Why Won't My Dogwood Tree Bloom?

The blooms of a dogwood tree are affected by the amount of sunlight, nitrogen and water the plant receives. The timing of pruning and cold snaps also factor into the amount of blooms the tree produces.

Dogwoods are a forest understory plant in their native habitat. They prefer dappled sunlight. Planting fast-growing trees around a dogwood that receives too much sunlight may encourage the plant to bloom. Trimming surrounding trees to allow filtered light through the canopy may increase blooms if the trees are not receiving enough light.

Fertilizing around a dogwood tree should be done with care. Though fertilizing increases the height and overall health of the tree, the increased energy put into rapid growth detracts from the production of flowers. Lawn fertilizer should not be spread past the drip line of the tree, and slow-release fertilizer or organic mulch should be placed around the tree to prevent decreasing blooms.

The roots of the dogwood are shallow and require a soaking to a depth of at least 6 inches once per week at a minimum. Over-watering causes waterlogged roots and may lead to death of the tree.

Pruning should be done immediately after the tree flowers in the spring. Late pruning of the tree removes next season's flower buds. Buds can also be destroyed by cold snaps. Covering the tree during frosts may prevent this problem.