Butterfly Bush

How to Plant, Grow, and Care for Butterfly Bushes



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The Butterfly Bush (Buddleia davidii) is a beautiful, fast-growing, deciduous shrub with masses of blossoms—long, seductively spiked trusses—that bloom from summer to autumn.

The flowers come in many colors, though butterflies prefer the lavenderpink (mauve) of the species to the white and dark purple cultivars.

Butterfly bushes are hardy to zone 5 and remains evergreen from zone 8 south. The shrub is also low-maintenance, only requiring dead-heading and annual pruning in later winter to encourage flowers and a compact shape.

Invasive Concerns

Please note that the popular Butterfly Bush, imported from China, is now being classified as an invasive species in most regions, which means it’s crowding out native food that is essential to wildlife, including butterflies and birds. In more gentle climates, it can become a noxious weed. In other climates, it seems to stay contained within a garden’s cultivated soil if gardeners deadhead the flowers once spent.

Also, despite the “butterfly” name, keep in mind that this shrub is not a “host plant” for butterflies in that it does not support butterfly reproduction and lifecycle. Rather, it provides nectar to adult butterflies; think of nectar as their favorite adult beverage! If you do have a Butterfly Bush, be sure to add native host plants such as milkweed if you want the butterflies to stay. See plants that attract butterflies.  

There are non-invasive American Butterfly Bushes. Please check with your local cooperative extension for more information.


  • Buddleias need full sun and fertile, well-drained soil.
  • Plant in spring or fall. See your local frost dates.
  • Loosen the soil, mix in compost, and dig a hole twice the diameter of the plant container.
  • When placing the plant in the hole, the top of the rootball should be level with the soil surface
  • Space plants 5 to 10 feet apart, depending on the variety.
  • Water thoroughly.


  • Water freely when in growth and sparingly otherwise. In the summer, water if rainfall is less than 1 inch per week.
  • Avoid fertilizing butterfly bush; too much fertility promotes leaf growth over flower production.
  • Remove spent flower spikes to encourage new shoots and flower buds. 
  • In addition, it is important to deadhead the flowers just as they start to wither so that this invasive plant doesn’t spread volunteer seeds. Deadheading of this invasive is now required in many states.
  • Each spring, apply a thin layer of compost and mulch to retain moisture and control weeds.
  • In cold, Northern climates, spread mulch up to 6 inches deep around the trunk to nurture it through the winter.
  • Buddleias are very late to break dormancy, so don’t be in a hurry to assess winter damage.
  • The bush should bloom abundantly even in its first year. In warmer climates, the bushes will grow into trees and develop rugged trunks that peel; peeling is normal.
  • In the northern limit of their range, they behave as herbaceous perennials, dying back to the root in cold winters.
  • Since they bloom on new wood, even if there is no die-back, cut them back to the ground every spring. Yes, hack to the ground!
  • Even where winters are mild enough for the stems to survive, prune severely to stimulate abundant growth on which flowers are borne.


  • Susceptible to capsid bug, caterpillars, weevils, mullein moth, and spider mites.
  • Fungal leaf spots and die-backs can occur.
  • Butterfly bushes are one of many deer-resistant plants.

Recommended Varieties

Reader Comments

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Sterile varieties available

For a few years, Butterfly Bushes were outlawed in our state (Washington). With the new sterile variety, there is no threat of invasion. Mine are a hybrid, strong, healthy, with vigorous growth both flowers and greenery. There are fewer colors available as they continue to breed this lovely plant. I wish Farmer's Almanac would update their original article to reflect the hybrids and rescind their ban.

My buddleah

My neighbours are bullys ..accosted me TELLING me they had spent a lt of money on theyre concrete slab front garden and i was to cut my plant as it would shed all on their slabs ...today they went one farther and said it wasnt to stay there as it would destroy their wall built last yr ....this plant is 1 yr old .flowering lovely and ive ni intention of letting it grow inti a tree..it will be pruned every yr down to ground....can these neighbours bully me like this ...i have googled and in hot countries they do go into trees .but not this country im not happy

butterfly bush

The butterfly bush or Buddleia is technically a long-blooming shrub and often considered a sub-shrub because it dies back to the ground. It can be trained to look like a small tree, but it isn’t a tree. The shrub can grow to 6 to 8 feet high and 5 to 8 feet wide.

