Public Domain from Wikimedia Commons
This hardy, ornamental shrub is my plant choice for January as it can be depended upon to deliver vibrant red colour to the winter landscape. At about 5-6’ tall and wide, this particular dogwood (also known as Red-twig) features a number of notable attributes including stunning fall leaf colour, attractive berries for the birds, vibrant red stems, and (depending on the sub-variety), handsome variegated summer foliage.
While many dogwoods are rather slow-growing shrubs, Red Osier dogwoods are among the faster-growing varieties. You can expect the plants to add about 1-2’ of growth each year. They can be trimmed back all the way to the ground every few years, which will both rejuvenate the plant and control its growth. It will return within a year with young red stems.
These dogwood shrubs should be planted where they can be easily viewed, especially if grown for their prized red bark colour. Red Osier dogwoods will tolerate partial shade, but their signature red bark will be optimal if they are planted in full sun.