- Position: full sun
- Soil: moderately-fertile, moist, well-drained soil
- Rate of growth: fast-growing
- Flowering period: July to August
- Hardiness: fully hardy
In July and August this vigorous, deciduous shrub is festooned with fluffy plumes of purplish-pink flowers that look like a haze of smoke. The large, purple-tinted, oval leaves turn a brilliant shade of translucent red in autumn. This is an excellent specimen plant for a sunny shrub or mixed border.
- 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!
I would like to grow either Cotinus Grace or Royal Purple with Cotinus Golden Spirit as a background for a perennial border. I will be growing them for foliage so plan to hard prune them on a regular basis once established.I don't want a hedge look just for them to mingle together. What distance apart would they need to be planted so as to create this background? What do you think would this idea work?Asked on 11/27/2013 by Pat from Bristol
If left to grow without pruning, these shrubs can get pretty big (up to 5m), but if cut back hard each year (once they mature), their height will be restricted to around 1 - 1.5m. With this in mind, you could space them at 1 - 1.5m intervals. I would keep in mind though that they will develop quite a big root system over time, so this will have an impact on what you plant around them.Answered on 11/28/2013 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 '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
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