Nepa County Chief Gardeners Try Smoking Shrubs in a Drought-Resistant Garden

Napa County Penny PAWL UC Master Gardener

One of my favorite drought-tolerant plants is Cotinus coggygria. This amazing shrub is sometimes called smoking. He was born in southern Europe and central Asia.

The most common of these shrubs are brown leaves and flower petals. During maturation, the brackets appear above the leaves and give rise to an increasing smoke.

This plant should not be confused with the Psorothamnus spinosus in the Arizona and Pea family.

Smoke bush grows well on poor or rocky ground. It needs good drainage. I planted them two years ago and I did not water them except to establish them. They look good in the rain. Another additional oak root fungus is resistant.

Smoke shrubs grow to a height of about 15 feet[2 m]in either direction. It is multi-stem.

So when should you cut this wonderful plant? I was trying to determine the best time. I’m sure I made a mistake last year because I didn’t see any smoke.

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The flowers and smoke come from the old tree. The smoke chambers are pipes that come after flowering and last for several weeks. In autumn, the leaves are beautiful red and gold before they fall.

If you plan to prune, I suggest you do it when you look at the trunks. Next year I plan to wait until the smoke clears. I see that time will produce more flowers and increase next spring.

I am trying different methods to propagate this plant without much success. It usually reproduces if it is cut. I have tried to store short pieces of old wood in a cleaner. I have tried to spread the cuttings in a regular planting mix. I have yet to try to sort through the air, which involves wrapping a trunk around the mother plant.

The first plants had deep roots in the soil around the plant. I think two more trunks may be rooted in themselves. I dug them up and saw what happened there. Irrigation can be a lot because they are drought tolerant.

Due to its beauty, leaf color and drought tolerance, chrysanthemum is an excellent plant to consider for your garden.

The Psorothamnus spinus is native to Arizona, Baja, and southern California. At Joshua Tree National Park and is common. He is well acquainted with the desert. The leaves are small and short. Violet flowers are a source of nectar.

The chimney grows to a height of 20 feet. It has many branches that have no thorns and no leaves during the year. Somehow these twigs generate enough energy from the sun to feed the tree. Since they evolved to grow in the desert, I’m not sure they would be good in the Napa Valley.


Napa County Master Gardeners will be conducting a workshop on “The Art of Growing Succuluents” at Yountville Community Center 6516 Washington, St. Louis, Sunday, December 5 from 1pm to 3pm.

Learn how to care for and design these colorful and unpretentious plants in your garden or yard. Attendees begin to take the plant home. Yountville residents: $ 16; Non-residents: $ 18. Free for Golden Ticket Members. Visit Online Registration ( or call the Parks and Recreation Department at 707-944-8712.

Haime Jorgin joined the monkey flower group for a short visit to the garden. Charity in Napa County Wealth Protection District

Do you have any garden questions? Contact the help desk. The team is working remotely so please submit your inquiries through the inquiry form, by sending any photo to or leaving a detailed message at 707-253-4143. The main gardener will get back to you by phone or email. For more information, visit, Facebook or Instagram, UC Master Gardeners of Napa County.


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