Isanti Red Twig DogwoodCornus sericea ‘Isanti’
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Cornus sericea ‘Isanti’
Outdoor Growing zone
Full Sun, Partial Sun
The Isanti Red Twig Dogwood is a selected form of the red osier, a native shrub and an attractive deciduous bush that grows 4 or 5 feet tall and 3 to 7 feet across. It makes a dense thicket of branches. The green leaves turn vibrant shades of red, orange and purple in fall, and when they drop the bright red twigs are revealed. These add interest and color to your winter garden, looking great against fresh snow or green hedges. This is an excellent choice for shrub beds, slopes, natural areas and beside water.
Grow the Isanti Red Twig Dogwood in full sun or partial shade, in most soils, including wet ones and even shallow water. It grows well in ordinary garden soil and has some resistance to summer dryness. It grows well even in zone 3. It is vigorous and generally free of pests or diseases, and it needs very little attention. Annual pruning can be done in early spring to encourage the growth of young branches, which have the best red coloring.
If you garden in colder zones winter is a long haul of 5 months and it can be hard to make gardens interesting. Cold-zone gardeners have learned to brighten those months with everything from ornamental grasses left standing, to colored stems on deciduous shrubs. Those brightly colored stems stand out against the snow beautifully, and really make a walk around the garden in the coldest weather worthwhile. The red twig dogwood is a garden staple in cold areas, and grows in ordinary garden conditions, and in wet soil as well. It looks right at home beside water – and just as much at home beside your front door. You never have to worry about the cold either, because these shrubs are as tough as you are, happy in those cold areas. Trouble free, we especially love the Isanti Red Twig Dogwood, which grows into a really dense clump of branches from the base and makes a great background. No cold-zone garden is complete without red twig dogwoods, and this one is one of the best. In warmer zones too, those red twigs look great against a winter lawn, green hedge, black earth, and especially when you get the seasonal snow-storm or two. Let’s not forget these are native shrubs, and so they are ideal for natural gardens too.
The Isanti Red Twig Dogwood is an upright deciduous shrub that produces many stems from the base. reaching 4 or 5 feet tall. It spreads slowly sideways, growing from about 3 feet wide when young into a broad clump 6 or 7 feet across. The twigs are light green to pink when young, but by fall they have matured and ripened to a rich, deep red color that really shines out all winter. The leaves are oval, tapering to a point, and mid-green. They are between 2 and 5 inches long. In fall they turn bright red and orange tones, darkening to rich purples by late fall. When they drop the brilliant red of the twigs is revealed, staying that way all through winter.
In late spring on older bushes clusters of white flowers, about 2½ inches across, may appear. These are fragrant, and by early fall they have turned into white berries, that sometimes become flushed with light blue. Birds enjoy them, and they unfortunately often don’t last long before they are eaten.
The Isanti Red Twig Dogwood is an excellent plant for shrub beds. Use it in the middle areas of larger beds, and as background in smaller ones. It forms an attractive green backdrop, and then becomes an important component in the bed with its fall leaves, and especially during the winter months. For group planting space bushes 3 or 4 feet apart. Grow it as a low barrier or screen along a fence or boundary. The many stems and strong roots make it an excellent choice for slopes and banks. Because it is a native shrub it is perfect – and very attractive – used to separate wilder areas from the cultivated garden. It grows well in wet soil, so it is an excellent choice for low-lying areas, along streams, around lakes, and anywhere beside water. For a striking visual effect, plant it with the yellow twig dogwood, Cornus sericea ‘Flaviramea’. The contrasting twig colors look great together.
This very hardy shrub grows without winter damage in zone 3, and all the way into zone 7. It needs no winter protection or special care.
Full sun or partial shade suit the Isanti Red Twig Dogwood perfectly. The red twig color is strongest when grown in the sun, but this plant grows well under large trees, with just a few hours of direct sun each day. It grows in almost any soil, thriving in moist soils but growing very well in most ordinary garden conditions, with reasonable resistance to summer dryness once well established.
Some red twig dogwoods are subject to leaf spots and stem cankers, but this vigorous variety is usually free of those problems, although not specifically resistant to them. Young plants benefit from mulch and regular watering. Pruning is not required, but it does increase the quantity of young, bright red branches. In cold zones remove up to one-third of the oldest stems in early spring each year, cutting them back close to the ground. This will encourage new shoots to grow, which have the best twig color. In zones 6 and 7 you can cut this plant down to 6 inches from the ground every second or third year, once it is established. This creates a smaller bush to about 3 feet, with many long, brightly-colored stems growing up in a dense mass.
The Isanti Red Twig Dogwood is a selected form of the red osier, Cornus sericea, once known as Cornus stolonifera. This shrub is native across a large part of North America, from Alaska to Newfoundland, and through all the northern states south to Virginia and down the West Coast. It is an important part of wetland ecosystems, preventing soil erosion along river banks. The variety called ‘Isanti’ was found and collected around 1963 at the Cedar Creek Reserve, in East Bethel, Minnesota, a natural wetland conservation area owned by the University of Minnesota. The Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, in Chaska, named and released it to nurseries. ‘Isanti’ is a name for the Santee people, a subgroup of the Dakota.
Dogwoods are basic bushes for landscaping in all cold and moderate parts of the country and no garden can be without them. We always sell many plants of this popular and reliable shrub, so order now while we still have stock available. Bring color and interest to your winter garden with the Isanti Red Twig Dogwood.