Cotinus 'Grace'

smoke bush

3 litre pot
pot size guide
£17.99 Buy
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  • 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 need the sun to bring out the colour, then turn a brillant 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.

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5 Questions | 5 Answers
Displaying questions 1-5
  • Q:

    Hi. I would love a smoke bush in my garden, but I don't want it to grow to 6 metres high and shade the garden. I would like to prune it, to keep it around 2.5 metres high. Would either this Cotinus 'Grace' or the Cotinus coggygria 'Royal Purple' be suitable? I know this will be at the expense of flowers, but its mainly the beautiful leaves that I am after anyway.
    Asked on 24/7/2016 by SCGH from London

    1 answer

    • Plant Doctor



      If you cut it back hard each year in early spring, it will be kept smaller, but it will be at the expense of the flowers. If however you want the flowers too, then perhaps a more compact form such as 'Ruby Glow' would be better - please click on the following link to go straight to it.

      Answered on 28/7/2016 by Helen from crocus
  • Q:

    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 27/11/2013 by Pat from Bristol

    1 answer

    • Plant Doctor



      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 28/11/2013 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 Margaret
    Asked on 5/12/2009 by D DRAKETT

    1 answer

    • 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. I hope this helps. Helen Plant Doctor

      Answered on 8/12/2009 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 Louise
    Asked on 10/7/2009 by louise barton - warner

    1 answer

    • 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 13/7/2009 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 28/2/2006 by Crocus

    1 answer

    • 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 1/3/2006 by Maxine Mulrooney
Displaying questions 1-5

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