How to Plant Burning Bush

Burning bush in bloom
What You'll Need
Shrub burning bush
Garden shovel

The burning bush plant gets its name from being green for most of the year and then suddenly in autumn turning a flaming red, looking much like it’s glowing hot. These bushes are beautiful and easy to care for, and so it’s no wonder that so many people want to plant them in their gardens or yards.

Purchase A Burning Bush

What you’re looking for when you go into a gardening center is a burning bush plant that’s robust and green. You almost never want to buy them when they’re red because this is the stage right before dormancy. You should also try to stick with plants that come in 1-gallon containers, which are past the infancy stage and are able to tolerate transplants much better than, say, a freshly-propagated cutting or sprout.

Once you’ve chosen the ideal burning bush, you should also get fertilizer to go with it. Pick up some organic composting material from your garden center, or better yet, use your own compost for your burning bush—organic is the most important part.

Dig A Hole

bucket of soil and shovel

Now you’re ready to get into the rhythm of planting your burning bush plant. Dig your hole about six inches wider than the plant’s container, and about 1.5 inches deeper than your plant container’s depth. If you still aren’t sure if the plant can support itself in the hole you dug, you can always dig another inch deeper, but don’t go any deeper than that.

Fill the hole with some of the composting material you brought home or made yourself, about four cups of it. Now you’re on track to readying your burning bush to be planted in the new home you’ve made for it.

Plant A Burning Bush

Half the battle in planting your burning bush is getting it out of the container without damaging the root system. While some containers make this pretty easy, others can be quite difficult due to shape and size. Turn your burning bush upside down, holding the trunk, and thump the bottom of the container with the heel of your hand. Shake it a little bit; the soil will fall, guaranteed, so be prepared.

Next, gently pull on your burning bush, taking it out of the container. Once it comes out (cleanly, hopefully) you can gently scrunch at the roots with your fingertips to loosen up the roots.

Now lower your plant with the loosened roots into the hole and backfill it with the topsoil you dug up. Pat the soil down around the edge of the plant, add some mulch, and you’re good to go.

Enjoy your burning bush plant, especially in the autumn when it “burns” just for you.