Compatible planting with purple smoke bush

fam654(6a)July 17, 2005

I'd be grateful for any suggestions for compatible perennials with a purple smoke bush in a 2'x 4' bed at the NW corner of a shed. (It doesn't look like the peegee hydrangea's going to survive.)


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Juliana63(z5 MI)

Well.....not sure you'll want anything else with it. My 2 gallon shrub planted 4 years ago is now 10' tall x 6' wide. Perhaps just a groundcover at the base? Lamiastrum or ajuga would be nice.
happy gardening!

    Bookmark   July 18, 2005 at 6:16AM
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If you want to keep the smokebush smaller, you can cut it to the ground each winter, in which case you will get great foliage but no flowers. The purple is a nice contrast to almost any perennial with green leaves. For high contrast, some people pair it with golden plants, but I prefer the more subtle contrast with gray-blue, such as large-leaved blue hostas if there is a side of the bed which gets some shade. Lambs ears and/or a golden yarrow are other possiblities since they like the same not too moist, lean soil that smokebush prefers.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2005 at 11:11AM
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chills71(Zone 6b Mi)

I put coleus with my wife's purple smokebush this year and my wife (who was annoyed at first as that's her bed) is now saying that we have to plant coleus there every year.


    Bookmark   July 19, 2005 at 2:07PM
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ooh, that blue/grey combo of a blue hosta with the purple smoke bush sounds very good. much betterthan the purple chartruese(sp) you usually see-- that's kind of over worked.
got to keep that in mind. Might also consider some of the
coral bells/foamflowers with the silvery-purple leaves
as a base plant.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2005 at 7:29PM
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Just saw a Perovskia with a purple smokebush,looked so pretty.Also,if you are going the low maintenance route you could try an Arctic Willow.Both it an the smokebush can be kept in bounds with the shears.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2005 at 9:40PM
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pukapants(z5 colorado)

I planted a wolf willow next to my purple smoke and it looks outstanding together. Jacque

    Bookmark   August 10, 2005 at 12:31PM
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wyndyacre(z6B SW Ont.)

Anything with golden or lime green coloured leaves looks gorgeous against the purple smokebush leaves. I have several Parkys Gold Hosta planted at the base of mine and some coleus that is burgandy and gold in colour, along with Solomens Seal and snowdrops for spring. Alongside is a small grove of bamboo (contained in a undergroud box) and a green cutleaf Japanese maple. If you have more room, some big Sum and Substance Hosta would look great.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2005 at 7:16PM
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Is it possible/practical to keep a smokebush cut back to a 4' X 4' dimension? If so how and when? I'm considering buying one that is about 3' tall and 6 inches wide.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2007 at 12:18PM
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jimandanne_mi(SE MI z5)

I planted a royal purple smoke bush 20 years ago when I lived in a condo. I loved it when the soft delicate flowers bloomed, but the grounds crew kept shearing it like the other bushes. So it was shaped to about 5' wide and 8' tall. The many leaves were pretty spring thru fall, but I missed the flowers. They sheared it 2-3 times a year, and I would trim off the new growth that would appear at the top in between times. I seem to remember that you're not supposed to shear it in the fall, in order to not stimulate root growth (and some of the roots are shallow/on the surface).


    Bookmark   October 5, 2007 at 4:59PM
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Last spring I cut a smokebush so that it left to branches a foot tall, two branches two feet tall and two branches three feet tall. It is 3 years old growing on a south facing wall in very dry sandy soil and this year grew canes that were at least eight feet long. Routine pruning and subsequent flower loss seems inevitable in a situation where height control is desirable. It was planted next to a blue cedar and looked nice fronted with stella d'oro daylilies

    Bookmark   November 17, 2007 at 1:36PM
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