Purple Smoke Bush

purple smoke bush by kylerconk

Purple Smoke Bush Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/ktylerconk/

Purple Smoke Bush, also known as Purple Smoke Tree, Eurasian smoketree,  smoke bush, smokebush, and purple bush is a decorative plant that has become problematic in some areas.  According to http://www.homeandgardenideas.com/gardening/shrubs-bushes/care/growing-purple-smoke-bush,”…Left untended in full sunlight, the purple smoke bush will probably attempt a hostile takeover of your garden. …”.  Humor aside, this is an attractive plant that – if regularly tended – can be a beautiful addition to your landscape.  A tropical native, it grows in zones 5-9, enjoying full sun to partial shade.

Typically flowering from late spring into early summer, the purple smoke bush also has very showy purple leaves, making it an attractive plant throughout the year.

Decorative shrub, tree or as cuttings in floral displays.

You can propagate this plant by using root softwood cuttings, June being the best time to attempt this.

As with most purple leaved plants, Verticillium wilt can be a problem, so keeping potatoes, tomatoes, eggplant and peppers well away from this plant.

Feeding and pruning:
Side dressing with manure in the fall is the best way to keep this plant happy. If you aggressively prune this plant to keep it a bush, you will sacrifice it’s “smoking” ability, but will keep it shaped and small, while minimal pruning will allow it to flower, but it may become more of a tree (it can grow to a height of fifteen feet (5 m). To keep the plant shrub-sized,  you should cut all the stems back to within 2-3 buds from the base annually in the early spring. For a larger specimin, prune in late winter to early spring, remove only crossing or “non-compliant” stems to maintain a healthy frame.

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