5 Reasons to Plant a Burning Bush

| 4/19/2016 1:14:00 PM

A burning bush is an invasive plant native to Asia, whose branches make for beautiful foliage year round. In 1860 they were introduced to the U.S. for decorative use. They are versatile and can provide cooling shade to your home, reducing upcoming summer energy bills. And of course, the obvious benefit of adding more plants to your yard is the good they do for the environment. If that isn't reason enough to pull out the shovel and work gloves, you will just have to keep reading!

burning bush in flower bed

1. Strong and Versatile
During a drought, it will probably be one of the last things standing in a once lush landscape. Burning bushes can withstand a variety of climates and soil. That is great, because I have red clay in my yard...not fertile, loose dirt. If you want the boldest fall colors, the plant needs full sun. However, it can be placed in semi shady areas, but its fall colors will be stunted to a pale pink or yellow.

2. Multifunctional
With a little pruning, the bush can be shaped and kept to the size of your liking. A compact burning bush can grow to be 10 to 15 feet tall, or it can be kept as a small, ornamental bush. The bottom branches can be removed to create a treelike appearance too, wonderful for lining a driveway.

3. Beautiful Year Round
Not only known for their breathtaking fall color, these bushes add something to your yard year round. In the summer, its green leaves and small blooms look like any other landscaping accent, then in the fall it bursts into fiery red color. After the leaves fall for the winter, they expose an interesting and beautiful branch structure.

4. Little Maintenance
It can be overwhelming to care for a garden and a yard full of decorative shrubs and trees. A little watering, and some occasional pruning are the main things you will have to do. Depending on where you live, there may be some addition care steps.

5/21/2016 4:40:44 PM

It seems suggesting planting a burning bush IF you do not live near a woodland is foolish. One of the first steps in controlling the spread of burning bush is simply to stop planting it. Burning bush (Euonymus alatus) spreads from yards to forests and fields after birds consume the fruit and carry the seeds across long distances. The shrub may become one of our most troublesome plants because of the ease with which its seeds are spread. Why not in the same breath suggest planting bittersweet IF you don't live near a tree? Birds carry seeds. Bittersweet is beautiful, but the vines strangle tree and shrub stem and can cover an entire plant community.

5/18/2016 7:23:20 AM

I agree with Tom. Focus on natives! This well known non-native invasive species provides no food for our native wildlife and outcompetes native vegetation in the forest. I find it in the forest behind my house despite not having any in my yard, so advising not to plant near the forest is wrong information. I am a long time reader of Mother Earth News and was thinking of re-subscribing to Living but I am not so sure now.

5/15/2016 7:53:39 AM

I am not sure why you would suggest planting a known invasive. Perhaps you could help educate others by NOT suggesting this and referring to http://www.gainvasives.org/