This is a blog post on growing and harvesting Cotinus. Cotinus coggygria is also known as red smoke or smoke tree. It is a shrub that grown for shade. I grew it so that I have an ample and constant supply for fabric printing. It is different from other leaves as particularly cotinus can produce natural blue colours when printed. This bush can grow quite tall but it takes to grow. Here is more information about what is cotinus. It is a perennial plant and comes year after year.
Growing and harvesting Cotinus
Growing cotinus is to buy small young plants online or in garden centres. I have actually planted two trees as the first one didn’t survive at all. Cotinus can grow quite fast but not that fast till it would become a shrub in no time. So as one died I bought another shrub this time it is the red smoke variety and it survived the summer. The young plants are a bit tricky to grow but once established they don’t need much care at all.
It is possible to grow cotinus from seeds but I have yet to try it. If grown from seed it takes even more time for the tree to mature.
I think the mistake I make with the first plant was to grow in a pot. The roots got soaked all the time hence no growth at all. It is like a sunny spot and well-drained soil. Otherwise, it is relatively trouble-free. I notice there are some bugs that eat its young leaves or maybe it is just rotting away. But as the plant matures nicely strong leaves will form.
When the young tree matures the nice strong leaves are ready for harvesting. In a young plant, it can take a month in nice sunny summer weather in London. This is evident with stronger and longer branches and bigger leaves. Don’t harvest it too early as the leaves can take some time to regrow especially come autumn season.