A single leaf of the Summer Gold Variegated Japanese Dogwood as it transitions from a creamy white edging and a green center to the hot pink coloring that occurs in fall

Summer Gold Variegated Japanese Dogwood

Bower & Branch Trees and Plants

Cornus kousa 'Summer Gold'

Regular price

This plant is not available at this time through Bower & Branch. We provide this plant profile for reference only. 

See below for alternative selections for purchase and inspiration!

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Growth Facts

  • Hardiness Zone: 5-8
  • Mature Height: 8-15' tall
  • Mature Width: 4-6' wide
  • Exposure: Part Sun/Part Shade
  • Spacing: 4-6' apart

Why plant Summer Gold Variegated Japanese Dogwood?

Is your yard a little blah? Inject some vibrant color into your landscape with Summer Gold Variegated Kousa Dogwood. This exciting new ornamental tree will put on a spectacular parade of changing colors outside your window from spring to fall. In spring, apple-green leaves with wide yellow margins unfold, followed by sparkling white star-shaped flowers. In summer, you’ll notice hints of pink in the foliage, and when the days turn brisk, the whole canopy flushes pink and purple, eventually deepening to red. Green is nice, but green, yellow, white, pink, purple, and red is even better!

There are other variegated Kousa Dogwoods, but Summer Gold looks to be the best of the lot so far. Unlike some others, its leaves aren’t wavy but flat, making for a better display of that fantastic variegation. It also has a more upright habit than most and doesn’t lean or droop. This sassy little tree was discovered in 2002 as a naturally occurring chance seedling at the nursery of Crispin Silva of Molalla, Oregon and has only been on the market for a few years. Because it’s a brand new tree, its ultimate size is uncertain, but Silva predicts it will top out at around 10 to 15 feet tall and wide.

How to use Summer Gold Variegated Japanese Dogwood in the landscape?

Did we forget to mention yet another colorful ornamental feature of this amazing tree? Summer Gold also gets strawberry-like, crimson-red fruits in late summer. The pulp inside is edible (though seedy) and tastes like papaya!

Planting Zones

Hardiness Zone: 5-8

How To Plant Summer Gold Variegated Japanese Dogwood

Plant Summer Gold Kousa Dogwood in an area of your yard that receives part sun or light shade. It’s not too fussy about soils but prefers an acid soil and needs good drainage. Unlike many Flowering Dogwood trees, the Japanese Kousa Dogwood is highly resistant to disease—most importantly, the dreaded anthracnose that has threatened so many of our native Dogwoods—so you can rest easy with Summer Gold.

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

As your tree grows, you’ll probably want to remove the lowermost branches to show off that amazing jigsaw-puzzle bark! Pruning is best done shortly after the flowers are spent.

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