Flowering dogwood can be a tricky plant to grow in a landscape setting. It is commonly found growing in woodland margins. Locate flowering dogwood in a site that receives full sun to partial shade, though in the peidmont and along the coast it may need more ... shade, especially in the afternoon. Plant in well-drained soil that is high in organic matter and has a slightly acidic to neutral pH. A 2 to 4-inch layer of mulch will help keep the roots cool and moist in hot summers.