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Dogwood - Cornus Midwinter Fire

Daisy BeeDaisy Bee Posts: 7

Hi all - I have just had my garden landscaped and my landscaper brought me a Dogwood Cornum Midwinter Fire plant.  I planted it within a couple of days but it looks very sick to me.  The leaves are turning brown and the branch tips are dying and going black - is this normal for this plant at this time of year or has he sold me a very sick plant ? 



  • Pauline 7Pauline 7 West Yorkshire Posts: 2,103
    A photo would be useful. Tap on the icon that looks like a mountain range, ( 5 from the right  )  and follow the instructions.  
  • Silver surferSilver surfer Posts: 3,704
    It has been rather hot least up here.
    Keep it watered and wait...see if it recovers /grows.
    In a month if it still looks dead ask your landscaper to replace it for you.

    It is a shrub that when happy suckers...give it space.
    Perthshire. SCOTLAND .
  • UpNorthUpNorth South Leeds, West Yorkshire, UK Posts: 376
    agree as above but also i wonder did your landscaper also supply the soil into which the plant was placed? is anything else growing well in that same soil?  Could some weedkiller be in the ground recently?     

    Cornus are not very fussy, they grow for me in almost anything and are fairly draught tolerant as well.
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 27,584
    Given my experience with this shrub I suggest you tell your landscaper it's failing and ask for a cornus alba sibirica instead.  It has much stronger, more vivid red stems for winter and the autumn foliage goes a stunning purple and then red in a good season.  It's also happy to be cut back hard every year to control size and keep those fresh young red stems coming.

    Midwinter Fire is, in theory, prettier and more subtle with its flame effect but mine resented being pruned and sulked and the older stems went a dull creamy grey as well as getting frost bitten.  It also suckers like mad with shoots popping up from roots away from the parent plant.   However, if you like it and want to keep it, watering during hot spells is key

    Cornus alba elegantissima is another good cornus with mahogany stems and variegated foliage.  Like Sibirica it also has better flowers IMHO than Midwinter Fire.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • Daisy BeeDaisy Bee Posts: 7
    Many thanks for your comments.  Will supply photo later today.  
    When he gave me the plant it was wrapped in a loose hessian material with what looked like good established roots (although they were very dry !) and some loose soil around it.  I've planted it next to other established plants that are fine (no weedkiller in soil) and gave it a good watering.  I'm just wondering whether I should just heavily prune it or as Silver Surfer suggests, just leave it and see what happens !  Just concerned that if it's carrying a disease it might infect other plants.  Oh the dilemma.      
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 27,584
    If roots look dry it's a good idea to soak them in a bucket of water to let them rehydrate before planting.  Worth knowing for another time.  In this case, keep it watered and yes, prune it back to a couple of pairs of leaves on each stem to reduce stress on the roots while they get themselves re-established.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • Daisy BeeDaisy Bee Posts: 7
    Thank you so much for tips - will try this and wait for results !  This is what I felt I should do, but never had a Dogwood plant before.  I do however think the Landscaper must have found this on the road side rather than a Nursery !!  
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 27,584
    Or has dug it up from another client?  Or just not kept the roots protected?  They'd dry out quickly if exposed to air and sun.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • I agree with Obelixx, Cornus  sibirica alba is a great one and will grow just about anywhere. I have had one which I grow in a pot for years as I know it suckers and I want to keep it in check. It's very happy and full of green leaves at the moment. If I were you I would definitely contact your landscaper.
  • Daisy BeeDaisy Bee Posts: 7

    Photo below - I've already pruned quite a lot off this plant, but you can see it's not very healthy !

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