The Q&A Archives: Dwarf Burning Bush

Question: We have bought three of these plants and at first they seem to thrive. However, after about two months their leaves start drying up and then that branch dies. We have lost one plant already and I want to save the other two. We planted with cotton burr and made the whole bigger than what was required. Any advice?

Answer: It sounds as though your burning bushes are stressed because of poor soil drainage or lack of sufficient water. Roots of these shrubs are reasonably adaptable to most soil types, but if your soil doesn't drain well, root rot can set in, which will show up as wilting, dying foliage and branches. Prune off the dead plant parts and try watering deeply once each week. Create a watering basin beneath each plant and flood the basin; allow to drain, then flood a second time. This will concentrate the moisture over the root system and allow it to trickle down, wetting the entire root mass. Once a week should be sufficient. Hope your plants perk up soon!

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