The Dwarf Burning Bush (Euonymus Alatus ‘Compactus’) Care Guide

The Dwarf Burning Bush, otherwise known as the Euonymus Alatus ‘Compactus’ or Compact Burning Bush, Compact Winged Spindle Tree, Compact Winged Euonymus, Compact Winged Burning Bush, Euonymus alatus ‘Compacta’, is a rather well known shrub plant by gardening enthusiasts around the world.

Best known for its low maintenance and moderate growth, this shrub will likely liven up your house (or garden) with its green colored leaves. But, only if you learn how to take proper care of it for it to thrive.

Fortunately, taking care of your Dwarf Burning Bush is not too difficult – as long as you follow our guidelines in this Dwarf Burning Bush Care Guide. Now let’s get started.

But if you prefer to watch a short video instead, check it out here:

The fundamental caring guidelines for every Dwarf Burning Bush can be summed up into the following:

  • Water: The Dwarf Burning Bush wants regular watering to enhance fruit production but as a landscape plant, too much water will be a problem.
  • Light: Keep your Euonymus Alatus ‘Compactus’ in an environment where it can receive full sun on a daily basis. 
  • Soil: Make sure to keep the Dwarf Burning Bush in soil with moist but well-draining to well draining properties, so ideally, one that is made of clay, loam, chalk, and sand.

And as with many other plants, these are the only three care factors you need to remember to make sure your Dwarf Burning Bush is, for the most part, healthy and well to survive.

Euonymus alatus 'Compactus' (Burning Bush) Leaves

Scientific / Botanical Aspects

In botanical terms, the Dwarf Burning Bush belongs to the Celastraceae family, the genus Euonymus and the species Alatus, hence its scientific (or botanical) name Euonymus Alatus ‘Compactus’ (yoo-ON-ih-mus a-LAY-tus kom-PAK-ta).

As with other Euonymus’s, the Dwarf Burning Bush is a deciduous plant, which means it will shed its leaves annually once autumn comes.

Growing Region

You might be wondering why your Dwarf Burning Bush’s native region is important. Well, if you know where your plant originally came from, you’ll know which environmental conditions it prefers, and with it, knowledge on how to replicate it at home.

With this in mind, the Euonymus Alatus ‘Compactus’ will be most used to the heat zones in the 1 – 9 region, as the plant hardiness level falls between 4a, 4b, 5b, 5a, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8b, 8a and the ideal climate zone is between 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 14, 15, 16, A3.

Growth and Size


In terms of size and growth, the Dwarf Burning Bush is a relatively moderate grower, which makes things somewhat easy for any plant enthusiast.


But, how big does the Dwarf Burning Bush actually get? What should you expect in terms of size? Let’s dive right in…

The Euonymus Alatus ‘Compactus’ can grow up to 9′ – 10′ (270cm – 3m) in 9′ – 10′ (270cm – 3m) and 9′ – 10′ (270cm – 3m) in 9′ – 10′ (270cm – 3m). 

These dimensions make the Dwarf Burning Bush a relatively large shrub compared to others, so it’s best to keep this fact in mind since it will affect where you want to keep yours at home.

This is why experts recommend keeping an area of approximately 120″ (300cm) free so the Dwarf Burning Bush can spread to its best extent.


In terms of watering, the Dwarf Burning Bush is a fairly complicated plant to take care of.

This is mostly because it has a not so straightforward watering schedule and somewhat regular watering needs.

Specifically, most experts agree that the Euonymus Alatus ‘Compactus’ wants regular watering to enhance fruit production but as a landscape plant, too much water will be a problem.

Which is why it is considered a plant with relatively average needs in terms of water. 

Euonymus alatus 'Compactus' (Burning Bush) Plant


As a rule of thumb, you should remember to keep your Dwarf Burning Bush in soil with moist but well-draining to well draining characteristics, as these will guarantee the right conditions for your plant to grow and thrive. 

But, if you want a ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution to watering your Dwarf Burning Bush then you should consider the famous ‘finger’ test. To perform this test, you just need to put your finger in your plant’s soil and determine if it’s moist or not. If it is, then don’t water; if it isn’t, then please do. In any case, this test will allow you to know if your Dwarf Burning Bush needs or does not need water, every time.

Soil Mix

The Dwarf Burning Bush’s ideal soil potting mix is made out of clay, loam, chalk, and sand.

In addition to this, expert gardeners recommend having preferably alkaline, acid or neutral soil.

Light and Exposure

In terms of light & exposure, the Dwarf Burning Bush requires full sun in order for it to thrive under the right conditions. 

Most experts agree that this shrub will do well as long as you keep it in partial to full sun, and it will be able to grow properly.

Specifically, we recommend that you place your Euonymus Alatus ‘Compactus’ in little to partial shade (only 2-6 hours of direct sunlight a day), to full and direct sun (more 6 hours of direct sunlight per day).


Being a deciduous plant, the Dwarf Burning Bush will shed its leaves annually once autumn comes.

But, you can expect it to have its ‘prime-time’ during the spring (late), the summer (early, mid, late), the fall, and during the winter.


You can expect your Dwarf Burning Bush to flower around the summer months from July to September (summer).

The Dwarf Burning Bush produces some beautiful green, or green flowers around this time of year.


The leaves from the Dwarf Burning Bush have a beautiful green color during most of the year.

In particular, they have a opposite organization in its leaves.

You can expect the leaves from your Euonymus Alatus ‘Compactus’ to be around (1-3 inches) in size.

The Dwarf Burning Bush is well known for being able to attract birds, so keep that in mind when choosing your plant, as you’ll likely end up finding one or another in your garden.

Euonymus alatus 'Compactus' (Burning Bush) Foliage


Does your Dwarf Burning Bush have any garden recommendations? Does it serve any gardening purposes? Here’s how you can get the most out of your new plant.

Most Euonymus Alatus ‘Compactus’ owners agree that this shrub will look great in most asian/zen and contemporary gardens of all types. 

Other owners consider that they complement well most gardens of informal and cottage, city and courtyard, and in traditional garden styles. 

In particular, the Dwarf Burning Bush’s best location within your garden is in beds and borders, and in hedges and screens, others use it for landscaping in a specimen, privacy screen, firescaping/fire wise, border, hedge, mass planting, or a wildlife garden.

Companion Plants

Dwarf Burning Bush’s do well with some other plants beside it. One good companion plant is the Fothergilla, which will pair up nicely with your leafy friend.

Others consider that a nice Viburnum will work well too, so choose whichever you find works best for you!


So that’s it! These are the main plant care requirements that you need to keep in mind in order to have a healthy Dwarf Burning Bush in your garden or home.

Sebastian Moncada

I’m also a plant enthusiast and researcher. I’ve been privileged to have lived my whole life around the wilderness of Colombia and I’m happy to share everything I learn along the way. “Adopt the pace of nature. Her secret is patience” – Emerson.

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