Find more garden information
The Grove Compactus Burning Bush (Euonymus alatus) is a deciduous shrub, hardy in zones 4 though 8. This compact shrub grows to 5 to 6 feet high and spreads 6 to 8 feet wide, with small yellow-green flowers in the spring. It produces small red fruits and its medium green leaves turn to a fluorescent pinkish red to vibrant red in fall.
This sensational fall favorite makes a dramatic accent as a hedge, in a mixed shrub border, grouped into a mass planting, or near water where the brilliant read color can be reflected; however, take care to avoid planting in heavy clay or very wet areas.
The shrub grows best in well-drained soil and in a sunny location, but it will produce good fall color even if planted in a heavily shaded area. If possible, plant the shrub where there is good air circulation so the leaves dry quickly. This will minimize disease problems.
As soon as you receive the plants, check the soil around the roots to make sure it’s moist. If dry, water until the soil is thoroughly moist but not soggy.
Do not let the soil dry out at any time before or during planting. Providing the plants are kept moist, you can delay planting for one to two weeks; however, it is best to plant immediately. Keep the potted plant in a sheltered location (part shade and no wind) until it can be transplanted outdoors.
Measure the width of the root ball, container, or bare-root spread and multiply that measurement by 3 times to find the diameter of the planting hole. The planting hole should be large enough to allow the entire root system to be covered.
The plant should be set into the planting hole with the crown at the same depth it was growing in the nursery, where the roots and top growth join, just at the soil surface. Loosen the root system and position the plant so that the uppermost roots will be covered with soil. Be careful not to let the roots dry out during the planting process.
To prevent your shrub from settling lower in the soil after planting, never dig the center of the planting hole deeper than the height of the root ball.
After planting, press the soil back in firmly around the roots and water thoroughly, until the soil cannot readily absorb any more water.
Once it has been planted and watered well, the new shrub will probably require little attention. In northern climates, in late fall and winter, there’s usually little need for supplemental watering; but in areas with low rainfall, or drought, you may need to water regularly until the plant is well established. Water the shrub until the entire root zone is soaked. Thorough watering will encourag deeper root growth, making the plant less susceptible to drought stress.
We recommend mulching around the plant with a two-inch-thick layer of straw, compost, bark mulch, wood chips, aged manure, or other organic material to reduce weed growth and help conserve moisture. As it slowly decays, mulch also provides nutrients for the plant. Keep mulch at least one to two inches away from the base of the plant to discourage insects or disease from damaging the bark.
Fertilizer is not necessary or recommended in late summer or fall. This could stimulate new growth that may become injured during winter. In the spring, we recommend a balanced, slow-release fertilizer such as our 5-5-5 All-Purpose Fertilizer.
Last updated: 7/26/19
Stay up to date on new articles and advice.