How to Grow a Burning Bush Plant: Euonymus Alatus

Today we will discuss How to Grow a Burning Bush Plant? the botanical name of Burning Bush is Euonymus Alatus. it belongs to the genus Euonymus with several other shrubs and small trees. This is a special plant especially due to its bright crimson or pinkish purple foliage and flower petals. The entire plant turns pink with the arrival of Autumn. It looks like a fire that gives the name burning plant. Burning Plant is native to Asia and likes a warm humid environment. Here in the united states, it can survive in Zone 3 through 9. 4 to 6 hours of everyday sunlight with proper soil condition is enough for this plant to grow and thrive for years.

It is a beautiful attractive plant although many states have listed it as an invasive species. You should be careful with this plant at it can easily spread and gets out of control. You must grow modern hybrid sterile varieties of Burning bush instead of a native one. Even for those also make sure it is legal in your locality or state. Otherwise, you may get into trouble.

How to Grow a Burning Bush Plant: Euonymus Alatus
How to Grow a Burning Bush Plant: Euonymus Alatus

Check out my previous post: How to grow Bloodroot Flowers: Sanguinaria canadensis

Burning Bush Plant info

  • Common Name: Burning Bush
  • Botanical Name: Euonymus Alatus
  • Plant Genus:  Euonymus
  • Plant type: Perennial hardwood Shrub
  • Height: Burning bush plants grow to an average of 4 to 8 feet high.
  • Origin: Burning bush is native to Asia.
  • Hardiness Zone: Burning Bush can grow from USDA hardiness zone 3 to 9.
  • Specialty: Crimpson, purple-pink foliage that attracts visitors.
  • Season: It is a fall or Autumn plant.
  • location: Burning Bush is ideal for display in open gardens and edges along the sidewall. It creates a beautiful contrast to the greenery.
  • Growth Condition: Burning Bush is a very versatile plant. It can easily adapt to a variety of soil types with variable ph levels. A little bit of moisture and full sunlight are sufficient to keep this plant alive for years.

Do you know? The burning Bush plant is banned in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. It is also listed in the Invasive plant ‘Watch List’ in many other states. You should check out if it is legal in your state or not before planting.

Where to grow a Burning bush Plant?

First of all, make sure the burning bush plant is legal in your state or locality. If it is legal then you can grow it. The Burning Bush plant can grow in a variety of soil types. It prefers soft moist humus-rich soil although it can survive in poor sandy, clay, or rocky soil with little amendments.

The burning bush plant is native to Asia. In the US it can grow in hardiness zone 3 through 8. Some varieties especially the dwarf varieties of the Burning bush can also survive in Zone 9 and 10.

You show grow these beautiful plants in open garden space. they are the center of attraction, especially during the Autumn season. This plant also looks great along the side walls or fences. you can create a beautiful pink natural boundary around your garden with these plants.

Although you must grow them at a specific distance from other garden plants and trees. They are over-competitive for nutrition and water.

This could deteriorate the health of other garden plants. So be careful and keep their population in control. You should remove extra seedlings growing all around your garden. They can become invasive if left unnoticed.

Check out: Everything About Soil Requirements for Tulip Plant

Soil requirement for Burning Bush plant

Soft moist humus-rich soil is best to grow Burning Bush. You must add 3 to 5-inch layers of compost to the soil before planting a Burning bush. If the soil is too dense then add sand and compost in equal proportion. If it is rough and porous then amend the soil with cocopeat and twice the amount of compost. A little bit of Superphosphate and potash fertilizers can do miracles for these beautiful plants.

You should dig out proper rootball size holes for planting the seedlings. If you are growing burning bush from seeds then wait for them to germinate and then transplant them to the desired location.

It is better to dry the soil for a couple of days in full sun before planting a burning bush. This will prevent fungal growth and other soil-borne diseases in the burning bush plants.

Commercial potting soil is best for growing burning bush in containers. You can instead use regular garden soil, sand, and compost in equal proportion with a pinch of any contact fungicide.

Does Burning Bush need Sun or Shade?

Burning Bush plants can survive in part shade. They will also bloom although these plants prefer full sunlight for best blooming. The looks of the plant may differ with inadequate sunlight. It may look part empty or less showy than it should be.

The burning bush plant does well in a minimum of 4 to 6 hours of sunlight every day. They prefer more though this much light is sufficient especially for indoor container gardens.

Temperature is also essential with proper sunlight. The burning bush plant grows well at 50 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. The seeds will not germinate at temperatures lower than this range. Too high a temperature can cause frequent dehydration that can damage the plant. It is possible that the plant may survive in adverse climatic conditions and temperatures. Though it will lose its beauty until it gets favorable conditions.

When to plant a Burning Bush?

The Burning Bush plant is a self-seeding plant. It blooms in Autumn and develops seeds afterward. The seeds are enclosed in small seedpods or fruits that attract birds and animals. They carry these seeds from one location to another.

The dispersed seeds may remain dormant until the temperature rises above 55 degrees. It will sprout and grow into a new burning bush.

