When to Plant Dogwood Trees in North Carolina? (Best Time)

Written by

William Golder


Dorian Goodwin

when to plant dogwood trees in north carolina

Dogwood trees have long been a favorite among North Carolinians. Not only because it is the state flower, but it also blooms well in every part of the region.

Whether they are Flowering dogwood, Alternate-leaf dogwood, or any other kind, North Carolina gardeners prefer planting them because they are low maintenance.

However, for optimum cultivation of these lush and colorful flower-bearing trees, you must first discover when to plant dogwood trees in North Carolina.

The best time to plant them for optimum growth is in the spring or fall, when the soil is moist and rich in mulch.

Best Time to Plant Dogwood Trees in North Carolina

1. Grow dogwood trees in spring or fall

  • Plant in spring or fall

Spring is one of the ideal periods for growing dogwood because they will have a long growing cycle before winter arrives, which will protect them from the potential risk of frosts.

But to be more precise, most gardeners like to plant them in early spring to have enough time for establishing their root system.

However, if you missed the chance to start them in spring, the next ideal time to plant dogwood trees in NC is in fall. The reason is dogwoods usually go dormant in late autumn.

And since they work well in moderate soil temperatures, fall is the perfect time to grow them.

  • Avoid planting in summer

If you missed planting them during the above seasons, wait until the following spring and fall instead of growing them in summer.

Your trees might be at risk when you plant them during this time because high levels of heat and sunlight may damage the saplings.

So, if you want to plant North Carolina dogwood trees, start them in spring or fall for suitable climate conditions.

2. Grow dogwood trees when the soil has the right conditions.


  • Use the suitable soil type

Planting dogwood trees in clay soil is not optimal; however, this soil type has its own advantage.

Compared to other kinds, it’s hard to irrigate but will keep moisture well once you’ve managed to give it water.

On the other hand, loam soil is the best type for dogwoods. Loam has good drainage, which is helpful for proper flow of water in the soil.

Sandy soil, on the contrary, is quick-draining, but it is still an acceptable alternative as long as the sandiness is only moderate. It is acidic, the soil pH level at which these trees thrive the best.

If your soil is clay, add compost to make it well-draining and if sandy, add organic matter like peat moss to improve its ability to keep moisture.

In terms of pH, go for a range of 5.5-7.00.

  • Use organic matter to help keep the soil moisture

The best time to plant dogwood trees is when the soil is moist with ample organic matter, which ensures proper germination of dogwood trees.

Organic matters such as composts and peat moss are the best materials you can use, especially for sandy soil that drains fast.

How to Plant Dogwood Trees?


  • Untwist the roots and prune some of the damaged ones.
  • Soak them in water for 3-6 hours to prevent them from drying.
  • Dig an expansive hole to give enough space for the roots to grow.
  • Cut off the grass within 3 feet of the planting area.
  • Save the soil removed from the hole and place it around the planting area, which is at least 3 ft in diameter.
  • Place the tree inside the hole at the same depth, just like how the nursery set it up.
  • Fill the lower roots in the hole with soil. Press the soil lightly to ensure firmness.
  • Fill the rest of the hole with soil.
  • Water the planted tree thoroughly.
  • Surround the planting bed of the tree with mulch at least 2 inches deep while avoiding getting the material on the tree trunk to prevent rotting.

Planting Location for Dogwood Trees

Dogwood trees grow best in partial shade, so selecting an area where they can get only part of the sunlight is ideal because too much exposure can dry up their leaves.

Aside from that, since dogwoods are understory trees, they thrive best when protected by larger trees. Surrounding them with other plants can also shield them from excessive sunlight.

Dogwood Tree Planting Tips

  • Water your dogwood tree twice a week to keep it hydrated, and water the plant more often during summer or if the climate is tropical.
  • Prune the branches that need pruning around late winter to early spring when they are dormant.
  • Use a fertilizer that can resolve the deficiency of your specific soil type.
  • Keep the bark of the tree safe to prevent attracting borer insects.
  • Choose a natural insecticide to treat pests that infect the tree rather than using a synthetic one.


Waiting for spring or fall and moist soil before planting dogwood trees might test your patience, but all is worth it when you finally get to grow them.

Always remember to place the dogwood trees in a suitable location, where they can get optimum sunlight.

For proper growth, learn to prune, water, and fertilize them properly, as well as mulch the soil to maintain its favorable condition.

Now that you know when to plant dogwood trees in North Carolina, you’ll be able to grow these beautiful, most-wanted trees. Thank you for reading!

Besides dogwood trees, you can also refer to other plants such as potatoes, tomatoes, pumpkins, etc to grow in North Carolina.

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