Kochia: burning bush, summer cypress

Height 60-90cm (2-3ft)

Planting distance 60cm (2ft)

Foliage plant

Ordinary well-drained soil

Open sunny site

Half-hardy annual

Untidy forms of this intriguing foliage plant grow in the wild from southern Europe to Japan – indeed in mainland Europe it is widely regarded as a weed. But in gardens in Britain summer cypress is grown as a half-hardy annual, its mass of pale green foliage providing welcome relief in bedding schemes of brightly coloured flowering annuals.

The most commonly grown form is Kochia scoparia ‘Trichophylla’. This forms a neat, symmetrical dome and has the added advantage of gradually turning a rich crimson-purple in autumn, hence its other name, burning bush.


Sow the seeds, where the plants are to grow, in any well-drained soil in an open sunny site in mid spring. Thin the seedlings to stand about 60cm (2ft) apart.

If you want to give the plants a head start, sow seeds under glass in early spring and keep at a temperature of 16°C (61°F). Prick out seedlings into large pots and then harden off gradually before planting out in late spring.

Stake plants in exposed sites.

Pests and diseases

Trouble free.

22. February 2012 by Dave Pinkney
Categories: Annuals, Biennials, Bulbous Plants, Featured Articles | Tags: , , , | Comments Off on Kochia: burning bush, summer cypress


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