Prune off the dead stems to retain an attractive appearance in late winter to early spring. Bushes have one main trunk, and branching begins several inches above ground level. For a bush, simply cut off all shoots at ground level except one. Wait for the right time of year to prune. It is fairly easy to prune a butterfly bush, as they are very tough plants. However, the butterfly bush can also be pruned in the spring with no ill effects. Learn which plants thrive in your Hardiness Zone with our new interactive map! Container grown plants are at the most risk of damage from winter chill. back when your cool, wet winter hits. There are, however, prunin I usually do this at the same time that I prune my roses, which in my Zone 7 garden is late February or early March. On older plants, prune out crossing branches. Because the butterfly bush is a hardy perennial it will come back the following spring and offer plenty of blooms and beauty. Avoid pruning though in early winter . This will allow the plant to experience dormancy, a period when the plant is not actively growing and is, therefore, not as susceptible to shock and site changes. This butterfly bush is classified as an invasive plant is some parts of the United States. Prune them in winter while they're dormant, or in early spring just before they push out their new growth. Pruning butterfly bushes annually actually enhances the flower display. Butterfly bush does not look its best when chillier temperatures hit, even though it remains evergreen to semi-evergreen where you live, so prune it back by 1-2 feet once it stops blooming well, and its leaves start … Here’s the nice thing about butterfly bushes: you can’t prune them wrong! Start pruning on one side at the top of the butterfly bush. Hi Ken: I leave mine alone until the spring. Start by cutting any dead blooms or flower heads that are on the butterfly bush. Butterfly bush winter protection in warmer climates usually just amounts to some extra mulch around the root zone. If you are concerned about butterfly bush winter kill in your region, take some tips on how to save the plant. November is the best time to give the bush a final pruning in anticipation of its dormant phase. 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. The pruning should take place early in the spring - March is normally ok and probably best time to prune - and the new shoots that have probably st a rted to grow on your Buddleia are very hardy, and not normally prone to frost damage. Prune at any time during the year. To help the lime tree grow as large and healthy as possible, you'll need to prune it regularly. When that shoot reaches a height of 6 inches, pinch so that side branches will form. If no new growth is seen now, then prune back to 6″ to 8″ from soil line. In this how to video, Martin Fish from Garden News explains how to prune the Butterfly Bush or Buddleia. Butterfly bush is an invasive plant, meaning it crowds out beneficial plants that have naturally grown in your community for centuries. Just make sure you wait until the threat of frost has passed. Butterfly bush, known botanically as Cassia bicapsularis, is a flowering woody shrub that blooms in yellow in the fall and winter. I have about 12 mature plants of different flower colors and leaf colors and prune all the branches to about 18" above the ground every 2 years in the winter. Buddleia grown in cold zones should be dug up and placed in potting soil in containers. Move the container to a location that is frost free but cool. Pruning a Butterfly Bush. The best time to prune butterfly bush is Nov – March. Choose a time every 2 weeks to deadhead your butterfly bush. Even in cold regions, the plant is often killed to the ground, but the roots can stay alive and the plant will re-sprout in spring when soil temperatures warm up. You will be rewarded with a fragrant and colorful bush that will attract butterflies, bees, other beneficial insects and even hummingbirds to your yard. Don’t let the calendar dictate when you need to prune. Sign up to get all the latest gardening tips! Don’t leave the dead branches or flower heads around the plant as decay can attract disease and pests. layer of mulch around the root zone as further butterfly bush winter protection. The Buddleia is also known as the Butterfly bush because of its colorful flowers that attract butterflies. In areas with ice storms and severe weather that can break plant material and cause damage to the structure, butterfly bush can be severely pruned and it will not adversely affect the flower display. Butterfly bushes seem to appreciate a brutal pruning whether it is dead heading the spent blooms throughout the blooming period or seasonal pruning before the plant’s dormant phase in winter. Dispose of the dead flower heads and pruned branches. Routine pruning is not essential but, if grown as a bush, you can pinch-prune the soft tips of young plants in spring and shorten long branches by half in midsummer once they have finished flowering. Generally, most butterfly bush pruning should take place during the winter months, in warmer climates, while the plant is dormant. ), because they bloom on the new season's growth.You can take them down to within a foot of the ground if you like. Copyright Leaf Group Ltd. // Leaf Group Lifestyle. Inspect your tree in the spring to determine if it has dead, diseased, crossed, or tangled branches. Replant the butterfly bush in prepared soil in the ground after all danger of frost has passed. In cold climates, treat as perennials, cutting back close to the ground in late winter or early spring. In The Know Conservation [AOL.com] Verizon’s #Next 20: Climate Action. Move potted butterfly bush indoors or … Severe and sustained freezes will kill the roots and plant in United States Department of Agriculture zone 4 and below. Must Watch. A butterfly bush (Buddleia davidii) is an attractive addition to any yard or landscape. Deadheading spent flowers should be done every 2 weeks during the summer growing period. In spring, new growth will rejuvenate from the base of the plant. Do the hard pruning in early Spring to 1-2′ from the ground. Removing errant stems and growth will help prevent more acute damage from winter weather and is a sensible way of preparing butterfly bushes for winter in any region. Keep in mind that butterfly bush pruning may require an additional layer of mulch around the bush for insulation, especially in colder … Pruning Dwarf Buddleia Plants According to the Old Farmer's Almanac, it is important to prune dwarf Buddleia plants regularly to stimulate new growth and … I don't trim any of my flowers until the spring so that the birds will have the seeds to eat. You may well already have taken many of the flowering stems off the plants to use for a variety of different purposes around your home, and so will likely have already done some pruning as you have gone along. Buddleia davidii is a deciduous shrub with dark purple flowers that blooms June through September. November is the best time to give the bush a final pruning in anticipation of its dormant phase. Butterfly bushes are perennial plants that die back to the ground every winter. The answer is…..ANYTIME! Water the plant regularly but slowly diminish the amount of moisture you give the plant a couple weeks before the date of your first frost. Butterfly bush is very cold hardy and can withstand light freezing temperatures. lesdvs9, Butterfly bush (Buddleja) needs to be pruned down to get new flower growth. Pruning butterfly bushes is an integral part of maintaining these beautiful flowering shrubs. The popular and aptly named butterfly bush (Buddleia sp.) In order to keep this woody perennial bush looking beautiful, you must prune it to promote new growth. The butterfly bush will go dormant in winter in most planting zones. If after pruning no new growth is seen later in season, the bush probably did not survive the recent very hard freeze and will have to be replaced. Even in a temperate zone, there are chores to do to help plants withstand winter storms and weather. The reason being, the stems are hollow and any water that accumulates in the stem and subsequently freezes will cause the wood to split. Late summer flowering shrubs: trim the previous season’s growth by one-third in spring. Some gardeners leave the brown branches in place during most of the winter (in hopes that they will provide a bit of protection from the cold) and prune the plant back to the ground in late winter, in early spring, or when the plant starts to leaf out. Prune off the dead stems to retain an attractive appearance in late winter to early spring. Morris studied journalism at John A. Logan College. Pinch them faithfully to avoid legginess. Continue to water sparingly throughout winter. Aim for a pruning schedule of once per year or once every 2 years. Butterfly bush, or buddleia, performs best when cut back hard in the late winter or very early spring before new growth begins. Buddleia alternifolia and Buddleia x pikei 'Hever' ('Hever Castle') should be pruned after they bloom, as they flower on new growth. Buddleia produces blooms from new growth, so pruning needs to be done before new growth appears in spring. Plan the perfect garden with our interactive tool →. Now writing a column for "The Weekly Review," she has also contributed to "Woman's World," "Countryside Magazine," Asylum.com and the Woman's Day website. Prune the butterfly bush in preparation for winter. 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Plants that bloom in summer, like potentilla, butterfly bush, and crape myrtle, produce their flowers on new growth from the current season. They'll respond this spring with plenty of new vigorous growth, lots of flowers, and will recapture their former size by late summer. Better still if you prune before growth starts proper. It is common to move tender plants inside to protect them from cold weather. Find more gardening information on Gardening Know How: Keep up to date with all that's happening in and around the garden. Go ahead – the plant needs it! Pinch off branch tips in early spring with a pruning clipper once the Jatropha reaches a height of 2 feet to promote new, lush branch growth. Gradually reintroduce the plant to the outdoors when soil temperatures warm up. This species … See All. This will help you keep the desired shape of the bush. For the summer-flowering shrubs, those that bloom after June 1, they should be pruned during the winter months or in the early spring before new growth begins. Sign up for our newsletter. There is not one agreed-upon time for pruning butterfly bush. Move potted butterfly bush indoors or to a sheltered area to protect the roots from the cold. Pinch back or prune the young tender branch tips in September to encourage additional branching and ensure fullness and abundant bloom. Flower spikes form on new wood, so watch for new growth if pruning in spring. The flowers only grow on new growth. Tammy Lee Morris is a writer living in southern Illinois. Cut dead flower heads off at an angle. PRUNING BUTTERFLY BUSH When to prune butterfly bush: In mild climates, prune larger varieties in late fall or early spring to clean up and maintain shape. Pruning our plants rejuvenates them, encouraging new growth and larger flowers. According to The Southern Living Garden Book, when you prune butterfly bush, you should “remove some of the plant’s oldest … Prune lime trees every year or 2 years depending on branch health. Prune to any height you want, and at just about any time of year because buddleia are very tough and forgiving. Starting at the top of the bush on one side and working down, then starting on the other side can also help you make sure you haven’t missed any branches that need pruning. is very easy to prune. With the tips from this tutorial you will learn how to prune the Buddleia. It is difficult to make any real mistakes with a butterfly bush--they are very forgiving and resilient. There are several steps to preparing butterfly bushes for winter and saving these colorful plants. Don't be afraid to prune your butterfly bush. They then send out new growth from the roots in the spring. Regarding your butterfly bush (Buddlia), you are safe to prune it at either time as long as it is late winter moving into early spring. Alternately, dig a deep hole and put the plant, pot and all, into the soil. 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. Prune the butterfly bush in preparation for winter. The shrub is low-maintenance, only requiring dead-heading and annual pruning in later winter to encourage flowers and a compact shape. Buddleia lose their leaves in fall in most areas. Place a 3- to 4-inch (7.6 to 10 cm.) 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. It will act as a blanket and keep roots from freezing. The butterfly bush is a resilient and hardy plant that will come back year after year and provide you with plenty of fragrant blooms. Look for dead blooms. The butterfly bush will go dormant in winter in most planting zones. A butterfly bush (Buddleia davidii) is an attractive addition to any yard or landscape. Starting at the top of the bush on one side and working down, then starting on the other side can also help you make sure you haven’t missed any branches that need pruning. Pruning this plant is important because it encourages more flowers in the next blooming season. In spring, new growth will rejuvenate from the base of the plant. You should prune your butterfly bush when it needs to be pruned. All Rights Reserved. Also called “summer lilacs,” butterfly bushes are hardy to Zone 5 and remain evergreen from Zone 8 south. Butterfly bushes will survive just about any level of pruning they are given at any time of the year. The butterfly bush is a resilient and hardy plant that will come back year after year and provide you with plenty of fragrant blooms. This is a common occurrence and may make it appear the plant is dead but new leaves will arrive in spring. By: Bonnie L. Grant, Certified Urban Agriculturist. Start pruning on one side at the top of the butterfly bush. Most of the white flowered varieties are easy—they bloom on new wood, so you can cut them back by as much as a quarter in the winter or early in the Spring and you'll get nice flowers that year while still keeping the plant nice and compact. This helps them get through the winter without being really hungry. Do this in late summer to early fall so the plant has a chance to adjust to its new situation. We’ve been asked, “do I prune my butterfly bush for winter and what other preparation should I take?” The extent of overwintering preparation depends upon the severity of the weather the plant will experience. Add the pruned branches and flower heads to your compost pile or brush pile. If your butterfly bush is getting scraggly or out of control, prune it- no matter what time of year it is. Container grown plants are at the most risk of damage from winter chill. Question from Angie of Fort Bragg, California Answer : In your coastal Mendocino County location, I would cut your butterfly bush ( Buddleia spp.) Like many other flowering shrubs, the butterfly bush must be pruned at the right time of the year to control it's shape and to encourage the most blooms. There are a few tips and techniques for properly pruning a butterfly bush but it is easy to do and worth the effort. In late January I would give it a severe pruning before the spring growth started appearing. Here in coastal California the Butterfly Bush stays evergreen and can be pruned at almost any time of year. Prune the butterfly bush in preparation for winter. 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. She has been writing professionally for print publications since 1992 and contributing to online publications since 2006. In zones 4 to 6, the tops of the plant may die back and no new growth will come from this area, but not to worry. Growing Wisdom - Dave shows you how to prune a butterfly bush. A: Late winter and early spring, like right now, is a great time to prune the vast majority of butterfly bushes (Buddleia sp. Unearth it when soil temperatures warm up in spring. This should be done in late spring or early summer--usually around June--to encourage good growth on the butterfly bush. Butterfly bush blooms on new wood (current season’s growth) so they can be pruned back hard. STANDARDS There are two types of butterfly bushes: Buddleia davidii and Buddleia alternifolia. If you want to prune lavender, this is a job to get on with in August, or early September, once the flowers are finished for the season. 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Most planting zones then send out new growth this butterfly bush reaches a height 6! Fall and winter learn which plants thrive in your region, take tips. A severe pruning before the spring so that side branches will form outdoors when temperatures! And larger flowers late summer to early spring before new growth dark purple flowers that blooms through. This in late summer flowering shrubs has been writing professionally for print publications since 2006 when shoot.