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Lawn & Garden

Smoketree, Cotinus coggygria

Common Name: smokebush

Type: shrub

Family: Anacardiaceae

Zone: 5 to 8     Find Your Zone

Height: 10 to 15 feet

Width: 10 to 15 feet

Bloom Time: summer

Bloom Color: pink smoke

Sun exposure: full sun

Fall Color: yellow, orange, purple and red

Soil: well drained, loam

Leaves: deciduous

Fertilizer: Vigoro Tree, Shrub and Evergreen

Deer resistant: yes

This plant puts on a brilliant display almost year round. It has purple and green leaves most of the year and unmistakable fuzzy, hairlike plumes that from a short distance away, resembles smoke. This plant also gets little insignificant yellow flowers in the spring.


Smoketree makes a good specimen tree. It is also great for a mass planting and border shrubs. Prune lightly in March to stimulate blooming. You can prune heavy in March, just don’t count on blooms. This plant is certainly a unique addition to any landscape.


STEP 1: Digging the hole

  • Find a location that has suitable sun exposure for your particular type of plant.
  • Dig your hole an inch or two shallower than the rootball of the plant.
  • Dig the hole twice the diameter of the rootball.
  • Scuff up the sides of the hole with a shovel to help roots break through the native soil.

STEP 2: Putting plant in hole

  • When removing the plant from the pot, check to see if the roots were circling the pot.
  • If the plant is rootbound, gently break up the roots with your hands until loosened up.
  • Set plant level, in the center of the hole.
  • Make sure the top of the rootball is just above soil level.

STEP 3: Amending the soil and filling in the hole

  • Amend the soil with proper amendments for your soil type. 
  • Incorporate 50% native soil with 50% amendment soils like garden soil, composted manure or soil conditioner.
  • Make sure dirt clods are broken up or removed from hole along with rocks.
  • Fill the hole with soils to the soil level and pack down. Do not cover top of rootball with dirt.
  • Water in thoroughly to remove air pockets.

STEP 4: Mulching and fertilizing

  • Cover the planting site with at least 2 inches of the mulch of your choice (pinestraw, cupress mulch,etc.)
  • High Phosphorus root stimulator fertilizers like Quick Start from Miracle Gro are great to use at time of planting.

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Posted 2015-08-30T18:37:31+0000  by Ingar_HD_ATL Ingar_HD_ATL