Purple Smoke Tree

What You May Want to Know About the Purple Smoke Tree

The purple smoke tree has many other common names such as a smoke bush or a smoke tree.  It gets its name from the blooms that generally look like puffs of smoke.  This tree only grows to approximately nine or ten feet tall.  For this reason, it may be a nice addition to your home or garden.  It would definitely be a nice addition as it is extremely beautiful when it blooms.  Actually, many people will use it in the garden because of its purple-pink plumes and its purple leaves.  Its leaves are oval in shape and in the fall they may turn orange or red.  It will also grow in different types of soils and ranges of PH.


There are several things to consider if you decide to plant one of these in your yard or garden.  First of all, you should consider the amount of sun that it will need.  It is recommended that this tree have full sun to partial shade.  Make sure that when the plant is new, it is important to make sure that it is in a location that has good drainage.  Once you have selected a location you will want to begin digging the hole that it will be planted in.  You want to dig this hole approximately two to three times the width of the trees rootball.  When you finally plant the purple smoke tree, the top of the rootball needs to be even with the ground when it is placed in the hole.  You will then place some of the original soil on the rootball and water the tree.  You will then fill the rest of the hole in with dirt.  You can always finish the planting job by adding mulch to decorate the area.  If you decide to do this, you will want to avoid putting mulch around the crown of the plant.  If you do put mulch on the crown, it makes the plant more susceptible to crown rot and this could damager the tree.


This tree responds well to pruning and it is recommended that the tree is cut back to one to two feet in the spring.  You will want to do this just before the leaves begin to emerge for the season.  By doing this, you will ensure that you have a large tree in the summer months.  If you are the type of person that is looking to keep the tree small and neat, you will simply need to keep all branches trimmed. 

Make sure you remember that if you are going to prune the tree each season, it is most likely not going to bloom with the little “puffs of smoke”.  Once the tree is well established in the ground and is growing well, you will want to be very sure that you do not over water it.  The purple smoke tree actually likes it dry.  This could be why it will often respond well to droughts.  You may also want to feed it in the fall with a small composite.

If you have animals in your home you may want to keep them away from this plant.  The seeds and certain parts of the plant are actually poisonous if they are swallowed.  Keep in mind that handling the tree may cause skin irritation or an allergic reaction as well.  You will actually want to know what plants you have that are poisonous other than the purple smoke tree.  This will help keep you and your family safe.  It also helps you keep your pets away from things that may be harmful to him or her.