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Cardinal Red Twig Dogwood

American Beauties Native Plants

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  • Partial Sun to Full Sun (At Least 5 Hours of Direct Sunlight)
  • Mature Height 6 - 8 Feet
  • Mature Spread 6 - 8 Feet
  • Growing Zones 3 - 9

Cornus sericea 'Cardinal' Red Twig Dogwood features lush medium green foliage and small clusters of white flowers during Spring and Summer. Even better, within its name, the Cardinal Red Twig Dogwood transitions to vibrant red branches during the late Fall and throughout Winter. Each individual plant can grow to be 6’-9’ tall and up to 10’ wide. Though the best parts of this plant may seem to revolve around the aesthetic features, don’t be fooled! Native to North America, this beauty is wonderful for birds and butterflies alike! Butterflies love to feed on the nectar of the white flowers. When planted in groups of three or more, the Cardinal Red Twig Dogwood creates the perfect environment for nesting birds and the flowers turn to light-blue berries that feed them.

Whether you choose to plant a single Cardinal Red Twig Dogwood or several in a group planting, the features will only enhance your landscape. Deer resistant, you likely will not have to worry about walking outside to find your beloved plant chewed to pieces. This is because other plants are much more palatable to your local deer.

Once established, these beauties are considered drought tolerant. Minimal pruning of approximately 25% each year will ensure the branches and foliage continue to prosper year after year. Although it is not evergreen, this plant is a showstopper in every season.

Cardinal Red Twig Dogwood Care

Plant in partial sun or full sun and ensure it receives at least 4 hours of sun per day. When planting, create an equal soil mixture of aged compost and native soil to continually feed nutrients to the plant as it establishes. If the foliage appears to be turning yellow/brown during the Spring and Summer or if the red tones are not as vibrant throughout the winter, additional fertilizing may be needed. In early spring as the first buds begin to appear, add a thin layer of aged compost along the base of the plant.

In most cases, the soil will not need pH amendments as it is versatile in acidic, neutral and alkaline soils alike. Although it is considered drought tolerant once established, this plant appreciates a consistent watering schedule. For the most vivid results, ensure it is kept properly moist when exposed to extreme heat or when you have not received rain for 1-2 weeks. In contrast, the Cardinal Red Twig Dogwood tolerates wet and bog-like soil.

The red twigs appear most vibrantly on the youngest branches. To achieve peak results, prune 25% of the plant while it is in dormancy. Start with the older, damaged twigs first and remove them by pruning at the base of each twig. Then go through and remove more that appear thicker than others. Do this throughout the entire crown until you have removed approximately ¼ of the twigs. If this is too much yearly maintenance, another option may be to allow 2-3 years between prunings. With this method, you will prune all twigs down to the ground to encourage new growth.

Cardinal Red Twig Dogwood Spacing

The Cardinal Red Twig Dogwood does well by itself,  in group plantings or as a barrier. With a spread of nearly 10’, keep in mind how dense you’d like your plants to be. When planting a single Cardinal Red Twig Dogwood, keep at least 10’ distance between all other plants. When in group plantings, you may choose to plant a bit closer and have them 6’-8’ apart. As with group plantings, barrier planting can be achieved by spacing each plant 6’-8’ apart.

Cardinal Red Twig Dogwood Information

USDA Hardiness Zones: 3 - 9
Plant Type: Bushes
Light Exposure: Partial Sun to Full Sun
Mature Height: 6 - 8 Feet
Mature Spread: 9 - 10 Feet
Spacing: 9 - 10 Feet
Habit: Spreading
Flower Color(s): White
Flower Description:
Bloom Period: Late May
Foliage Type: Deciduous
Foliage Color(s): Green
Foliage Description:
Seasonal Interest: Spring Flowering
Watering: Average
Resists: Deer
Tolerates: Drought
Attracts: Birds, Butterflies
Container Role:
Uses: Mass Planting, Wildlife Gardens
Features: Attracts Pollinators, Low Maintenance, Native to North America
Common Name: Cardinal Red Twig Dogwood
Other Name(s):

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Plant Addict Guarantee (Included On All Plant Orders)

Plant Addicts guarantees your plant(s) will arrive happy and healthy, but the plant(s) are being shipped through the mail and accidents happen. If the plant is dead, has dried out roots or the incorrect item was shipped just notify Plant Addicts within 3 days upon delivery. We may ask for pictures but will try to make it as easy as possible for you. Please note plant(s) with damaged branches or wilted leaves will not qualify for this guarantee. Plants are very resilient and will rebound quickly when cared for correctly.

For information on how to care for you new plant please check out our guide. Guide: How to Care for Your New Plant(s)

Plant Addicts Warranty - 1 Year (Extra Purchase Required)

We encourage all plant lovers to purchase the Plant Addicts Warranty whether you’re new or an expert. There are many variables outside our control and yours that can cause the demise of your plant(s). Examples would be hungry animals, drought, poor soil conditions, over watering, disease, insects & many other factors. The Plant Addicts Warranty is a 1 year warranty protecting you from all the unknowns and will replace your plant if it moves on to the plant afterlife.

The warranty is purchased on a per plant basis and must be purchased at the same time as the plant purchase. We will cover 100% of the price of the plant but the warranty does not cover shipping cost. Simply let us know if your plant has died within one year of receiving it and we’ll get you a new one shipped out. We may ask for photos for documentation purposes but again we’ll try to make it as easy as possible.

For more information, please go to our Shipping & Returns page at the bottom of the website.

Guide: How to Care for Your New Plant(s)

Planter Shipping

Standard Colors: 2-3 business days

Special Order Colors: 8 weeks - this is due to the planter being custom made with the color(s) of your choice

Please Note: On special orders there can not be any cancellations

Plant Shipping

Time of Order:

Summer Shipping

  • If there is extreme heat we’ll delay shipping.  
    • We’ll have to review what areas the plants are traveling through along with your location

Once your plant is shipped you’ll receive an email with tracking information. Depending on the above criteria we’ll ship your plant(s) towards beginning of the following week from your order. We put together this helpful guide of what to do when you receive your plants in the mail.

It is important to know that all of our plants are clearly labeled for which growing zones the plant can survive in. The plants are thoroughly trialed and tested in every growing zone before we state the plant can grow in a zone. Again, our #1 priority is to ship the plants to you healthy and ready to thrive in your location. So we will do everything in our power to do so.