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Smoke bush

Smoke bush Lubera

Buying and planting a smoke bush is worthwhile for any garden. Also known as the smoke tree, Cotinus coggygria delights with its green or red leaves, which take on a rich purplish red colour in autumn. The flowers are small, but the fruit stands out beautifully. These deciduous, red shrubs look good in any garden, especially because they are attractive from a distance and they reach a good height, both when planted alone or in groups. You can also buy a smoke bush and plant it in a large planter or pot on a balcony. Smoke trees are quite undemanding in care, they are tolerate to dryness and are also suitable for the urban climate.

The most intense deep purple-red autumn colour is shown with the red-leaved smoke bush Cotinus coggygria 'Royal Purple'. Its foliage is so dark red that it is almost brown-violet. After flowering, the seeds of the plants form fluffy balls of fuzz that stick to the shrubs for many weeks like funny little wigs. Cotinus coggygria 'Young Lady' has stunning green foliage in the summer that turns red in autumn. With the Cotonus coggygria 'Smokey Joe' variety, the bright pink flowers stand out in striking contrast to the plant's green foliage. All of these smoke trees are similar in height and all are ideal for floristic purposes.

   
 
Red Smoketree 'Royal Purple'

Cotinus coggygria 'Royal Purple' is a red-leave variety with reddish brown flowers and...

From £14.90 *

No image available Smoketree 'Smokey Joe'®

Cotinus coggygria 'Smokey Joe' has dark pink flowers from July to August and has...

From £14.90 *

Smoketree 'Young Lady'®

Cotinus coggygria 'Young Lady' low growing variety of smoketrees with whitish pink...

From £14.90 *

   
 
Smoke bush

Location

Smoke bushes (Coggygria cotinus) are found in the Mediterranean via China to the southwestern United States and are fully frost hardy. They tolerate to dryness and are also quite insensitive to polluted urban climates. If you buy a smoke bush, you can plant it just as well in the sun as in the partial shade. However, the shrub will appear even more magnificent in full sunshine. It even tolerates the blazing midday sun well.

Only as far as the demands on the soil are concerned, it must be taken into account that the smoke bush cannot tolerate acidic soil. If the soil is too acidic at the intended location in the garden, lime must be incorporated before planting in order to increase the pH. Otherwise, this plant will thrive in any normal garden soil. The shrub grows to about 2 metres high and about 1.5 metres wide. It can be used well as a solitary planting as well as in a mixed bush hedge or as a hedge consisting of several shrubs. It can also be planted in containers.

Planting

When you buy a smoke bush, make sure it is planted properly. The decorative shrub of the sumac family can grow in a favourable location and reach up to three metres tall. The location in the garden must be considered carefully because this shrub is not gladly transplanted. The planting hole should be twice as deep as the root ball is large. Loosen the soil well. Then remove the plant from the container and rip the root ball open so that the roots can spread loosely in the soil. Plant at the same height as the smoke bush was in the container. Fill with soil and water well. That's it. If the plant should grow in a container, care must be taken that it will not become waterlogged.

Maintaining and Pruning

The smoke bush (Coggygria cotinus) basically does not need to be pruned. However, after a few years in the spring, it can be thinned in order to limit the growth height. Also, if grown in a pot, it must usually be cut for reasons of space. The most popular variety is Coggygria cotinus 'Royal Purple'. Its flowers are tiny and unimpressive. The inflorescences, however, appear as a filigree, light green structure in the garden, which looks translucent like a cloud. If the shrubs are cut strongly, they hardly bloom in the following year, however the red Cogggria cotinus 'Royal Purple' also has fine foliage to display. It can be cut back in November down to approx. 15 centimetres above the ground, so that the height of the shrubs can be maintained. In the spring, the plants then show red sprouting leaves. These plants can be grown in a larger natural hedge or as solitary shrubs, where they can form beautiful shapes and lots of magnificent red autumn colour. Older plants can also be thinned if necessary by cutting out individual branches at ground level. When you buy a Coggryia, you will have little problem with common pests and diseases, as these shrubs are virtually insensitive to normal garden problems and they are considered to be robust in every way. Waterlogging is the only thing that they cannot tolerate.

Propagation

Smoke trees, especially the popular red Coggyria cotinus 'Royal Purple' can be propagated by seeds in a pot. They should be sown directly in a pot in the autumn after maturity. The red Coggygria cotinus 'Royal Purple', as well as the other varieties, can be even more easily reproduced by layering. In the spring, side shoots of the red plants are bend to the ground and fixed with wire. In autumn, when they have enough roots, they can be separated from the mother plant and planted separately in the garden or in a pot. Sometimes the shrub makes its own offshoots, which can easily be cut off in autumn or spring and planted in a new location in the garden or in a pot.

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