Information on Growing Burning Bush

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    Appearance

    • Burning bush grows to be between 15 and 20 feet tall, with a spread of between 6 and 10 feet. The shrub has a dense habit, deciduous, 3-inch long leaves and winged green stems. In the spring, the plant produces yellowish-green flowers that give way to reddish seed capsules. Cultivars include Compactus, a small variety that grows to be 6 to 10 feet tall, and Monstrosa, a vigorous, large cultivar.

    Location

    • Burning bush is native to temperate Asia, growing throughout China, Korea and Japan. The shrub is a suitable landscape for USDA zones 4 to 8. Burning bush grows best in partial shade, though it will also grow in full sunlight. Plants grown in full sunlight require more watering than those grown in partial shade. When grown in full shade, burning bush experiences reduced growth and duller colors.

    Culture

    • Burning bush is adaptable to a wide range of soils, including compacted, poorly draining soils. For best results, plant in a well-draining, slightly acidic soil. Mulch with a thin layer of organic mulch to retain moisture and suppress weeds. Burning bush is tolerant of drought and urban pollution. Burning bush can be germinated by seed or greenwood cuttings. Keep seeds in a cold, moist potting medium for one to three months. Cuttings may be rooted in spring or summer.

    Problems

    • Burning bush is a fast-growing, robust plant that often escapes cultivation, establishing itself in shady woodlands throughout the northern U.S. Check local invasive species lists before cultivating in the home garden. Even if not invasive, the shrub may grow too unruly for a formal garden. The shrub has a tendency to become leggy with age. Dense colonies of suckers may appear at the base of the shrub or roots.

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