogwood is a popular deciduous tree that changes its expression as the season’s change, such as fresh green, flowering, fruiting, and autumn leaves. Although it is a wild miscellaneous tree with light leaves, it blooms so as to cover the entire tree during the flowering period, and it shows a very gorgeous appearance, so it is also recommended for symbol trees. The growth speed is a little slow, and the tree shape is naturally arranged. It is a tree that is easy to maintain even for beginners because it requires almost no watering and is resistant to pests when planted in the ground.
How to grow Kousa dogwood
The optimum time for planting Kousa dogwood is from December to March, which is the dormant period after the leaves have fallen. Choose a place that is sunny and well-ventilated and out of the sunshine. They also prefer fertile soils that are well-drained, well-drained, and rich in humus.
Dig a hole about 50 cm in diameter and depth 2-3 weeks before planting. Mix hummus, compost, slow-release fertilizer, etc. well with the excavated soil and return it to the planting hole again. For clay, sand, and poorly drained soil, it is advisable to add more humus and compost. By waiting for a while after mixing fertilizer etc. in the soil, decomposition progresses, the soil matures, and rooting after planting improves.
In the place where the soil was made, dig a hole one size larger than the rooting pot of the seedling and plant it. Until it’s firmly rooted, it’s a good idea to stand up and attract it to prevent it from falling over. Finally, give plenty of water.
After planting, water it when it is dry until it takes root and the foliage grows steadily. After rooting, water comes up from below in the case of land planting, so it is almost unnecessary. However, if the sunny weather continues in midsummer and the dryness continues, water it to make up for it. In midsummer, if you water in the daytime, the temperature of the water will rise and it will soon become hot water, so it is important to give it in the cool hours of the morning or evening.
For both garden and potted plants, give a slow-release chemical fertilizer around February to March and let it blend well with the soil. By giving fertilizer before the growing season, it becomes energy to sprout and leads to the vigorous spread of branches and leaves.
Diseases and pests to watch out for
Diseases that are susceptible to Kousa dogwood are powdery mildew and soot disease.
When powdery mildew occurs, mold that looks like white powder is seen on the surface of the leaves. It inhibits photosynthesis and absorbs nutrients from the leaves, resulting in poor growth. Be careful as it may die if left unattended and gets worse. The tree will lose its momentum and become unpleasant to look at, so if you see any signs, spray a fungicide as soon as possible. Since it tends to occur during the rainy season, creating well-drained and well-drained soil and proper watering management are the keys to avoiding it. Too much fertilizer with a high nitrogen content can also trigger the onset.
Soot disease is a disease caused by a type of mold and is characterized by the appearance of black powder blowing on plants and sooting. The tree will be weakened and it will look bad, so as soon as you find it, spray the applied chemicals to control it.
The best time to prune the Kousa dogwood is from December to February when it is dormant.
Points when raising
Kousa dogwood is a tree that grows up to 5-10 m. Of course, it is possible to make it compact by pruning to reduce the height of the tree, but it can be exhibited by having plenty of branches and leaves as a symbol tree. If you want to grow it as a symbol tree, choose a place that is large enough to plant. Try to avoid troubles later, such as the sun getting worse and other plants not growing, or the branches and leaves hitting the eaves or garage and getting in the way.
Although it is possible to sow and grow Kousa dogwood, it has a low germination rate and needs to be grown for 7 to 8 years before it blooms. Therefore, it is common to start by purchasing seedlings.
In addition, Kousa dogwood has the property of preferring to dry relatively. Be careful not to water too much as it may cause root rot. Let’s grow healthy with proper water management.
Let’s grow it ourselves
In this article, we have explained in detail the charm, characteristics, and how to grow Kousa dogwood, but could it help you to feel closer to it? Kousa dogwood is a tree that changes its appearance into fresh green, flowering, fruiting, and autumn leaves, and when you are in the garden, you can strongly feel the changing seasons. Why don’t you plant it in the garden as a symbol tree?
Images via: Pinterest