Propagating Red Osier Dogwood: A Step-By-Step Guide

Red osier dogwood (Cornus sericea) is a deciduous shrub species that has been known to add an aesthetic value to gardens and landscapes. With its bright red bark, this plant can instantly catch attention and create a stunning visual appeal in any garden setting. Propagation of red osier dogwoods is a simple process, requiring minimal effort and resources. In this blog post, we will guide you on how to propagate red osier dogwood easily.

What Is Plant Propagation?

Plant propagation refers to the process of creating new plants by separating parts of an existing one or growing them from seeds. It is an essential practice for plant growth and reproduction, especially for ornamental plants like the red osier dogwood.

Why Propagate Red Osier Dogwood?

Propagation offers several benefits when it comes to gardening. For instance, propagating your own plants allows you to save money since buying mature plants can be expensive. Also, propagated plants are more likely to thrive since they have their roots developed from scratch which enables better adaptation with soil conditions in your garden.

How To Propagate Red Osier Dogwood

There are two primary ways through which you can propagate red osier dogwoods – using cuttings or growing them from seeds:

Propagating Using Cuttings:

1) Identify suitable cuttings: The best time for taking cuttings should be in early summer when the plant is actively growing.
2) Cut off 4-6 inch long stems: Use sharpened scissors or pruning shearers that have been sterilized with alcohol.
3) Remove leaves at the bottom end: Leave only two sets of leaves attached at each stem’s top end.
4) Dip bottom portion in rooting hormone powder: The powder encourages root development
5) Plant cutting into moist potting soil mixtures
6) Covering stake with plastic bag until roots appear after approximately six weeks

Propagating From Seeds:

1) Collect seeds from the red osier dogwood plant during autumn
2) Soak seeds in warm water overnight to soften them for easy germination.
3) Plant the soaked seed in a container with well-drained soil mixture
4) Cover lightly with soil and keep moist but not over-watered
5) Keep planted pots indoors since early spring until the young plants reach six inches tall, transplant outside.

Tips To Ensure Successful Propagation

Propagation requires keen attention and care for success. Here are some tips to follow:

– Always sterilize pruning shears or scissors used when taking cuttings or trimming stems. Sterilization helps prevent diseases that may infect your cutting/stem.
– Use a rooting hormone powder when propagating using cuttings. The hormone enhances root development, resulting in more robust plants.
– When propagating using seeds, ensure you use fresh ones collected during autumn. Old or stale seeds may fail to germinate correctly, leading to poor results.


Propagating redosier dogwoods is an exciting process that can be easily achieved by following our detailed guide above. Whichever method you choose; whether through cuttings or from seed propagation, proper care is essential throughout your entire propagation journey. With patience and dedication, before you know it; you will have beautiful new Red Osier Dogwood shrubs growing healthily in your garden!