The Q&A Archives: Dwarf Burning Bush

Question: We purchased two dwarf burning bushes for our landscape. They are in full sun and the area is covered with bark. Both bushes were doing fine until last week after a storm rolled through. Now the one bush is drying out and looks to be dying. The other was starting to do the same but we uncovered the base of the bush (removed the bark around the base) and it seems to be doing fine. The second bush is still dying. The leaves are turning brown. The branches are still flexible and it looks dead. Any ideas? The soil is a sandy loam like the shrub was originally potted in when purchased from the store.

Answer: I sounds as though too much water surrounded the roots of your new plants. Brushing the bark away has allowed some of the moisture to evaporate. I suspect the double whammy of transplant shock and a summer storm are making establishment difficult for your burning bushes. I think I'd just leave them alone for now, and allow them to recover. Water deeply once each week and both should perk up soon. Hope so!

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