Q.How do I get my Kousa Dogwood saplings to grow leaves after wintering indoors?
We grew our Kousa Dogwood saplings from seeds that we collected from several trees. They sprouted well and we planted them in a seed starter kit we purchased at Agway. They were doing very well until the summer, when they became infested with springtails. We did not know until later that these bugs were eating the roots. The saplings did not grow very tall (one to three inches) by Autumn, so we decided to bring them indoors for the winter. We got rid of the springtails with cedar oil. It took three treatments, but they are definitely gone. When spring came, we put them outside, but they have not sprouted leaves. I’m assuming that they did need to be outside for the winter to get their cues from nature to sprout in the Spring. So, my question is: How do I artificially winter them to get them to sprout leaves? (The attached picture is from April 14th and they don’t look as healthy now.)
I suspect that the trees did not get the proper dormancy while indoors. I am not certain that you can safely put them into dormancy now and bring them out in time to build up their energy reserves before they need to go dormant again in the fall. Plus, they may be too depleted to survive dormancy at this point. But, what they need to go into dormancy is cool temps and dry soil. They would likely need at least 6 weeks of dormancy.