Pruning a butterfly bush could not be simpler. Those who live in the warmest zones can prune their butterfly bushes sooner if they prefer not to have the care stems in the landscape. Plants pruned this way start to as flower at the same time as plants pruned once in spring, but carry on for a week or so longer. ANSWER: Fall pruning of buddleias or any other shrub is inadvisable. While it has been said that improper pruning practices result in weakened or damaged plants, this is not the case with the butterfly bush. In simple terms, heavy pruning during spring may lead to late flowering of the butterfly bushes. Water your butterfly bush deeply once each week during the spring and summer whenever rainfall is less than 1 inch. Butterfly bush is a summer flowering shrub blooming best when located in full sun. There are two types of butterfly bushes: Buddleia davidii and Buddleia alternifolia. Cut back the entire butterfly bush to about 4 feet tall each year in late fall. Regarding the pruning time for this hardy shrub, the most common question is when to prune butterfly bush? Some of the species are dioecious (male and female reproductive organs in different plants) while some are monoecious (male and female reproductive organs in the same plant). Since most butterfly bush varieties can handle cold down to zone 5, they grow in plenty of climates with fall, winter, or spring freezes. Pruning Buddleia in Summer will be of benefit to the plant, not having to produce seeds on the old flowers and it will certainly extend the flowering season well into summer. Butterfly Bush. Soak the soil down to and around the butterfly bush’s root zone. If you have selected a large Butterfly Bush variety, hard pruning in late spring will help to ensure the shrub doesn't get out of control. It will tolerate part-sun and bloom just fine, but the increasing shade will reduce flowering. Deadhead the faded blooms from the bush once every week or two weeks to keep it blooming instead of producing seeds. Prune dwarf butterfly bushes in the early spring. Spread on top a 2- to 4-inch layer of bark mulch to help control weeds and preserve soil moisture. You should prune your butterfly bush when it needs to be pruned. Choose a planting site for your butterfly bush that's in full sunlight and has moist but well-draining soil. Butterfly Bush do not require pruning, however respond well to and benefit from it. Spread a 1-inch layer of organic compost on the ground around your butterfly bush once each year in spring. As soon as the winter period is over, butterfly bushes will grow rapidly. The flowers, which are the main attraction of this plant, grow mostly on new growths. Hence, pruning to the ground is not necessary for proper recovery of the plants. QUESTION: I planted two butterfly bushes last spring. When to prune butterfly bush: In mild climates, prune larger varieties in late fall or early spring to clean up and maintain shape. The butterfly bush is a large, arching and upright shrub that blooms profusely from midsummer through autumn. For the other healthy branches, cut till they attain a height of 2 - 3 feet. While the flowering period for ornamental shrubs is at a near end or has already ended, this beautiful and heavy-growth blossom grove is riddled with panicles. Butterfly bush tree, Buddleia – Planting, Care and Pruning. Gardening magazine trialled different pruning methods for buddleia, we found the following method produced the best results. Here are guidelines on pruning butterfly bush, to help you in the job. A butterfly bush may be pruned back to a height of about four feet before winter sets in or it may be cut back completely. There’s also a bonus second flush of flower heads around 25cm long in late summer, when the … The answer is…..ANYTIME! Avoid removing new, healthy growth from the butterfly bush, because you’ll also end up removing that year’s flowers. Plant the butterfly bushes in spring or fall, spacing the bushes at least 5 feet apart. The fruit type is a capsule that contains many seeds. Buddleia plants should be pruned twice a year: the first pruning is a hard-cutting in the spring, with a second pruning in the fall to cut away the spent flowers after the blooms fade away. Trim to shape the butterfly bush in early June if desired and cut away any branches that died during the winter. There are about 100 species of this genus, which are adapted to various environmental conditions. Majority butterfly bush species exhibit a shrub habit (about 5 meters height), while few are trees (tallest being 30 meters long). Butterfly bush is a favorite ornamental plant for many gardening enthusiasts. Don’t let the calendar dictate when you need to prune. Butterfly bush growth appears on new wood, so pruning can wait until the new wood is ready to grow in spring. Butterfly bush pruning is important, not just to maintain the shape of the bush. You can supplement the soil with organic fertilizers for better growth. Heavy mulching should be done to control weeds. All Rights Reserved. In such a case, one should always maintain a specific height of the bushes (at least 3 feet). Time to figure out what to prune next…. Generally, most butterfly bush pruning should take place during the winter months, in warmer climates, while the plant is dormant. The flowers of buddleia grow at the end of young shoots which are stimulated by pruning, actually helping the plant to rejuvenate. Keep in mind the butterflies prized for … Prune the butterfly bush in preparation for winter. These lovely flower clusters attract butterflies more so than the flowers of most other landscape plants. Learn which plants thrive in your Hardiness Zone with our new interactive map! Regarding the pruning time for this hardy shrub, the most common question is when to prune butterfly bush? Ensure that you do not over trim the branches, as the plants will require a long time for resprouting. Taking the stems back to around a foot in length is recommended. That’s it. Just make sure you don't undertake this task … Understand how to prune butterfly bushes through these tips. If a severe winter is on the way this practice could be detrimental to your plant. How to Plant Butterfly Bushes: Before planting a butterfly bush, please keep in mind that they are actually an invasive species and also do not KEEP butterflies there – they only feed male butterflies and do not help with butterfly reproduction. Terry has written articles and publications for a wide range of markets and subject matters, including Medicine & Health, Eli Financial, Dartnell Publications and Eli Journals. Prune back all old growth nearly to ground level once each year in early spring, before any new growth emerges. Choose a planting site for your butterfly bush that’s in full sunlight and has moist but well-draining soil. Since these are hardy shrubs, they can tolerate frost and extreme cold conditions. However, the butterfly bush can also be pruned in the spring with no ill effects. If your butterfly bush is getting scraggly or out of control, prune it- no matter what time of year it is. That means in most growing zones, there is no need to prune your butterfly bush before winter. Sarah Terry brings over 10 years of experience writing novels, business-to-business newsletters and a plethora of how-to articles. How to Plant Butterfly Bush Butterfly bushes, sometimes called summer lilacs, are recommended for USDA hardiness zones 5 to 10 and need full sun and fertile, well-drained soil. Left unpruned Buddleia will quickly develop into a large shrub (3m/10ft) and can take over a smaller garden. Dig a hole about twice the diameter of the root ball, and set your plant in … However, certain pruning techniques will help promote more vigorous growth and healthier blooms.
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