Smoke Bush – Drought Tolerant and Incredibly Colorful!

By September 29, 2021Blog Post
Blog Post
2001 S. Chambers Road Aurora CO. 80014 Map

Scientific Name: Cotinus coggygria

Common Name: Smoke Tree, Smoke Bush

Common Species/Varieties: Royal Purple, Velvet Cloak

Common Colors: Deep purples and reds, bright greens and golds

Plant Type: Shrub

Annual or Perennial: Perennial

Hardiness Zone: 4-11 USDA

Self-Seeding: Not usually

Bloom Season: Late Spring to Mid Summer

Grows Best In: Full Sun

Fun Fact: Smoke Bush has been used to dye silks and wools!

Smoke Bush is a very laid back and showy shrub! It does well in most soils, including rocky soil. This Fall colored shrub can grow to be 10-15 feet in height. Not only is Smoke Bush easy going where soil is concerned, it’s also drought tolerant once established.

Clusters of yellow flowers are surrounded by a plume of pink hairs that deepen in color that can last for several months. Smoke bush is a member of the sumac family, and it’s important to know that it can take some time for the shrub to establish enough to bloom. Take care not to prune until right after Summer flowering! Smoke Bush can also be trained up into a tree shape if desired.

Smoke Bush can also be used to create dyes for fabrics, yarns, paper, thread… There are so many options! Perhaps its best use of color though is its lovely Fall color. With all of its fantastic traits pertaining to color, you might think Smoke Bush is a bit of a colorless misnomer!

With its easy going planting needs, drought-tolerant tendency, and promise of various and rich kinds of color throughout the year, this shrub could be the perfect addition to so many different outdoor spaces!

Find Smoke Bush at Nick’s Garden Center throughout the growing season, and don’t forget to check in with our helpful staff if you have any questions about planting or your particular gardening space!