The Q&A Archives: Planting Burning Bushes

Question: I would like to add the Burning Bush to my landscape, as a way of defining my property line from my neighbors and to also serve as a back drop in that area of the yard which is presently very boring. When is the best time to plant and how can I be assured that I'm not getting the one that is a

Answer: Virtually all cultivars of Burning Bush are more compact than the species form, but they differ primarily in how compact they are, how corky or non-corky the stems are, cold hardiness, upright versus rounded shape, and whether they branch to the ground versus become leggy with age; the following is an expanded list of modern cultivars:
Euonymus alatus 'Bailey Strain' - similar in all aspects of appearance to 'Compacta', but hardy to zone 4; Euonymus alatus 'Compacta' - a "compact" form maturing slowly at 8' tall by 8' wide, with virtually no corky wings on its first-year, relatively thin, but more dense green stems, but only hardy to zone 5; the most popular cultivar by far and abundantly available; sometimes alternatively spelled Euonymus alata 'Compactus'; Euonymus alatus 'Nordine Strain' - heavily cork-barked, branching to the ground, to 10' tall by 10' wide, hardy to zone 4; Euonymus alatus 'Phellomanus' - heavily cork-barked, to 10' tall by 10' wide, hardy to zone 4; Euonymus alatus 'Rudy Haag' - similar in appearance but much smaller than 'Compacta', slowly growing to 5' tall by 5' wide, hardy to zone 4; Euonymus alatus 'Synnestvedt' - branching to the ground, to 10' tall by 10' wide, hardy to zone 4. If none of these appeal to you, purchase the species rather than a named cultivar. The label will simply read Euonymus.

Although you can plant now, the summer's heat can take it's toll. I'd wait until the weather cools in the fall and plant them then. They will have all fall and winter to become established and should grow well for you next spring.


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