Dogwoods can be loosely divided into two groups: flowering dogwoods and dogwoods with colourful stems.


Colourful-stemmed dogwoods are upright shrubs which lose their leaves in autumn to reveal stems in warm crimsons, yellows, oranges and ochres, guaranteed to cut through any winter gloom.

To get the best colour from them, you'll need to cut the old stems back hard in March to encourage fresh growth, which produces the best colour. Follow pruning with a general fertiliser and mulch. Additionally, a position in full sun will help to produce the most vibrant tones.

For full advice on growing these and other types of dogwoods, check out our cornus grow guide.

Discover our top pick of dogwoods for winter colour, below.

Cornus sanguinea 'Midwinter Fire'

'Midwinter Fire' has stunning twigs, bright yellow at the base turning orange at the tips. As a bonus, it has lovely autumn foliage, too. Don't prune this variety too hard – prune out a third of the stems each year, focussing on the oldest and weakest. H x S 1.5m x 1m.

Brilliant twigs of dogwood 'Midwinter Fire': yellow at their base, with orange tips

Cornus alba 'Sibirica'

This old-favourite has deep crimson stems. Try underplanting Cornus alba 'Sibirica' with evergreen grasses like Carex oshimensis or flowers like crocuses and snowdrops. H x S 2m x 2m.

Deep-crimson stems of dogwood 'Sibirica'

Cornus sericea 'Flaviramea'

Cornus sericea 'Flaviramea' has yellowish-olive winter stems that stand out especially well alongside red-stemmed varieties. H x S 2m x 3m.

Olive-yellow winter stems of dogwood 'Flaviramea'

Cornus sericea 'Baileyi'

'Baileyi' has some of the most intensely coloured winter stems, which are a deep wine colour. Dramatic upright habit. This variety spreads by suckering at the base. H x S 3m x 3m.

Deep wine coloured stems of dogwood 'Baileyi'

Cornus sanguinea 'Anny's Winter Orange'

Vibrant reddish-orange winter stems and intense autumn foliage. H x S 2m x 2m.

Reddish-orange stems of dogwood 'Anny's Winter Orange'

Unhappy cornus

If you've a cornus that isn't doing well where it's growing, move it in autumn and give it a really good mulch and water to help it establish. Find out how to move a shrub.