What should we do in the fall to prepare a smoke bush for the winter?
The Gardener’s Answer
Like all other landscape plants, Smoketree/shrub (Cotinus) will benefit from a bit of maintenance on your part before winter arrives. Collect all plant debris as it falls and continue watering, if needed, into the fall. Sufficient moisture is essential going into the winter months.
Avoid over-feeding with this plant. It prefers low fertility. It is always a good idea to mulch around the base of any shrub. Mulching will help retain moisture and insulate the roots. Be sure not to pile the mulch up like a cone around the trunk. It should be evenly spread and no more than 3 inches thick. Otherwise, you’ll have an environment for insects and disease to overwinter.
As long as your plant is healthy and growing in adequate conditions, it should survive the winter just fine. Hopefully you have one that has great fall color.