Why the Red Pygmy® Rutgers Dwarf Dogwood?
Red Pygmy® Rutgers Dogwood is an adorable pint-sized version of our beloved American Flowering Dogwood tree that will bring a cheerful pop of color to your foundation beds or to a cozy corner of your outdoor dining, sitting, or entertaining space. Spring brings full-sized pink-red blossoms to this petite beauty’s branches to kick off the show, followed by rich green foliage that turns bronze-red in fall, as well as glossy red fruits loved by songbirds. Few trees stay so small (around 8 feet by 6 feet), yet are so blessed with ornamental riches. A true treasure.
It might seem funny to think of a plant as an “invention,” but horticultural living legend Dr. Elwin Orton was recently inducted into the New Jersey Inventors Hall of Fame for his groundbreaking breeding work with hollies and dogwoods. Orton has made big bucks in plant patent royalties, too—for his employer, Rutgers University. To engineer Red Pygmy®, one of Orton’s latest creations, he brought together the common Red-Flowering Dogwood (variety rubra) with the naturally dwarf, white-flowering ‘Pygmy’ Dogwood to produce the world’s first ever Dwarf Red-Flowering Dogwood.
How to use in the landscape?
Ideal for smaller gardens, this rare dwarf Dogwood variety brings some pizazz! You can expect an awesome display of deep red-pink flowers in spring and bright red fruit in fall along with orange/red fall foliage. Use this Red Pygmy Dogwood as a specimen, in Japanese-style gardens, or use in groupings.
Hardiness Zone: 5-9
Mature Height: 8' tall
Mature Width: 6' wide
Exposure: Full Sun/Part Shade
Spacing: 4-6' apart
How To Plant
Red Pygmy® appreciates anything you can do to make it more comfortable. A site that receives morning sun and afternoon shade is optimal, as most dogwoods don’t take kindly to baking all day in hot sun. Good drainage is essential; we recommend planting all Bower & Branch™ trees two inches above grade, but doing this is especially important for dogwoods. At the same time, regular water is important, too. And good air circulation helps to prevent anthracnose, a disease that occasionally strikes this species—particularly those trees that are stressed.
How To Water
Water weekly, or better yet, use the Bower & Branch® Water Element to deliver just the right amount of moisture to your tree throughout the growing season.
How To Fertilize
Incorporate Elements Starter Plant food granular form into the soil when planting. If planting in spring or summer, start fertilizing late fall using Elements Starter Plant food granular form on an annual basis each late fall. Continue this for the first three years to get your plant well established.
How To Prune
Due to the dwarf stature of the Red Pygmy®, does not need a lot of pruning, but if you feel it’s necessary to prune, please do so after the tree is done flowering in the spring.
Hardiness Zone: 5-9