Burning Bush, Euonymus alatus


I accidentally killed my burning bushes by putting miracle grow stakes in the ground last fall. Can I plant replacements this Spring? Will the soil be safe to plant them in?


Thank you for contacting Toronto Master Gardeners.

The problem may not be the Miracle Grow Sticks, as they would have provided nutrients to the soil and shrubs. The shrubs may not have been planted properly, or were not watered sufficiently. Nutrients from fertilizers placed in soil usually are washed out by watering, rain and snow. Plants uptake nutrients they require, unless in a very high, or low, PH soil. You can have your soil PH tested by University of Guelph UG Soil Testing Services . Or, your plants may have poor drainage, and the roots sat in water, or are planted in a wet location where the roots may have perished from root rot.

Or, it is possible the plants you bought may have already been damaged and stressed in their original container, and once planted were not able to succeed. When purchasing new shrubs take care and check out the container and the roots before purchasing. Our website provides Gardening Guides on how to plant a shrub, a list of shrubs you may want to consider planting (instead of the burning bush as Euonymus alatus is invasive) based on the number of sun hours in the area you are planting, and type of soil you will be planting the new shrubs in. Scroll down to Site Assessment for further information on where to plant a shrub. Shrubs also Ornamental Shrubs for Various Light Conditions: A Toronto Master Gardeners Guide  

Our guides will help you to choose the right plant for the right location, and how to care for the shrub once planted.