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Plant profile: Burning Bush/Winged Euonymus (Euonymus alatus) ‘Compacta’

Euonymous alata burning bush largeThe bright red color of these shrubs in the fall says it all! Nothing heralds fall more loudly and beautifully than these wonderful bushes that can be planted as a formal or informal hedge, specimen plant, foundation planting, or at water’s edge for their fantastic reflection (but they will not tolerate wet feet.). My special love is the corky appendages that adorn their mature stems. There is nothing quite like them. Next time you go to an arboretum or nursery, take a look;  Burning bush might just be a new favorite.

Type: Deciduous shrub.

Outstanding Features: Corky appendages on stems; brilliant red foliage in fall.

Form: Upright, vase shaped growth habit when young but spreading horizontally, and becoming layered when mature if not pruned.

Bloom: Inconspicuous.

Size: 8’ H x 8’ W.

Light: Full sun to full shade.

Soil: Prefers moist, well-drained, slightly acidic soils, but tolerates poor soils, compacted soils, and various soil pHs.

Fertilizer: Apply a general fertilizer in spring (especially important in regard to avoiding/controlling scale.) Alternatively, apply a mulch such as pine, Cyprus or cedar that does not deplete soil nitrogen.

Hardiness: To Zone 5.

Pests and Diseases: Scale can be a significant problem.

Propagation: Rooted stem cutting and seeds.

Alternative Selections: The species and other varieties are available; in general, the larger the shrub the less the corkiness on the stems. Varieties also vary in compactness and hardiness.

Comments: Shrubs are slow growing and very tolerant of pruning so can be kept at a desirable size.

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