When do burning bushes turn red is a common question among this plant’s growers. Burning trees of the Celastraceae family turn color in summer when mature. However, your plant must be exposed to sunlight for at least six hours for the foliage to change to red.

When Do Burning Bushes Turn Red Plant America

Find out more information on these bushes turning red, how long they stay red, and reasons yours won’t change its color.

When Do Burning Bushes Turn Color?

💥 The burning bush plant changes to red in summer or during late fall from its green foliage. However, the plant must be mature enough for the foliage to change color, as it requires at least six hours of exposure to direct sunlight, which is during summer.


The burning tree has green leaves that change color mostly in summer. The foliage won’t remain red all year because they drop in late fall or toward the onset of winter. The new leaves that sprout are green and will become red again in summer.

This tree is scientifically referred to as Euonymus alata, is a small shrub with green leaves when young. The plant has been labeled invasive species in the United States and other states because it is a threat to the natural environment.

It reproduces by seeds which birds spread to different parts of the forest. It grows thick bushes, becomes dominant, and forces out other essential plants. On another note, all the parts of the bush are toxic and have strong laxative effects.

What Factors Prevent These Plants To Turn Color?

The factors that prevent burning bush from turning color are if the bush is not the genuine type, and if it lacks moisture in the long run, and lack of light. Moreover, this could also be the result of insect infestation or pest infestation, or due to hybrid seeds.

– Not Enough Light

You cannot force a burning tree to change to red leaves. It will only change if it receives six hours of sunlight. If you grow it under a shade, only the areas exposed to sunlight will become red. However, factors like insect infestation and lack of water can cause the plant not to get red foliage.

What Factors Prevent Burning Bush To Turn Color Plant America

If the plant fails to get full six hours of sunlight, the leaves will not turn bright red. They could remain green or turn yellow if the plant lacks water or animals eat the stem. The plant’s location is a significant reason your burning tree plant could fail to get red leaves.

The bush won’t get direct sunlight if it grows under a canopy, or if it has a wall next to it or even a big tree that would cause an issue of supplying the right light. Therefore, the foliage could fail to become red or notice a side of the foliage blushing.

– Not the Genuine Type

Other plants in the genus Euonymus resemble the burning plant when young. These have different characteristics and will not become red even after exposing them to direct sunlight.

Not the Genuine Type Plant America

You can confirm if you have the correct species of the burning tree by asking the seller. You can be having a tree that is very similar to this one, but it may not turn red no matter the amount of care that you would aim to provide it.

– Lack of Moisture

All plants need moisture to grow because it helps with photosynthesis. A disadvantage of having a burning tree is that you might not tell if your plant lacks moisture because the leaves are naturally droopy. 

Little moisture causes the bush plant to be less healthy, because this is part of its growth requirements. The leaves turn yellow instead of staying green and won’t change to red when summer comes. Remember that even the lack of water can cause these leaves to turn brown and drop off.

Also, too much moisture can be a disadvantage if you try to mist it very often. If the plants grow in poor drainage soil, the leaves will turn yellow because of chlorosis and never change to red.

– Insect Infestation

Insects prey upon plants and destroy foliage because they would be sucking the plants’ sap causes stress to the leaves and can lead to discoloration. The insects also introduce diseases to the plant, which can appear as patches on the leaves. On another note, other insects, like spider mites, build webs on the plant, making the leaves dull.

Insect Infestation Plant America

The infected leaves and those eaten by the insects will not become red when the season comes. Besides, a burning plant infected with fungal diseases might fail to become red. In this case, you can examine your plant for insect infestation, prune the affected branches, or apply dormant oil.

– Pest Infestation

Insect infestation, like the Euonymus scale, can kill the burning tree by sucking the sap from the plant’s stems. The leaves start turning brown and could cause the entire branches to die, resulting in the death of the whole plant.

Pest Infestation Plant America

Meadow voles also feed on the barks of burning trees and could chew the main stem, tampering with water transportation to other parts of the shrub. The leaves start turning brown and could eventually die.

– Hybrid Seeds

If a burning bush sprouts from a cultivated hybrid seed, it may produce a false bush. The variable trait of the plant does not have leaves that change to the stunning red color. While some of these plants remain green, others will have various shades of pink, but it wouldn’t be the beautiful red that it is supposed to be.

Why Is Burning Bush Turning Red Earlier?

If the burning bush is turning red earlier, it is the result of stress, as the plant has not matured yet properly, but is going through a different phase which is confusing its growth. The indication could also show a lack of the proper nutrients it should receive.

On another note, some people find themselves asking “why is my burning bush turning red in July”, which is very much earlier than the fall period.

Why Is Burning Bush Turning Red Earlier Plant America

Your burning bush turning red early, like in July, could be because of stress, and you should check the problem. If the leaves are not fully mature and your plant is red, it could be because of insect infestation, mainly spider mites and clover mites.

Another reason the leaves change to the red hue early is if animals or diseases damage the base of the tree. They leave the plant weak and stressed, making the leaves turn color early.


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