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How to Grow Your Own Dogwood Bonsai

Dogwood BonsaiDogwood trees are native to Eastern Asia, and make for gorgeous bonsai trees.

These trees produce large four-petaled flowers in late spring, producing an extremely flashy tree.  After the flowers die back, a large red berry remains.  The trunk of this tree has exfoliating bark which gives it an old look very early.

This tree is one of the most beautiful outdoor bonsai species to grow.

Watering Dogwood Bonsai

This bonsai requires an immense amount of sunlight.  That, in turn, requires frequent watering to compensate for the extra drying in the soil.  Water your bonsai by placing the pot in a tub of water for a few minutes.  Let the excess water run out before returning the pot to its original location.

Placement of your Dogwood Bonsai

Dogwoods are outdoor bonsai, and will not survive without a dormant season.  You can bring your bonsai indoors for special occasions, just ensure that you return it after a few days.  Dogwoods enjoy as much sunlight as you can give them.

Training Dogwood Bonsai

Pinch back new growth to maintain shape in areas that are already at desired foliage levels.  Wiring should be done in fall when the branches have already expanded.  Watch wires closely to ensure they are not overgrown.  This will cause scarring on your branches if you are not careful.

Repotting Dogwood Bonsai

Repot this species when the root system has filled the pot.  This is typically referred to as the tree being “rootbound.”  When this tree believes that it has no room to expand its roots, it will also stop growing above the soil to compensate.  This is their natural ability to ensure that they do not outgrow the root support.  This typically occurs every two years, and should be performed in early spring.  Repot Dogwoods with a soil with plenty of drainage.

Fertilizing Dogwood Bonsai

As with any bonsai, fertilizer is vital to having a healthy tree.  Fertilizer replenishes the nutrients washed away with the increased watering.  This tree should be fed every other week during the growing season, then monthly through fall and winter.

About The Author

I am an avid bonsai grower with over 2500 bonsai trees growing in my backyard at all times. I was born and raised in Boston, MA where I returned after 6 years in the US Army.


  1. Lorien McCabe

    Thank you Josh Stockton for this very informative article regarding dogwood bonsai tree. I’m very excited to try this. Just one small note, some dogwood trees are Asian but quite a few are native to North America. Thanks again for your article!

  2. Michael Hayden

    I have just purchased a Cherokee Chief Dogwood tree and i just potted it. I am interested in keeping it small and need guidance on how to do so. The tree is about 2 feet tall and it is in a pot 30 X 30 centimeters. Any help would be appreciated!


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