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Is there any special care needed to winterize a butterfly bush? Should it be cut down and covered for the winter? Thanks.
I love my butterflies bush and so do the butterflies You do not cut it back until in the spring . just be sure to cut it way back before it starts to bud.
We have several in our Scottish garden and they make it through the harshest winters in great shape. Last winter we had a heavy snow pack from late November through the middle of February. You had to know those bushes were out there because they were completely covered by snow and you couldn't see them for all the snow.
But this spring they bloomed beautifully for the butterflies and bees:) I had to trim them back two or three times over spring and summer to keep them from taking over the front gardens because they got so tall, lol!
Connie1 is spot-on that you do not prune this particular plant before winter, because pruning this plant stimulates new growth that won't have time to harden off before winter, and the resulting damage to the plant might kill it. Not all plants are like this, some should be pruned before winter, it's always a good idea to check first-your local extension office will be a good source of knowledge.
Next spring trim it to the height you want, and don't be afraid to trim it back again during the growth and flowering season to keep it in line. Do the last trim on it about two months from your first expected frost to keep it healthy for the next season.
Of course, as with any plant, pruning out dead or damaged plant parts can and should be done anytime you see it. Likewise crossing branches, which cause wounds in the stems/branches and can damage the plant making it susceptible to further injury and death.
Great advice! I would add one more piece of information. Butterfly bushes are hollow stem plants. One should never prune hollow stem bushes in the fall because the exposed hollow stems will fill with water and then during the winter months that water will freeze. The resulting damage can and will kill the plant.
I would also add besides bees and butterflies loving these bushes-humming birds love to eat the nectar too. In fact hummingbirds will feel comfortable enough they will sit in the branches for long periods of time even preening themselves while visiting.