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How to Grow a Euonymus Plant

By Sharon Sweeny ; Updated September 21, 2017

Euonymus is well-known for its fiery red fall color, so much so that its common name is Burning Bush. The bright red autumn leaves stay on the plant for several weeks, making this shrub a prominent feature in the fall landscape. It naturally grows up to 15 feet tall and 20 feet wide. Some varieties of euonymus grow into small trees and some grow as vine-like groundcovers.

Grow euonymus in full sun. It will survive in partial shade, but its foliage will not turn its trademark bright, vivid red in autumn. Euonymus is not fussy about the type of soil it grows in as long as water drains readily after rainfall.

Mulch to control the growth of weeds. Euonymus can suffer nitrogen deficiency from using organic mulch, which uses much of the available nitrogen in the soil as it decomposes. This phenomenon is more prevalent with clay soil or those with a pH in the higher, alkaline range. To correct, remove the mulch, apply high-nitrogen granulated fertilizer following the manufacturer's recommended rates of application, and replace mulch.

Contain the roots if planted near a woodland area. Eunoymus spreads via its root system and is considered invasive in the wild. Install a galvanized metal strip around the roots to a depth of 18 to 24 inches. You can also use landscaping fabric to stop the roots from spreading if you line the perimeter of the planting hole with it.

Prune only to remove dead or diseased wood or to maintain its shape or size. Euonymus can also be trained into a hedgerow at heights as low as two feet. A specimen planted in the landscape can be left unpruned and it will grow into a graceful, vase-shaped bush about 12-15 feet tall and 15-20 feet wide.


Things You Will Need

  • Mulch
  • High nitrogen fertilizer
  • Galvanized metal strip or landscaping fabric
  • Pruning clippers


  • Artificial watering is not needed except in extreme drought.
  • Euonymus does not need extra winter protection.

About the Author


Sharon Sweeny has a college degree in general studies and worked as an administrative and legal assistant for 20 years before becoming a professional writer in 2008. She specializes in writing about home improvement, self-sufficient lifestyles and gardening.