Burning bushes (Euonymus alatus) are deciduous shrubs desirable for their brilliant fall color. The leaves turn vibrantly red in fall, giving rise to this plant’s nickname. Burning bushes are hardy shrubs and thrive in U.S. Department of Agriculture zones 4 to 8, according to Ohio State University. Use these showy plants as focal points on your lawn.
Many varieties of this plant exist, from dwarf forms to towering bushes that grow nearly as tall as trees. The smallest cultivar, alternately called “Odom” or “Small Palestinians,” attains a maximum height and width of approximately 3 feet. The species attains a maximum height and width of 20 feet. Burning bushes have pleasingly curved shapes, regardless of cultivar. This makes the plant an excellent choice for a centerpiece. Put it in the middle of the lawn for a burst of colour and to split up an otherwise boring expanse of green. Alternatively, center it on your lawn and surround it with brightly colored fall blooms such as mums, which will well set off the brilliant red fall foliage.
Some burning bush cultivars produce excellent container plants. Try “Rudy Haag,” that takes about 15 years to grow to a typical maximum height of 3 feet. Put one of those bushes on either side of your front porch for an appealing but low-maintenance statement. Alternatively, anchor the corners of the deck with these potted beauties.
Burning bushes are exceptional understory plants. They thrive in the dappled shade offered by bigger deciduous trees. Most do well in partial shade, though in cooler climates, the plant colors will be more vibrant when exposed to full sunlight. Plant burning trees under spring-flowering trees such as ornamental pears or crab apples. In the fall, once the leaves have dropped in the tree, the burning bush will continue to light up that corner of the lawn with its brilliant fall foliage.
Burning bushes are not thorny, but they’re very dense and will grow into a neat, compact hedge punctually. The small leaves are very appealing, and the hedge will need little maintenance since the plants have such a slow rate of growth. Plant several burning bushes about 1 foot apart to create a drop or a boundary.
Burning bushes are excellent plants that are urban. They tolerate a wide assortment of adverse environmental conditions, such as poor soil and pollution. If your landscape has a problem area, think about putting your burning bush in that area. They can tolerate almost anything apart from very wet soil.