The Q&A Archives: Royal Purple Smoke Tree

Question: I bought a Royal Purple Smoke Tree from a local HD store (Plano, TX 75024). I would like to know some tips to successful plant and grow this tree in my area (zone 8, Plano, TX 75024).

Answer: Choose a sunny site and plant it in the ground just as soon as possible. Loosen the soil over a wide area and as deep as the rootball to encourage rooting. Water deeply at planting to settle any air pockets, then mulch. After planting, water (if needed) to keep the soil evenly moist but not sopping wet or saturated until it freezes. To know if you need to water, pull aside the mulch and dig into the soil with your finger. If it is damp, you won't need to water for a few days. When you water, water slowly and thoroughly so it soaks down deep. After watering, wait a few hours and then dig into the soil to see how far it went -- it can be surprising. It is better to water less often but deeply than to sprinkle lightly every day. Each spring you can prune the branches back to encourage a bushy growth habit, and to get those attractive plumes on the branches (they form on the new growth of the season). Good luck with your tree -- this is a terrific plant and generally quite pest and disease free.

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