Why doesn't burning bush turn red?

Asked October 28, 2013, 8:03 PM EDT

I have a burning bush that doesn't turn red in the fall. I planted it three years ago in the fall and it had some red leaves at the time of planting. Now with two full summers it is growing but did not turn red last year or this year. I checked the tag to be sure it was a burning bush. It is somewhat shaded but does get some sun and also used a fertilizer stake this past spring. Ideas?

Carver County Minnesota

1 Response

Burning Bush, or Euonymus alata can be a solid landscape shrub in many situations. In the right location it can make a fine foundation hedge, or a specimen highlight.

I bet that when you bought this plant, the grower had sited it in the best possible location, and at the point of sale it was showing it's best attributes.

The key to its performance is the right soil, the right site and perhaps some awareness about the foes that might also love this plant:

This bush will develop its full color only when planted in full sun. When planted in partial sun (either part east, or part west sun) the bush may show some, to no fall color - that spectacular red-orange that we all love.

Rabbits can severely damage this plant during the winter, often necessitating enclosing young plants with a cylinder of chicken wire.

Otherwise, I'm guessing that the problem with your Burning Bush is simple the fact that it isn't getting enough sunlight.

i hope this information is helpful. Please contact AaE again if you have further questions