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Be sure to cut your Butterfly Bushes right back to 4 - 6 inches from the ground in the spring.
Since the growth comes from the ground you need to keep them trimmed quite low.
Some people trim them back right to ground level but I leave a bit of the trunk showing.
Butterfly Bushes can also be controlled by trimming them back throughout the season. They won't mind one bit, nor will the butterflies.
By Sandra Hemstock
Butterfly bushes are wonderful, large bushes with all different colors of flowers. If you buy one from a garden center (in a pot), you will know what you'll get for flowers. Be aware that they get very big (at least in California they do). They like full sun, once established, they don't need much water at all. They will attract butterflies, hummingbirds, and bumble bees. I prune mine "hard" every winter, down to knee-high, so they don't get totally out of hand. The one winter I did not prune, they reached 15 feet tall! I have a tri-color (white, lilac, deep purple) and a yellow bush, and love them. They transplant fairly well, and will spread via roots and seeds.
Source: My yard...
By Eileen from Elk Grove, CA
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I've bought a buddlia dwarf ivory buzz. Is it a good idea to put it in the allotment or will the butterflies etc. eat all the greens? It will be in a container. Thanks.
They can spread where you don't want them. Make sure you don't let them go to seed. Deadhead them and pick up all debris from your lawn. The birds that come will come for the nectar. I don't think the butterflies will eat the greens.
This makes a very good container plant but you still have to be watchful and deadhead it often and keep it clean around the container.
This is considered an invasive plant in many states and is either banned or people are encouraged not to plant it. Still, it is a beautiful plant and the butterflies love it.
Here is an excerpt from one states web site:
Deadheading required for optimal blooms and to control potential seeding. If you can't/won't deadhead, seek out an alternative plant solution.
Japanese beetles eat some of the blooms. If there are too many, we flick them into a bucket of soapy water. They usually prefer eating fruits and vegetables though.
Butterflies love liquid not greens.
I'm wondering if a vole or mole attacked it from under the ground. If so, will it make it back this year? The picture of it was taken last spring. I put repellent around it and that has saved other plants from the critters.
Hardiness Zone: 6b
By Susan from Florissant, MO
Try cutting the bush down to the ground and see if that does the trick. I cut mine back every spring and then it takes off, by fall it's about 5 feet tall again.
Butterfly Bushes often die back to the ground in colder climates. You don't have that happen every year there in Florissant (I used to live in Ferguson) but you may have been colder than average or had more fluctuations last winter. Many people just treat them like perennials instead of shrubs, and prune to the ground in spring, regardless.
So, don't worry about it. Just cut it back, feed and mulch it and stand back! It will grow fast. The blooms may be slightly later, but may actually be larger.
My plants are all woody and look dead. Are they or are they just not growing at this time in May? I live in the north.
I trim my butterfly bushes down in early Spring to about 8 inches. It takes awhile, but they will start to grow from the ground up when the weather warms. I live in the North as well, and they do look like they are dead in the Spring, but they are not.
My daughter received a little package of butterfly bush seeds at a wedding recently. How do I plant them?
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With all the craziness in the world there is still some beauty to be found. Instead of chasing this guy around the yard with a net, I caught him with my camera. Not only is the Butterfly Bush as flashy as a fireworks display, but it is also sweetly fragrant and attracts the nicest characters.
Butterfly on Butterfly Bush in my backyard.
By Mary Lou from Abingdon, MD