Smoke bush (Cotinus coggygria) is a tree-shaped, large deciduous shrub that is named for its puffs of summer flowers.  A cultivar called ‘Grace’ is particularly attractive and has burgundy foliage which turns rich scarlet in autumn.  Smoke Bush is an ideal choice to add a splash of foliage colour to gardens.

How to grow smoke bush in a garden

  1. Choose a sunny spot with well drained soil. Enrich the soil with Yates Dynamic Lifter Soil Improver & Plant Fertiliser . In areas with heavy or clay soil, to help improve soil structure and drainage, add gypsum and mix in well.
  2. Dig the planting hole twice as wide and to the same depth as the root-ball.  Remove the tree from the container, gently tease the roots and cut away any circled or tangled roots.
  3. Position in hole and backfill with soil, gently firming down. Form a raised or doughnut shaped ring of soil around the outer edge of the plant's root zone. This helps keep water where it's needed.  Always water in well after planting to settle the soil around the roots and keep the soil moist for several weeks while the new plant establishes.
  4. Mulch around the base with organic mulch like bark chips, sugarcane or pea straw, keeping it away from the trunk.
  5. Water deeply, once or twice a week, depending on weather conditions.  
  6. Feed in autumn and spring with Yates Dynamic Lifter Soil Improver & Plant Fertiliser to promote strong root development, healthy foliage & flowers.


How to grow smoke bush in a pot

  1. Step 1: Pick a compact variety that can be grown in a pot.  Choose a pot at least 500mm wide and deep. Position in full sun.
  2. Step 2: Fill chosen pot with quality potting mix, such as Yates Potting Mix with Dynamic Lifter.  Remove the shrub from the container, gently tease the roots and cut away any circled or tangled roots.
  3. Step 3: Position in hole and backfill with potting mix, gently firming down. Water in well.
  4. Step 4:  Water deeply, once or twice a week, depending on weather conditions.
  5. Step 5: Feed in Autumn and Spring with Yates Dynamic Lifter Soil Improver & Plant Fertiliser  to ensure strong root development & healthy foliage & flowers.

Growing Tips

Cotinus can be pruned back as required. Growth of the smoke-like flowers will be reduced in the year following a complete or hard prune. 

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