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Grace Smoke Tree
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Where there’s smoke, there’s fire! Grace Smoke Tree brings both to your landscape, but there’s no need to call 911. Grace’s “smoke” is simply gauzy flowers, which rise like carmine-pink clouds in early summer. Its “fire” is its foliage, which turns blazing colors in fall. Before the autumn show, its rounded leaves emerge a crimson color, becoming deep blue-green with a metallic sheen. Fluorescent orange, pink, and purple tones take over when nights get frosty. Grace is a dynamic tree that will set your heart ablaze as it dazzles you through the seasons. Plant it front-and-center so you don’t miss a thing!
- Hardiness Zone: 4-8
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Grace Smoke Tree belongs to a quirky family of plants that includes such varied members as Pistachio and Poison Ivy (don’t worry, though—it won’t make you itch!). This special selection comes from the famous Hillier Nurseries in England. It was bred in 1978 from two species of Smoke Tree. One parent was ‘Velvet Cloak’, a purple-leaved form of the Common Smoke Tree (or Smoke Bush). This species is found from southern Europe to central China. The other parent was the American Smoke Tree, native to parts of Tennessee, Alabama, Arkansas, and Texas. The plant’s originator, Peter Dummer, named the lovely hybrid after his wife.
Grace Smoke Tree will put on its most fiery orange fall color display when planted in full sun. However, when given a bit of shade, something interesting happens—the leaves tend to take on all colors of the rainbow! When sunlight isn’t direct, fall colors are less intense, but they are apt to be more varied.
How to Grow
Grow your Grace Smoke Tree in full sun for the most intense fall color. The type of soil doesn’t matter much as long as it drains quickly. Grace enjoys regular water during establishment (our Elements™ Watering System will help you deliver the right amount), but after a year or two, it should be quite drought tolerant. You may choose to cut the branches of this tree back hard each year. Doing so will sacrifice the flowers, but will result in lusher foliage and a more symmetrical tree. Grace is late to leaf out in spring, so be patient.
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