Plant of the month: Burning Bush

Gardeners who covet a crimson crush of color in October should look no further than a burning bush, Euonymous alatus. Almost any garden site and soil condition is sufficient for this super hardy shrub, although the brightest fall leaf colour appears on only those planted in a full-sun location. Burning bush shrubs are incredibly eye-catching, with their vibrant red leaves in the fall that appear as if they’re on fire. 

A practical choice for most Alta Vista city gardens is the dwarf form of the burning bush, which tops out at about 5’ tall and wide. Two excellent dwarf varieties are ‘Rudy Haag’ and ‘Compactus’. Burning bush shrubs are hardy, robust plants that can grow under a variety of soil conditions and resist both pests and drought. If planning for a new one, be sure to purchase a ‘non-invasive’ variety from a reputable supplier, as ones growing in the wild can create dense thickets that crowd out and shade native plants.

There is little to say about caring for a burning bush, as no special effort is required for a scarlet October color show. Burning bush care may include occasional pruning to keep the size down and remove any broken or damaged branches. Since the natural shape of the bush is appealing, pruning is often not necessary.  When not showing off their fall fabulousness, the shrub maintains a consistently green appearance throughout the spring and summer months. 

Be sure to enjoy the many burning bush shrubs in full glory this month throughout the Alta Vista area!

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