Striking Scarlet Fall Color Compacta Burning Bush
- Insect and Disease Resistant
- Low Maintenance
- Prune the Yellow Flowers in Early Spring to Curtail Fall Seeds
- Widely Adapted to Colder Climates
If you want that extreme Look at Me! fall color, the well-known Compacta Burning Bush (Euonymus alatus ‘Compactus’) absolutely glows in the fall garden. Consider this pretty shrub as the rock star of fall color.
Compacta is a shorter Burning Bush cultivar that develops nice, dense foliage all the way to the ground. This shrub is highly regarded for its yearly display of fire-engine red fall color. You’ll have no doubt why it’s called Bushing Bush.
Now, in some areas of the country, this plant performs too well. In some areas, the plant has been regulated to stop its spread. Nature Hills will block sale into those areas, using Plant Sentry™, an online tool for safe plant shipments.
Type in your zip code to see if you can safely grow it in your area. If you can, be sure to take a few minutes to snip off the tiny yellow flowers in spring to minimize the orange-red seed clusters in the fall, which are spread by birds.
Prune this easy care Compacta Burning Bush once in May, and you are done for the year! One and done, just an annual pruning. What a time-saver!
From spring to summer, you’ll enjoy rich, green leaves up to 3 inches long. Next comes the event you’ve been waiting for. As soon as the nights start to get colder, the flaming display of bright-red fall color begins. It lasts and lasts for a wonderful accent to your football watch parties and autumn nights spent around the fire pit.
Once the leaves fall, you’ll see corky ridges on the stems of full-sized Burning Bushes. The shrub offers winter interest with those wonderfully textured bare branches. (Alatus is the Latin word for “winged”.) Even the pretty branch structure really stands out throughout the winter months.
There is truly nothing that holds a candle to the Compacta Burning Bush, order today!
How to Use Compacta Burning Bush in the Landscape
A popular and versatile deciduous shrub, the Compact Burning Bush is wonderful as a full-sized hedge or screen. Plant them 4 feet apart on center to create a solid screen in very little time. Measure from the center of one to the center of the next.
Use one as a specimen at the corner of your house or garage. It will easily anchor your foundation planting and makes a beautiful contrast with evergreen shrubs.
Plant a few on the sunny side of taller evergreen conifer trees as well. You’ll be dazzled in fall with the counterpoint between the two plants. Bring in additional soil in a mounded heap 18 inches high for planting, so the roots of your new shrubs have a chance to get established next to mature trees. Create a mulched bed in front of the evergreen to tie the look together.
Compacta can also hold its own as an ornamental focal point in the landscape. They command attention wherever you place it. Why not use a pair flanking either side of the entrance to an outdoor dining area? Or try 5 of them in a curved hedge around your outdoor fire pit and seating area.
Make sure to use it someplace where you can enjoy its dramatic display. Even a single shrub planted as a specimen in the front yard would stop traffic and boost your home’s curb appeal.
You can imagine how impactful this plant would be in a commercial setting. People will know just where your business is, as the Compacta will become a natural landmark feature. Try several plants in a mass planting for greater impact.
This plant takes well to shearing and can be kept at any size to suit your landscape needs. However, if not pruned at all, the shrub develops a natural looking profile, with horizontal branches sweeping out and down a bit at the tips.
We always recommend allowing for plenty of space for your shrubs to develop into their full mature height and spread. You’d hate to have to destroy the pretty outline by severe pruning for size control.
Plan ahead for the best results! This is not a shrub suited for extremely tight spaces. Give it room and go big for the most impact.
#ProPlantTips for Care
Choose a planting site in full sun. Even though the Burning Bush ‘Compacta’ will grow happily in a semi-shady area, it needs at least 6 hours of direct sunlight to develop those amazing red leaves in the fall.
Once it is established in your garden, Compacta shows a remarkable tolerance to drought. However, it will respond best to a moderate amount of water given on a regular basis. In prolonged drought, please provide a deep watering every so often to protect your investment.
Mulch to 3 to 4 inches deep and 3 feet outside of the canopy to keep root system cool and moist. Mulch also allows you to increase the time between supplemental watering. It also looks great and ties the landscape together with a uniform surface.
Plant in well-drained soils. Compacta Burning Bush will not tolerate any standing water caused by poorly drained soil. Any full sun to part shade location will work well.
Prune off the insignificant yellow-green flowers in spring. Get out there and spend 5 minutes with your shrub. It’s worth it! By doing this, you’ll easily control the production of seed clusters, which are spread by birds. Use this plant wisely and do your part.
There are no serious disease or pest problems associated with this low maintenance shrub. If alerted by Nature Hills Plant Sentry™, check with your local Agricultural Extension service to see if there are concerns about this plant in your area.
Native shrubs like Viking Black Chokeberry, Upright Red Chokeberry, Mount Airy Fothergilla and Bailey Red Twigged Dogwood all offer wonderful, red fall color and can be used as substitutes, if needed.
Of course, there is really nothing else like Compacta Burning Bush. If you can grow it in your area, you’ll be thrilled to enjoy its fiery fall display each year!