Why the Venus® Rutgers Dogwood?
You have never seen a Dogwood tree like Venus® Rutgers Dogwood. The almost comically large, saucer-sized white flowers on this recently released hybrid tree are bigger than the blooms of any Dogwood tree you’ll find for sale. This tree will be a hot topic of conversation in your garden! Plant it in a prominent part of your landscape where the late-spring flowers will get all the attention they deserve, but give it room to spread. Venus® Dogwood becomes a bushy, rounded tree reaching 20 feet in height and width. Strategically sited, this densely branched tree could serve not only as a first-class specimen tree for your yard, but as a deluxe summer privacy screen as well.
Dr. Elwin Orton’s brilliant Dogwood breeding program at Rutgers University has yielded a bumper crop of fantastic new hybrid trees for the garden. His Kousa Dogwood × Flowering Dogwood crosses (such as Celestial® and Stellar Pink®) receive all the attention—however, Venus® is different. This showstopper is a cross between the Asian Kousa Dogwood and our native Pacific Dogwood of the West Coast. Dr. Orton made the cross back in 1983, but didn’t release Venus® to the public until 2006. After 20 years of observation, the original tree was healthy and robust and had never fallen prey to any insect pest or disease.
How to use in the landscape?
The flowers on this Dogwood are HUGE! The creamy-white flower bracts that appear in spring can measure up to 6" across - definitely not your typical Dogwood. This tree shows to be wonderful addition to any landscape in that it is a vigorous grower and has excellent drought resistance. Usually covered with deep green foliage throughout the growing season, but explodes with reddish-purple foliage in fall.
Hardiness Zone: 5-7
Mature Height: 20' tall
Mature Width: 20' wide
Exposure: Full Sun/Part Shade
Spacing: 15-20' apart
How To Plant
Hybrid trees often show what is known as “hybrid vigor,” which usually translates to fast growth, disease resistance, and larger flowers. The Venus® Hybrid Dogwood is no exception. It also blooms for a long time compared to other Dogwoods, and if you can bear to cut some flowers for a vase, they last a long time in water, too. This stellar tree will give you lots of bang for your buck! Like most Dogwoods, Venus® prefers a site in full sun to part shade. It has a decent amount of drought resistance wired into its genes, but for the best results, water it regularly. Not too much! This tree doesn’t tolerate constantly wet soil.
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
Pruning may not be needed but is best done shortly after the flowers are spent.
Hardiness Zone: 5-7