Welcome to Summer!
The first day of summer began with the summer solstice on Wednesday, the 21st of June, marking the longest day and the shortest night of the year (in the Northern Hemisphere). To welcome the summer season, I want to tell you about a summer-blooming shrub: Winecraft Gold® Smokebush.
Green flowers bloom on this plant in early summer, but the flowers are actually quite small and aren’t very showy; it’s the seedheads that give Smokebush its common name due to their smoke-like appearance.
While the smoke-like puffs are the main attraction of this stunning shrub, the fall color extends the interest of this plant into another season as the chartreuse foliage turns to shades of orange and yellow.
Smokebush is a fun specimen plant for sites with well-drained soil. It actually prefers crummy soils, including dry, rocky ones with poor fertility. It will tolerate clay, too. That makes it a useful plant for anyone who doesn’t have the coveted “moist, well-drained soil” that so many plants prefer.
Winecraft Gold® Cotinus coggygria is an improved golden variety of smokebush with pretty orange-red new growth in spring and improved burn resistance. It is hardy to USDA Zone 5 and will grow in full sun or part shade.
Oh – it has good deer resistance, too.
Winecraft Gold® has uniform growth, so you don’t get the irregular branching that is so common for smokebush.
It will grow 4-6′ tall and 4’ wide.
Should I Prune my Smokebush?
Winecraft Gold® has a fuller, denser habit, meaning it doesn’t require pruning to keep it looking sharp in the landscape. Generally speaking, you should avoid regular pruning of smokebush, but you can prune selectively to develop the desired habit and shape in late winter/early spring. Avoid cutting the plant back each year, as this not only encourages funky, unruly branching, but it also removes developing flower buds for later that summer (because smokebush blooms on old wood).
Looking for Something Bolder?
Check out our other smokebushes that have been featured in previous posts.