You can either collect the seeds at the end of the Autumn season or wait until spring to get new seedlings. Dig out these seedlings and grow them in their new location during the spring season.

The month of February to April and August to October is ideal to plant a burning bush.

Can you Grow Burning Bush Plant in Container?

You can also grow a burning bush plant in a container. This plant requires big 15 or 18 inch containers to grow. Always use a deep container to support the growing root structure for a couple of years. You can use a small 10 or 12-inch container though it may get root bound within a year or two.

The burning bush plant can’t grow to its optimum size in a small container. They need at least 12-inch root space to mature and bloom.

The container must have a proper drainage hole at the bottom. Use healthy soft potting soil to grow burning bush plants in containers.

How quickly does a Burning Bush Grow?

Burning Bush is a slow to moderate growth rate plant. It can grow at most 1 to 2 feet every year. The growth rate may differ with different varieties of Burning Bush plants. Temperature and sunlight also affect the growth rate. Although burning bush can grow in a variety of soil types, it prefers humic soil. The soil quality and nutrition also determine the growth rate of a burning bush plant.

Also read: How to Grow White Radish From seeds in Containers?

Germinate Burning Bush Seeds

  • Buy the Burning bush seeds from your local garden store. Make sure it is legal to grow in your locality.
  • Prepare soft nutritious soil ix to germinate these seeds. you can use 50% compost with regular garden soil and cocopeat in equal proportion to germinate burning bush seeds.
  • Sow the seeds at 1 to 2-inch space. Cover the seeds with 1/2 inch or 1 cm of the same soil mix. You can also push the seeds in the soil instead of covering them.
  • Water the soil and keep it lightly moist for the next 2 or 3 weeks.
  • The seeds will start germinating within 10-15 days at 55 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Care for these seedlings for a couple of months. These seedlings will be ready to transplant once they reach 4-6 inches in height.

How to Grow a Burning Bush plant in Container?

  • Use a 12-15 inch deep container. It should have a drainage hole at the bottom.
  • Fill the container with good quality potting soil or equal part of garden soil, compost, and cocopeat.
  • Place a 4 to 6-inch seedling at the center of the container and cover the bottom 1/3 part of the seedling with the same soil mix.
  • Leave at least 1-2 inch space at the top of the container for watering and fertilization.
  • Keep the soil moist but not soggy. Dig the soil around the root ball once every month. It will help in better root growth.
  • Feed the Burning bush plant with an all-purpose fertilizer once in 3 months. you can add a 1-inch compost layer t the topsoil every month. Superphosphate and Potash fertilizer can be applied 15 days before the estimated blooming season.
  • It is a hardwood shrub so there is no need for any support or staking. you can instead pinch off the plant heads once in 2 or 3 months to encourage further branching.
  • Hard prune the burning bush plant to 2/3 of its height once every year especially for container gardening.

How To grow a Burning Bush Plant in Garden?

  • The Garden area is always the best location for shrubs like burning bush. you should choose a wide-open area to create a beautiful foliage display in the season.
  • Make 4 to 6 inch deep holes at 7 to 10 feet distance in the garden. These holes should have sufficient distance from other plants as burning bush can become really competitive for resources.
  • Let the soil of these holes dry in full sun for 2 to 3 days. Latter mix it with compost and cocopeat with wood ash.
  • Place a 4 to 6-inch seedling in each of these holes and fill it with the soil mix you prepared.
  • Water thoroughly for the first time and let it dry until the next spell.
  • Add compost with an all-purpose fertilizer once a month to continue fast growth. You can feed the burning bush with flower food fertilizer once during the blooming season.
  • Keep the plant clean and healthy by regular pruning and deadheading. Remove dead branches and flowers once they are of no use for the plants.
  • Lose the soil around the plant roots once every month to help better root growth.
  • That’s it, burning bush does not require much attention once it is properly established in any location. Control its ever-expanding population and use only sterile varieties to grow in the garden especially for flower display.

Burning Bush Plant Care

The burning bush plant is quite hardy in its surrounding. It can easily survive in all soil types especially in hardiness zone 3 through 8. No severe pests attack is known to damage these plants. Occasionally, you may find aphids, mealybugs, moth larvae, or caterpillars, all during cloudy days. They are attracted to the foliage and colorful flower petals and the excess moisture helps them feed and breed. You can simply cut off the source of excess moisture and half of these problems will vanish. The rest of these can be easily handled with neem oil spray and regular cleanup.

Never let weeds and grass grow around the burning bush plant especially during the early days of plant growth. Once the plant is big enough, nothing can disturb its growth. This is another reason for the invasive nature of burning bush plants.

Don’t over-fertilize or overwater the burning bush plant as it is not necessary for plant growth, instead it may cause many plant problems. Only keep the plant clean and its foliage dry to get the best bloom in the season.


Hi, My name is Sukant. I am an I.T professional. Gardening for me is not just a hobby, it's a way of living life with nature. My Ancestors were Commercial farmers: So I personally feel attached to the green. I am not an expert, I'm here only to share my gardening experiences. It's always Refreshing.

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