The Q&A Archives: Purple smoke tree

Question: I have a purple smoke tree, it started off looking really great, with purple/pink leaves, we had a couple of hot days a month ago so I started watering the tree every other day. The leaves started to go

Answer: I think the distress your smoke tree is showing is the result of excessively hot weather and overwatering. It's natural for gardeners to want to water more frequently when the weather is hot, but most plants will stop growing when temperatures reach 90 degrees plus. No growth means less water usage, so watering more frequently will only make the soil soggy - and drive out oxygen, which the roots need. Without oxygen, they can suffocate. It's better to water deeply but infrequently. This forces roots to grow deeply rather than stay at the surface of the soil where they can dry out. Try watering only once each week, making sure you apply the water slowly so it has a chance to trickle down and wet the entire root mass. Don't water again until the top inch or two of soil is dry. As for the crispy leaves, your plant will shed them at the end of the season. Next spring it will produce healthy new foliage.

Best wishes with your garden!

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