The Q&A Archives: Flaming Red Bush

Question: I have three Flaming Red Bush seedlings I received from the Arbor Foundation in pots and they are doing well. The leaves are turning and starting to fall off. What do I have to do with them to keep them alive until the Spring. I can't put plants like this in the ground until they become larger, because they can't be seen by the lawn tractor drivers'in my family--they mow them down before they even have a chance!

Answer: Based on your description I think you have some Euonymous alatus (winged euonymous or burning bushes) on your hands. These are very cold hardy plants and they do best with some winter chilling. If at all possible it would be best to plant them in the ground. Perhaps you could fence off a little area and keep it mulched so the grass won't need to be mowed, or perhaps you could find a spot for them in a flower bed for a few years until they are large enough to set out safely. If you can't plant them, maybe you could bury the pots in the ground for the winter or you could keep them in a cold frame or you might be able to keep them in an unheated garage. This last one is probably the riskiest method because the soil will need to be kept just barely damp -- if too wet or too warm there is a chance of rot and other problems.

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