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I'm wondering where to place this plant in my border.  It's 18" tall at the moment, and looks fabulous against my CGS "Willow" fence.  I want it to be seen while it's still small, but does that mean that I need to have really titchy plants in front of it while it grows?  Or should i plant taller stuff and accept the fact that the Cotinus will be hidden till it gets bigger?  How fast does it grow?


At first cotinus is slow...give it two years and it's FAST.  Cut it hard back every year and it will grow to 6' every year.  No, dont hide will be 3' by summers end anyway.  Plant white or blue in front...felicias, campanula white clips, or blue clips, or yellow campanula dicksons gold all growing to 6" or so


do you mean cotinus or cornus verdun i have never knowned cotinus to be cut back other than the dead flower spikes in spring

Hiya little ann

Yes cut it hard back every year for fast response and best foliage colour.  If you want the flowers....."the smoke bush"....then you cut back some branches or prune after flowering.  

Cornus pruned hard for exactly the same reasons.....better foliage, coloured stems (Cornus) and compactness.  Eucalyptus the same....viz., for better foliage etc.

I grow as a free standing shrub and the other trained against a wall.  The shrub is pruned harder though.  



I have the same plant happycottontail and once it gets going it races away, I cut mine down to about a foot every other year and it easily reaches 5-6 ft by mid summer, you do sacrifice the flowers in the year that its cut down though.

Agree with paulaH 

In addition I pinch out the leading shoots on cotinus.....I do this 2or 3 times in summer and this makes foliage even bushier.  Try it.  


Mine struggled for a couple of years then died. I never had anything much to cut back

Thanks fo all the replies - very useful. CC now planted  


Can you cut Cotiunus hard back after flowering to keep it smallish but not sacrifice flowering?


I don't think the timing works flowerlover. You'll have to get 2, one to cut back and one not

You can cut some branches hard back and leave some unpruned to have foliage and flowers.  


I've planted mine to receive the setting sun through its leaves.  A neighbour of mine prunes it to look like a tree with its flowering top but not massive 

it's what inspired me to get mine,  I'm hoping to see better things this summer,  3rd year in the ground, what's it they say?...first year sleep,  second year  creep...about right,  it's titchy  let's see some leap 

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