Kousa Dogwood (Cornus Kousa ‘Satomi’)

Plant: Table of Contents

Kousa Dogwood (Cornus kousa ‘Satomi’): A Comprehensive Guide

Kousa dogwood, scientifically known as Cornus kousa ‘Satomi’, is a remarkable ornamental tree that is cherished for its stunning blossoms, attractive foliage, and unique fruiting structures. This species is a favorite among gardeners and landscapers, prized for its exceptional ornamental features and relatively low maintenance requirements. In this guide, we will delve into the various aspects of kousa dogwood, including its culture, uses, care requirements, common diseases, pests, and much more. Whether you are a gardening enthusiast, a landscaping professional, or simply an admirer of beautiful flora, this comprehensive guide aims to provide you with an in-depth understanding of kousa dogwood and how to care for it.

What is Kousa Dogwood (Cornus kousa ‘Satomi’)?

Kousa dogwood is a small deciduous tree that belongs to the Cornaceae family. Originating from East Asia, particularly China, Korea, and Japan, this species is celebrated for its exceptional beauty and adaptability to diverse growing conditions. ‘Satomi’ is a specific cultivar known for its breathtaking deep pink to red bracts that envelop the tree during the flowering season.

Key Takeaways – Kousa Dogwood (Cornus kousa ‘Satomi’)

  • Plant Name: Kousa Dogwood (Cornus kousa ‘Satomi’)
  • Family: Cornaceae
  • Cultivar: ‘Satomi’
  • Native Range: China, Korea, and Japan
  • Ornamental Features: Stunning blossoms, attractive foliage, and unique fruiting structures

Now, let’s explore the essential aspects of kousa dogwood, including its culture, uses, care requirements, common diseases, pests, and much more.


Cultivating kousa dogwood ‘Satomi’ involves understanding its specific cultural requirements to ensure optimal growth and development. From water and sunlight needs to suitable soil conditions, providing the right cultural environment is crucial for the health and vitality of this ornamental tree.


Kousa dogwood generally prefers consistently moist soil, especially during the initial establishment period. It is essential to water the tree regularly, particularly during dry spells and hot summer months. However, adequate drainage is also crucial to prevent waterlogging, which can lead to root rot and other complications.


In terms of sunlight requirements, kousa dogwood ‘Satomi’ thrives in partial shade to full sun. When planted in hotter regions, providing some afternoon shade can help protect the tree from the harsh midday sun, enhancing its overall health and vitality. The dappled sunlight under the canopy of taller trees can also create an ideal growing environment for this species.


Fertilization is beneficial for promoting the growth and blooming of kousa dogwood. A balanced, slow-release fertilizer can be applied in early spring before the new growth emerges. It is essential to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations and avoid over-fertilizing, which can have adverse effects on the tree’s health.


Kousa dogwood ‘Satomi’ thrives in well-drained, slightly acidic to neutral soil. It is essential to ensure good soil structure and fertility by incorporating organic matter, such as compost, into the planting area. Additionally, maintaining a slightly acidic soil pH can greatly benefit the tree’s overall health and nutrient uptake.


Pruning is an essential aspect of kousa dogwood care, contributing to its overall appearance, health, and longevity. Proper pruning techniques can help shape the tree, remove dead or diseased branches, and encourage robust flower production.

  • Timing: The ideal time for pruning kousa dogwood is during the dormant season, preferably in late winter or early spring before the new growth begins.
  • Techniques: When pruning, it is essential to focus on removing dead or diseased branches, as well as any crossing or rubbing branches. Additionally, light shaping can be performed to enhance the tree’s aesthetic appeal.


The propagation of kousa dogwood ‘Satomi’ can be achieved through various methods, including seed propagation, cuttings, and grafting. Each approach has distinct advantages and challenges, offering options for both amateur gardeners and professional horticulturists.

  • Seed Propagation: Harvesting and germinating seeds can be a rewarding way to propagate kousa dogwood, although it requires patience and a longer time frame for the tree to reach maturity.
  • Cuttings: Propagating from stem cuttings can be an effective method for creating genetic replicas of the parent plant, providing a quicker route to producing new trees.
  • Grafting: Grafting desirable cultivars onto suitable rootstocks can help maintain the specific characteristics of kousa dogwood ‘Satomi’ while possibly enhancing its growth and adaptability.

Container Popularity

Kousa dogwood ‘Satomi’ is increasingly popular as a container-grown specimen, offering versatility in landscaping and gardening. Its compact size, ornamental features, and manageable growth habits make it well-suited for container cultivation in various outdoor and indoor settings.

Container Common Diseases

While container cultivation offers certain advantages, it is essential to be aware of potential diseases and their management, particularly when growing kousa dogwood ‘Satomi’ in containers.

Disease Diagnosis

Common diseases that can affect kousa dogwood in containers include:

  • Anthracnose: This fungal disease can cause leaf spotting, dieback, and defoliation, particularly during periods of cool, wet weather.
  • Powdery Mildew: White powdery patches on the foliage indicate the presence of powdery mildew, a common fungal disease that can affect kousa dogwood, especially in humid environments.

Common Pests

Pests such as scale insects, aphids, and borers can also pose challenges for container-grown kousa dogwood. Regular monitoring and appropriate pest management strategies are essential to protect the tree from infestations and potential damage.

Botanist’s Tips

As a plant scientist, it is essential to appreciate the unique characteristics and growth requirements of kousa dogwood ‘Satomi’. Understanding the species-specific traits, including flowering patterns, foliage characteristics, and fruiting structures, can provide valuable insights for both horticultural professionals and amateur gardeners.

Fun Facts

Let’s uncover some intriguing and delightful facts about kousa dogwood ‘Satomi’:

  • The bracts of ‘Satomi’ cultivar exhibit an exquisite deep pink to red color, enhancing the tree’s ornamental appeal during the flowering season.
  • Kousa dogwood produces distinctive raspberry-like fruits that are not only visually appealing but also attract various wildlife, including birds and small mammals.
  • The exfoliating bark of mature kousa dogwood trees can reveal stunning patterns and hues, adding year-round interest to the landscape.

Links to External Resources

For additional information, resources, and support related to kousa dogwood ‘Satomi’, consider exploring the following links:


In conclusion, kousa dogwood ‘Satomi’ holds a special place in the realm of ornamental trees, captivating enthusiasts with its enchanting blossoms, striking foliage, and picturesque fruiting structures. Understanding the precise culture, care requirements, propagation techniques, and potential challenges associated with this species is crucial for fostering its health and vitality in diverse gardening and landscaping settings. Whether adorning a residential garden, public park, or urban landscape, the allure of kousa dogwood ‘Satomi’ continues to captivate and inspire, making it a cherished addition to horticultural pursuits and botanical appreciation.

By appreciating its unique characteristics and growth requirements, we can effectively cultivate and celebrate the remarkable beauty of kousa dogwood ‘Satomi’, enhancing our natural surroundings and enriching our connection with the captivating world of plants.

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I hope you find this guide to be informative and comprehensive. If you have any further questions or need additional information, feel free to let me know!

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Peter Taylors

Expert botanist who loves plants. His expertise spans taxonomy, plant ecology, and ethnobotany. An advocate for plant conservation, he mentors and educates future botanists, leaving a lasting impact on the field.