· Brent Wilson's Answer
· Hi Deb,
Burning Bush tend to put out a flush of new growth in the spring and not as much new growth during summer.
Though drought tolerant when established, they do require supplemental irrigation when young, especially during extended periods of hot and dry weather. Check the soil around the roots to see if its too dry or too wet. Water enough to keep the soil damp or moist but not oversaturated and soggy.
The bugs eating the leaves in spring could cause a little stress to the plant, but would usually stimulate some new growth.
I doubt soil pH is the problem as burning bush tolerates a fairly wide range from 6 (acid) to 7.5 (alkaline), though it could be a nutrient deficiency of some sort. Only way to find out is to have your soil tested through your local extension service.
Dense, compacted clay soils can prohibit growth as well. When planting in clay soil it's a good idea to dig the planting hole three times or more as wide as the root ball of the plant, Then, thoroughly mix in a soil conditioner or composted organic matter with the soil remove from the planting hole.
Hope this information was helpful and don't hesitate to ask any further questions.