Dear Master Gardeners,
I got a couple of dwarf burning bush cuttings from a very nice neighbour and after two months of care, some of them have rooted. I want to know how to care of these tiny plants during the winter, can I plant them in a sunny spot in the yard and replant them in the destination spot in the spring? Will they survive winter? They are about 2-4 inches tall and they only have 2 to 7 leaves. I’d appreciate your help to
Burning Bush Euonymus alatus is a very hardy shrub and can grow to 15 feet tall. It is tolerant of many soil conditions and once established is quite drought tolerant. The only condition that the Burning Bush cannot withstand is too wet or soggy conditions. Burning Bush does need full sun to present those “burning” red leaves, if given too much shade the plant will become leggy and you will not see fall colour. The Dwarf version Euonymus alatus compactus It is slow grower, growing only about 4 inches per year and is easily pruned to stay between 5 to 8 feet tall. As mentioned, these are very hardy shrubs, so hardy in fact that they are considered to be invasive and have recently fallen out of favour because of their aggressive tendencies. Also, important to note is that all parts of this plant are toxic to humans and household pets. Birds are immune from the toxins and indeed spread their seeds around generously – one of the reasons this plant is so invasive!
To answer your question, a “nursery bed” is a perfect way to nurse your young plants and cuttings through the winter. It does not have to be attractive, just slightly raised and protected from heavy snow cover and most importantly from accidental foot traffic. Given these conditions, I’m sure your cuttings will safely make it through winter. Best of luck with your gardening