The Q&A Archives: Planting And Care Of The Burning Bush

Question: My daughter just gave us a 2 foot burning bush for Easter. How and where do we plant and care for the bush?

Answer: Burning bush or Euonymous alatus is a very adaptable plant. It grows well in sun or shade and average soil, but will not tolerate a soggy spot. The fall color is usually best in a full sun location, however. Prepare a planting hole several feet wide and slighly deeper than the container. Loosen the soil at the botom of the hole. Loosen the roots if they are tightly wound around inside the pot, or if it is balled and burlapped, remove all of the wrappings. Set the shrub in the hole so that it is at the same level as it grew before. Replace the soil around the roots. Water it deeply to settle the soil, then top with several inches of mulch such as shredded bark. Now keep the soil moist but not soggy throughout this season and until the shrub becomes established. This shrub grows very slowly, but it can grow very large over time and the natural shape is an elegant one, so if planted in a location to accommodate its mature size, it will never need pruning. An annual application of compost, well rotted manure, and/or complete fertilizer in early spring should suffice for routine care.

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