Why Some Burning Bushes Don’t Turn Red in the Fall

Last updated : 8 January 2015

Today I am going to explain why some Burning
Bushes turn bright red in fall and why others don’t.

But first . . .

Quick and Easy Way to Make Money at Home Growing Plants

One wedding down, one to go!  And a message for Pittsburgh
Steeler fans.

Kevin (our younger son) and Gracie are getting married this
Sunday, I promise to post photos next week.  I promise!

***********************The Ad*******************************

Our family of Backyard Growers
are having an absolute blast making, buying and selling
baby plants by the thousands!

Join our family of Backyard Growers today!

The Backyard Nursery Business.

One of our plant sales:


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.

Next week I am going to give you a video and I will show
you how to inspect for Spider Mites.  I will also show you
how to prune a Burning Bush that is way too big for it’s
britches.  So stay tuned.

Oh yeah, did I mention wedding pictures?

Make somebody you love happy!  Give them a copy of my
plant propagation book!

Take care, enjoy the tail end of summer, and stay inspired!
-Mike McGroarty

P.S.  Tell your friends about “Mike the Dumb Ole Dirt Farmer”
and http://www.freeplants.com/

Thanks, I appreciate it.


  1. linda says

    I have 2 burning bushes I bought at only 12″ they are now almost 4 ‘ and have never turned red. they are in full sun and have no disease or pests. did I get a wrong variety? what variety should I look for?

    • says


      Chances are you have the right variety and about all I can see is give them time. Each year brings a different set of environmental circumstances. Sometimes we wish we knew what the plants are thinking.

    • says

      Corey, sure you can plant a Burning Bush or anything else right now all the way up until the ground freezes. During the winter when plants are not growing often times the roots are actively growing as long as the soil is warmer than 45 degrees so fall is a great time to plant.

  2. dolroes says

    i have a burning bush and it turned red the first year i planted it and 4 years now it have not turned any color of pink or red what could be causing it

  3. Rick says

    If have 3 burning bushes, they are in full hot sun for at least 6 hours per day, they are on the east side of the house. The leaves do not fall off and they do not turn red.
    Is their anything I can do to help bring out ther red.
    I live in Deleware.

    Thank you,

      • says


        If your Burning Bush are not turning red in the fall they are probably not getting enough sunlight. It takes sunlight during the growing season to make them red in the fall.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.