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Smoke Bush Cotinus

Growing Smoke Bush: Tips at a Glance

  • Type Shrub or small tree
  • Life Span Perennial
  • USDA Zones 4-11
  • Light Sun or some shade
  • Pairs Well With Chartreuse plants
  • Leaf Color Purple, red, orange
  • Design Tip Dramatic backdrop
  • Other Uses Floral arrangements
  • Peak Season Vibrant in fall

Smoke Bush: A Field Guide

Dark leaves and puff-of-smoke flowers make Cotinus—or smoke bush—both a show-shopper and a dramatic backdrop. 

Smoke bush creates drama with its vivid purple darkness, and it is a striking foil for just about everything in a garden. It’s highly trainable and can be either a shrub or a small tree. Use smoke bush solo or en masse as a hedge. But don’t be too kind. For a healthy life span and optimal color, its soil should lean toward the dry and infertile. Don’t forget that Cotinus is deciduous, so plan your winter design accordingly.

Planting, Care & Design of Smoke Bushes

More About Smoke Bushes

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