Dwarf burning bushes (euonymus alatus 'compacta') have the same cultural requirements as full-sized burning bushes. The only difference between the two types of burning bush is size. Dwarf burning bushes have bright emerald green spring and summer foliage that turns to a fire-engine red in fall. Pest- and disease-resistant, dwarf burning bushes are also drought-tolerant once they become established. Dwarf burning bushes are hardy in zones 3 through 8 and have a mature height and spread of 4 to 6 feet.
Things You'll Need
- Pruning shears
- 1 to 2 gallons of water
Plant dwarf burning bushes in late winter or early spring while they are dormant.
Choose a spot that receives full sun with well drained soil. Dwarf burning bushes are not picky about soil, however, they will not thrive in heavy clay soils.
Dig a hole that is deep enough to place the dwarf burning bush at the same depth it was growing at and wide enough to fully spread out the roots. Space dwarf burning bushes 5 to 6 feet apart.
Place the dwarf burning bush in the hole (you may need someone to hold it steady) and spread out the roots.
Back fill the hole halfway. Tamp the soil firmly around the roots. Finish back filling the hole tamping the soil firmly around the roots.
Prune off broken branches making cuts as close to a main stem or large branch as possible.
Give your dwarf burning bush 1 to 2 gallons of water, or until it takes 1 minute for the soil to absorb the water.
Use a mulch like wood chips, shredded tree bark or leaves to keep the soil moist and weeds at bay. Spread 2 to 3 inches of mulch around the base of the dwarf burning bush extending 1 to 3 feet beyond the branches.
Tips & Warnings
- The more sun your dwarf burning bush gets the brighter the fall color will be.
- Dwarf burning bushes will die in water-logged or poorly drained soils.
- Ohio Department of Natural Resources; Burning Bush
- The Garden Primer"; Barbara Damrosch; 1988
- "Taylor's Master Guide to Gardening"; Houghton Mifflin Company; 1994
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