How to Grow Sumac (Rhus Aromatica)

Views: 18597 | Last Update: 2009-02-04
Growing sumac, also known as rhus aromatica, requires a cold climate, and it creates a great ground cover for poor or dry soils. Find out how to grow this low-growing shrub with helpful advice from a sustainable gardener in this free video on gardening. View Video Transcript

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Yolanda Vanveen

Video Transcript

Hi, this is Yolanda Vanveen, and in this segment we're going to learn all about how to grow sumac and that's a really pretty evergreen shrub that's related to poison ivy. Now rhus aromatica, or fragrant sumac is a deciduous shrub that is great in zones one to three and zone ten. It likes really cold climates and some cold desert climates. And it's fast growing, up to three to five feet tall and spreads even wider. And the leaves are divided into three leaflets, and they're fragrant when they brush against each other or they're crushed. Then they have tiny yellowish flowers in the spring and they're used to cover banks. They're a great bank cover or a ground cover for poor dry soils. And in the fall, the leaves turn a gorgeous red color that is just gorgeous. And there's the variety, the low grow, which grow low so the rhus aromatica grow low is a really short variety getting only about two feet tall. So sumac is deciduous so it loses the leaves in the fall. They turn a beautiful red color and then they'll break, they'll fall off and then be dormant in the winter and then they'll come back and fill in in the spring. And the grow low variety and the aromatica is not poisonous like the poison oak, but it's still a gorgeous plant that deserves attention in your garden.