Purple Smokebush – Cotinus Coggygria

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Purple Smokebush – Cotinus coggygria

Overview: Purple Smokebush, scientifically known as Cotinus coggygria, is a deciduous shrub native to southern Europe and central China. It is renowned for its stunning purple foliage and unique, smoky, plume-like flower clusters that appear in summer. This ornamental shrub adds dramatic color and texture to gardens and landscapes, making it a favorite among gardeners and landscapers.


Typical Uses:

Purple Smokebush serves various purposes in garden and landscape design:

  • As a focal point or specimen plant, providing bold color and visual interest
  • In mixed shrub borders, complementing other shrubs and perennials with its unique foliage and flowers
  • As a hedge or screen, creating privacy and a colorful backdrop
  • In large containers, adding a dramatic element to patios, decks, or entryways

Establishment and Care Instructions:

Planting: Choose a site with well-drained soil and full sunlight to partial shade. Dig a hole twice as wide and as deep as the root ball. Place the plant in the hole, ensuring the top of the root ball is level with the soil surface. Backfill with soil and water thoroughly.

Watering: Water regularly during the first growing season to help the plant establish. Once established, Purple Smokebush is moderately drought-tolerant and only requires supplemental watering during prolonged dry periods.

Pruning: Prune in late winter or early spring to shape the plant and remove any dead or damaged wood. For more intense color and denser foliage, consider cutting back the shrub to a lower framework every few years.

Fertilizing: Apply a balanced fertilizer in spring to promote healthy growth and vibrant foliage. Avoid excessive fertilization, which can lead to weaker growth and reduced color intensity.


Special Features and Usage:

Purple Smokebush offers several distinctive features:

  • Foliage: Deep purple to red leaves provide stunning color throughout the growing season, turning vibrant shades of orange and red in the fall.
  • Flowers: Airy, smoky, plume-like clusters of tiny flowers appear in summer, giving the plant its common name and adding unique texture to the garden.
  • Multi-Season Interest: Provides year-round interest with its striking foliage, flowers, and attractive winter silhouette.
  • Drought Tolerance: Once established, Purple Smokebush is moderately drought-tolerant, making it suitable for low-water landscapes.
  • Low Maintenance: Requires minimal care once established, including occasional pruning and is generally resistant to pests and diseases.
  • Adaptability: Thrives in a variety of soil types, including poor and rocky soils, and is tolerant of heat and urban conditions, making it a versatile addition to many garden settings.
Soil Moisture

Well Drained

Light Requirement

Full Sun, Partial Shade


Spring, Winter


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