The smoke bush plant, known scientifically as Cotinus coggygria, is a deciduous shrub native to China. Growing to a height of 12 to 15 feet, it is a large shrub that puts on quite a show in the fall with foliage colors of yellow, orange and red. In the summer there is an additional show when the tree blooms in fuzzy flowers that are six to 10 inches long. The smoke bush plant is highly adaptable and will thrive in even the worst soil. It is also heat and drought-tolerant and an overall easy-to-care-for plant. The smoke bush plant is hardy to USDA zone 5.
Dig a 2-inch deep trench, 4 inches away from the smoke bush plant. Encircle the entire plant with the trench.
Place the fertilizer in the trench and lightly hoe it in. The amount of fertilizer you will need depends upon the size of your smoke bush plant. Follow the rate suggestions listed on the fertilizer package.
Cover the trench with soil and water the area until it is wet, but not soggy.