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red cornus florida var. rubra flowering dogwood

Laingsburg, MI

I planted two of these seedlings around one month ago, and the leaves have gradually curled upwards along the edges and developed dark mottled areas. A couple leaves have a whitish cast to the bottom third of the leaf, but none have dropped off as yet.
The clay soil was amended heavily with commercial composted humus, and mulch is covering the 2 X 3' area. Is this normal?

Thumbnail by HopeSue
Laingsburg, MI

Here's a closeup of the dogwood.

Thumbnail by HopeSue
Scott County, KY(Zone 5b)

You likely have one of the many fungal diseases that afflict Cornus florida. While normal, it isn't desirable and in some cases can very well be fatal.

I would take a sample to your County Extension Service for a diagnosis, and expect to treat those plants with a fungicide to stop further damage to your plants.

You may have to treat these trees annually, and should do it as a protectant/preventative instead of after the infection has caused damage.

Dogwoods (like roses) can be a handful to establish and keep healthy.

Laingsburg, MI

Oh, great. I will look into solving the issue, but if they die, at least I only had $12.50 invested into each. Thank you for replying!

Scott County, KY(Zone 5b)

You are quite welcome. Good luck with the effort to grow this fine plant.

They don't like to dry down too much in summer, either.

Laingsburg, MI

I have been checking the soil below the mulch every couple of days and watering it deeply when it feels a bit dry.

I take it you have one or more of this species?

Scott County, KY(Zone 5b)

I have one or more at the Valley, and have been responsible for the care of hundreds (thousands?) more. Of course, this is down here in the Ohio River valley and central KY area.

In paying attention over the past few decades as various diseases and insects have wreaked havoc on dogwood populations in landscapes and in native populations, I've learned by reading, listening, and in practice. Proper siting and early care in establishment pays huge dividends toward a long-lived healthy specimen.

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