Cotinus coggygria 'Royal Purple'
Burgundy-red lollipop leaves held late into the year and, when the temperature drops, the leaves develop a bright-pink margin
- Position: full sun
- Soil: moderately-fertile, moist, well-drained soil
- Rate of growth: average
- Flowering period: July to August
- Hardiness: fully hardy
This deciduous shrub has magnificent, dark red-purple oval leaves, that turn scarlet in autumn. In July and August, it is festooned with fluffy plumes of purplish-pink flowers that look like a haze of smoke. This is an eye-catchin atching specimen plant for a sunny shrub or mixed border. The foliage, which appears almost translucent when backlit by the sun, is at its best when the plant has been pruned hard in March.
- Garden care: In late winter or early spring remove any misplaced, diseased or crossing branches. Alternatively, to produce larger leaves, cut the stems back hard to within two or three buds of the base in early spring. After pruning apply a generous 5-7cm (2-3in) mulch of well-rotted garden compost or manure around the base of the plant.
Do you want to ask a question about this?If so, click on the button and fill in the box below. We will post the question on the website, together with your alias (bunnykins, digger1, plantdotty etc etc) and where you are from (Sunningdale/Glasgow etc). We'll also post the answer to your question!
We have 3 Cotinus coggygria 'royal purple' which are planted behind some macleaya cordata. They have been in situ for 3 years now, in a sunny border. However, they have hardly grown in height at all,being about 70cm at most, and cannot be seen when macleaya are fully grown. Should we water them more, feed, or maybe move them? Are the macleaya taking over?I am reluctant to prune as this will surely not help with height. Thankyou for any helpful suggestions.Asked on 4/12/2013 by jenwren from Tunbridge Wells
All plants compete for water, light and nutrients, so if the Cotinus are planted very close to other, well-established plants, then they will struggle a little. Also, I imagine that if they are tucked right at the back of the border, it may be easy to forget to water them, which will be even more important if they are near the base of a wall (as this is always very dry).
The only thing you can do before you move them is to make sure they are kept well fed and watered during the warmer weather. If however they still don't flourish, then I would whip them out and move them to a better spot.Answered on 4/15/2013 by Helen from Crocus
Q:Specimen Ceanothus or another large bushy shrub....
Good afternoon, When I was first looking for a Ceanothus to replace the one we have in our front garden, I looked on your website, but you only had small ones. Our once lovely Ceanothus has been pruned out of all recognition again this year, as I planted it a bit too near our boundary when it was a baby. I know it may come back, but it is getting ridiculous as every time it grows back it has to be cut back again severely and then ooks a mess for most of the year. Have you got a nice, tall, bushy Ceanothus to replace it? I love my Ceanothus but perhaps if you don't have a big one, do you have another large, flowering shrub as an alternative? Hope you can help Regards MargaretAsked on 12/5/2009 by D DRAKETT
A:Hello Margaret, it is rare to find larger sized Ceanothus as they are usually quite short-lived and don't normally live longer than 6 - 8 years. We do have a selection of larger shrubs on our site like Hamamelis, Hydrangeas, Magnolias, Acer, Cornus, Cotinus, Philadelphus, Syringa and Viburnum, so you may find something of interest. They will be listed in this section. http://www.crocus.co.uk/plants/ I hope this helps. Helen Plant DoctorAnswered on 12/8/2009 by Crocus Helpdesk
Q:Cotinus coggygria 'Royal Purple' hedge?
Hi, Having seen a stunning display of the Cotinus planted with a band of Miscanthus sinensis 'Morning Light' in front of it, at the National Garden of Wales recently, I would like to try and reproduce the effect of the silver against the purple background. My problem however is space. I am in the process of providing a new bed which is approximately 6 feet long by 3 feet wide. Although you quote the Cotinus as growing to about 5m x 5m, you also suggest pruning it hard back to the base each year. If I prune annually as suggested, would it be possible to retain it to say a 1 - 1.5 m high bush, allowing the Miscanthus to be planted in front, thus forming a contrasting foil when viewed from both patio and lawn. If this is not considered viable, can you suggest another purple / dark red or similar bush that would provide a similar effect. Many thanks, Brian.Asked on 7/27/2009 by Brian Boon
A:Hello Brian, Cotinus is a pretty big shrub, but if you cut it back to within 2 or 3 buds from the base each year in early spring, then it shouldnt get too muchh higher than 1.5m. Alternatively you could opt for one of the purple leaved Berberis - just click on the following link to go straight to them. http://www.crocus.co.uk/search/_/search.berberis/ I hope this helps. Helen Plant DoctorAnswered on 7/27/2009 by Crocus Helpdesk
Q:Cotinus 'Grace' not flowering
Hello Crocus, I am having a problem with my Cotinus 'Grace'. It has the most enormous leaves but has not had many flowers this season. Could you shed any light as to why? I would be most grateful as it is a favorite of mine.Regards LouiseAsked on 7/10/2009 by louise barton - warner
A:Hello Louise, Cotinus can be cut back hard each year and this will encourage the plant to produce really large leaves, but this is usually at the expense of the flowers. If you want flowers, then you should resist cutting it back each year.Answered on 7/13/2009 by Crocus Helpdesk
Q:I'm afraid you have been given bad advice as 'Smoke bushes' are fully
hardy and don't need to be moved inside during cold nights. It is
however a deciduous shrub so it will lose all its leaves in winter, so
it is normal for it to look like a bare twig until the new leaves are
produced in spring. Therefore I suspect it is still alive, and would
recommend waiting until spring to see if it re-shoots.Asked on 2/28/2006 by Crocus
A:I think my 'Smoke bush' has died! I planted it the day I received it and
have watered it regularly. Since we have had a number of frosts I have
moved it into the garage on cold nights to prevent frost damage. I have
done this on the advice of a professional gardener as it was a young
plant and needed protection. Please can you let me know if you think it
has died?Answered on 3/1/2006 by Maxine Mulrooney
It is difficult not to get excited about this fabulous group of plants. Their big, bold, brightly coloured flowers, coupled with their versatile growth habits, make this one of the most popular plant groups of all time. There is no secret to their successRead full article
Prevention is better than cure with diseases in the garden so keep your plants growing as strongly as possible – allowing them to fight off infections naturally. A weak plant is much more likely to fall prey than a good, sturdy one. Also be vigilant! TryRead full article
Why is it that the majority of gardens look their best during spring only to turn dull and lifeless for the rest of the year? It’s partly because spring is when most gardeners buy new plants and partly because too few people consider what the plants willRead full article
There are different symptoms which point to honey fungus, some or all of them may be present at one time. Also, death can take years or be virtually instantaneous with plants being suddenly stopped in their tracks, half-opened leaves just frozen in time.Read full article
The following notes can be used as a guide when pruning trees, shrubs and climbers in your garden during the month of March. It's timely advice if you have any of the following in your garden. Abeliophyllum, Artemesia, Brachyglottis, Brunfelsia, BuddlejaRead full article