The burning bush, Euonymus alata, is one of the most popular deciduous landscape shrubs grown in the United States. The reason it is so popular is because of the brilliant red color this plant displays each fall. The red fall color is simply stunning. Burning bush is an easy plant to grow. They will grow in most soils and soil conditions in zones 4 through 8. The burning bush prefers moist, well drained soil, but they are very adaptable to poor soils, drought, and heat stress. The red color is enhanced and is more brilliant if the bush is planted in full sun. Shade will mute the fall colors. The burning bush displays dark green foliage in the spring and summer. Burning bush is popular for mass plantings, borders, hedges, and as an accent plant.
Burning bush usually does not require much pruning. If pruning is required, cut the older branches out immediately after it finishes blooming. Shearing a burning bush will also mute the fall color but it will not harm the shrub. The bush can be cut to the ground following bloom time if you feel the plant needs renewal. Burning bush can grow into a large bush so care should be given to allow enough space for the plant to grow without interference from other plants or buildings. Care should be give to young burning bush plants to prevent rabbits from eating the bark around the base of the bush. After burning bush plants are established they are relatively fast growing.