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Beginner Gardening: Smoke tree not smoking

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Forum: Beginner GardeningReplies: 2, Views: 46
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Birmingham, AL

April 30, 2012
1:08 PM

Post #9104173

I am not really a beginner, but this is one of the few forums in Dave's Garden where one can post messages free. I do appreciate the time and expertise of the people who endeavor to answer my questions, this is another for a brave volunteer.

I have a beautiful Velvet Cloak smoke tree in my garden about 4 years old. It looks absolutely beautiful and very healthy this spring. There are not too many of those disfiguring leaf curling insects attacking it either, but as usual it looks as though it is not going to bloom. It also loses its fabulous bronze color in summer, the leaves turn green then drop off well before autumn. I have heard that smoke trees do better in poor soil without too much water, but mine was not thriving well in those conditions so I fed it and kept it watered (summer gets extremely hot here in Alabama) and it has grown well since, but I really would like it to put on the show I bought it for. I would also like it to keep its leaves into autumn so that I could benefit from the superb autumn foliage it is suppose to have.

Any ideas please?


mid central, FL
(Zone 9a)

May 5, 2012
8:48 AM

Post #9111393

according to the Southern Living Garden Book, "plants are at their best under stress in poor or rocky soil-give them fast drainage and avoid overly wet conditions"
it sounds like you've given it a good start with the water and feed and it's time to leave it alone now.
Birmingham, AL

May 11, 2012
1:45 PM

Post #9120072

Thanks Trackin, looks as though I will probably have to wait a year or two now for those conditions. :(

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