How to Grow a Burning Bush & Caring Guide

Grow a blazing bush in your garden if you’re looking for a flash of autumn color (Euonymus alatus).

The genus Euonymous is home to a diverse collection of shrubs and trees, including this particular specimen.

This huge bush, which is native to Asia, has an open form that works well in borders, beds, and even containers.

Burning Bush plants may thrive in almost any location and soil type.

Burning bush requires little maintenance, so it’s a great choice for even the most inexperienced gardeners.

Burning Bush Growth

Clusters of beautifully pointed leaves drape attractively from the branch of the arching stems.

Winged Euonymous is another name for the plant, which is also known for its ridges on immature burning bush growth. After the stems mature, these disappear.

It will produce little red berries from May to June once it blooms. By eating the berries, the birds release seeds into your garden, where they can take root.

Even dropped berries can sprout and grow into new plants in rich soils.

In tiny areas or to reduce upkeep, you can use a dwarf variety of the bush because the plant’s 15-foot (4.5-meter) height may be an issue in some landscape applications.

Smaller, dwarf Euonymous cultivars are produced by two good cultivars.

‘Rudy Haag’ is a slow-growing diminutive form of the bush that will get only 5 feet (1.5 m.) tall in 15 years.

‘Compactus’ is aptly named and may grow 10 feet (3+ m.) tall over many years.

How to Grow a Burning Bush

It thrives in USDA plant hardiness zones 4 to 8, but it has the potential to spread aggressively in warmer climates.

These plants can grow up to 15 feet (4.5 meters) tall and can thrive in full or partial sunlight.

Any type of soil, even alkaline, can sustain the establishment of burning bushes.

It’s better to plant a burning bush in areas with good drainage and slightly moist soil, however.

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Burning Bush Care

Because of its adaptability and hardiness, there isn’t much information available on how to properly care for burning bush.

Burning bush doesn’t need any extra attention to put on a spectacular show.

Fertilizers should be applied as early as possible in the spring to get the best results, as the plant only produces during the first flush of new growth.

Pruning is an important part of burning bush maintenance, as is removing any broken or damaged branches.

Pruning is unnecessary because the bush’s natural shape is attractive; however, if you must trim the plant, do so in the early spring before the leaves emerge.

Only foliar fungal issues plague the plant, which is otherwise free of pests or disease.

Reduce the amount of water that is being sprayed from above in order to combat the growth of fungi.

Scale insects can attack burning bush plants on occasion. During the development phase, these white scab-like insects only move.

They’re sucking insects that, if present in large numbers, can weaken the plant’s health. After you’ve cleaned them up with some


If you want to keep a burning bush from spreading, remove any suckers that emerge from the ground.

When the berries start to form in the fall, you can prevent them from spreading by picking them by hand and sealing them in a yard waste bag.

Major pruning is not required for this plant, but a good trim every other year or so can help keep the shrub neat and full.

Early spring is the best time to perform this procedure. You can begin by cutting down as much as one-third of all the longer stems to ground level.

It is a goal to expose the shrub’s interior to light and air.

Rejuvenating a neglected shrub that hasn’t been pruned for a long time can be done by chopping it down to a few inches above the ground.

Early spring is the best time to do this. Plant recovery takes time, but after a year or two, you’ll see the plant flourish and develop into a stunning bush.

Propagating Burning Bush

However, if you’re growing a specific cultivar of the burning bush, the self-seedlings may not resemble the parent plant.

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For example, a dwarf cultivar can produce seeds that grow into 20-foot towering plants.

Rooting softwood stem cuttings from the parent plant is the best method for propagating an exact duplicate.

  • Surgeon pruners should be used to remove at least four pairs of leaves from a 4- to 6-inch section of stem. No later than midsummer is the ideal time to carry out this task when the plants are at their most active.
  • Remove the bottom leaves, then plant the cutting in a small pot filled with a moist seed-starter mix in a sunny window. (Some gardeners use a loosely secured plastic bag to keep moisture in the planted cutting.) A good rooting medium is a mix of regular potting soil and perlite or sand.
  • Keep the potting mix moist until the roots have formed and placed the pot in a bright, indirect light source (you will feel resistance when you tug on the stem). This process can take weeks.
  • As soon as the cutting’s roots have formed, move it to a larger pot filled with standard potting soil and place it in a bright spot to continue growing. When the plant reaches about a foot in height, it can be transplanted into the garden. Overwinter the potted cutting in a protected location, such as a cold frame, an unheated garage, or a porch if you’re planning to do so. If you wait until the following spring or summer, you’ll be able to plant it.

How to Grow Burning Bush From Seed

Self-seeding burning bush is such an easy plant to grow that it makes you wonder why it grows from seeds in the first place.

If you want to get seedlings, all you need to do is toss in a handful of berries where you want them to grow.

This plant is likely to self-seed, and removing the berries before they ripen in the fall is an effective method of doing so.

Potting and Repotting Burning Bush

Unless you’re propagating it from cuttings, this is a suckering plant that will quickly fill up a container.


It doesn’t need any winter care for this shrub. Reduce watering in late fall because this plant does not like its roots to remain wet during the winter.

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Common Pests & Plant Diseases

For a burning bush, spider mites are a constant problem that must be dealt with over time if it is to survive.

Spider mites are the most likely culprit if you notice your plant turning brown or dying quickly and have already ruled out root rot or fungal diseases.

Verify that your plant isn’t showing any signs of disease, such as fine webs at the branch joints.

Using strong water sprays to remove spider mites from your bush may be the first step toward eliminating the infestation.

You can use insecticide soap or horticultural oil like neem to get rid of the infestation if that doesn’t work.

Powdery mildew, which appears as a fluffy grey coating on the leaves of the plant, can also be a problem with the burning bush.

You can use a fungicide to protect new growth if the infection is severe enough to warrant removing all infected branches and leaves.

In many climates, powdery mildew can’t be avoided, so gardeners simply ignore it because it rarely does any harm.

How to Get Burning Bush to Bloom

Spring’s yellow-green flowers aren’t particularly eye-catching, so getting more of them to bloom isn’t a common goal.

The orange-red berries that appear in the fall, on the other hand, necessitate flowers.

The problem with these berries is that they can lead to a proliferation of self-seeding.

The berries will also be eaten by birds and other wildlife, which will help to disperse the seeds further afield.

When it comes to the shrub’s ability to flower and produce fruit, all you need to do is make sure it gets plenty of sunlight and regular moisture.

Common Problems With Burning Bush

It’s a relatively low-maintenance shrub, except for the fact that it tends to spread much more than you want.

If you want to take advantage of the beautiful fall foliage, you’ll have to put in some time to keep an eye on the shrub and remove any suckers.

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