Why Your Burning Bush Won't Turn Red
Why Do Some Burning Bush Turn Bright Red in the Fall and others Not?
Dwarf Burning Bush are interesting and unique plants. Very versatile in the landscape and easy to care for. They love full sun, but will also do well in a great deal of shade.
They are most noted for the brilliant red color of their leaves in the fall. But they don't all turn brilliant red. Some plants might turn a pale pink at best and then their leaves fall off. Or some lose their leaves before they even get a chance to turn red.
So what's up with that?
Two things. If your Burning Bush does not get at least six hours of full sun a day there is a good chance that it will not turn red for you in the fall. They need a lot of sun if you want that deep red color.
If you notice when driving around this fall the ones with the deepest red color are pretty much in full sun. Those up by the building usually stay greener because they just don't get enough sun on all sides of the plant.
The reason that the leaves fall off really early could be, and often is because the plant is infested with Spider Mites. Spider Mites are tiny and almost invisible to the naked eye but there can be thousands and thousands of them on one plant.
They feed by sucking on the underside of the leaves, sucking all of the nutrients out of the plant. They usually don't do serious damage to Burning Bush, but they will completely defoliate the plant by the end of the summer.
If you look closely at the leaves you can see that leaves just don't look healthy. Spider Mites like a hot and dry environment so by blasting the plant with the garden hose often during the growing season that will discourage them as well as knocking some of them off the plants.
Or you can spray with insecticidal soap or a miticide if the infestation is heavy.
by Michael J. McGroarty