It will indeed shed its leaves in the fall, making the appear dead but it’s not; new leaves will arrive in spring. You do need to prune in early spring; this promotes vigorous new growth and flowering. 

We will add that the butterfly bush in considered an invasive now. It’s from China and it can indeed spread outside your yard into your neighbor’s yard so you really need to keep an eye on it. Google more about “butterfly bushes invasive” and learn more.

As far as your neighbor’s go:  This is not our area of expertise! Normally, the biggest issue is the danger of a falling limb and related safety issues (which don’t seem relevant here). We would go as far as to say that a neighbor could probably request removal of overhanging branches and roots to your boundary line (and it’s in their right to do so). However, if the branches and roots are on your property and errant leaves fall their way, that’s nature, folks!

New abode, old overgrown shrubs

A few weeks ago, in my new-to-me, N Alabama yard, I realized my giant overgrown crepe myrtles were hiding a Butterfly "bush". Never in all my life have I seen this grow into an actual tree! At approx 20 ft tall, possibly taller, and branches 6+inches in diameter, how will I ever manage this plant? It isn't invasive, at least in my yard, it resembles a forest tree, with leafing and blooms only at the very ends of the branches. It really is a lovely tree, and I've not seen animals and insects flocking to the sparse blooms so I would feel ok about letting it continue to grow as is, unless it's disruptive ecosystem potential is too great. Any advice as to handle its future?
Thanks, in advance, for some much needed advice!

Big Butterfly Bush

Wow! That sounds like a big one! If it doesn’t seem to be spreading, then there’s no real reason to get rid of it. We would just leave it be, but would also suggest keeping a close eye on it to make sure that it doesn’t spread and crowd out other plants.

Butterfly Bush growing taller only

We purchased 3 butterfly bushes last spring and planted them all in the same bed on the SE corner of the house (the sunniest spot that we have). The one closest to the front door has grown very tall (over 4 ft!), but is not bushing out at all. I have 6 or 7 tall stalks and a few lower leaves, but that's it. The plant next to it is half to a quarter as tall with just a few taller shoots while the 3rd plant is barely 6" tall, still green and leafy though. I'm just wondering what would cause such a difference in them since they are all panted in the same soil and get the same amount of light. Also, would it be beneficial if I were to loosely tie the taller shoots together, as in a circle of twine not actually tied to the plant, just keeping it more upright, to "train" them to stand up? Right now they just flop down nearly to the ground because of their height/weight. Thank you so much!

butterfly fails to thrive

The roots of these plants are susceptible to soil diseases. Are you watering? Perhaps too much: butterfly bush does not like wet soil. You can tie up the branches to get them out of the way, but there is no training this plant. In the fall, you are advised to cut it back almost to ground level. So whatever comes back next year will have its own way.

Butterfly bush - pink/mauve

Hi, I live in Bakersfield, CA. I planted my Butterfly bush last year it grew a little and had some flowers, this year it surprised me and grew to about 7-8' and had beautiful flowers. I have been cutting off the dead flowers even if they are 3/4 spent. Now I notice that the leaves and stems have a pale powdery look. What have I done wrong. Please help I hate to loose this plant, it also provides some shade for my water fountain. Thank you. Maxine

Hi Maxime. Butterfly bushes

Hi Maxime. Butterfly bushes are relatively troublefree.  If you have a lot of leaf wetness, they can get Downy mildew which is caused a fungus.  Avoid any water splashing on leaves. Plants need to be watered at the soil level. If you keep water from splashing on the leaves, it should end up fine. Pesticide use on these shrubs is discouraged, particularly when in bloom, because of the wide variety of beneficial insects the plant attracts to keep it healthy.


I was shocked to find out this was an invasive plant. I purchased 10 of these to place around my property from a plant sale run by my county department of environmental conservation and sponsored by the Cornell cooperative! In any case, how long should it take for the plants to establish themselves? They were very small, basically just sticks with roots, when I put them in the ground. That was about 3 weeks ago. When should I expect to see them doing something? Thanks.

Growing Butterfly Bushes

Butterfly bush transplants may take up to six weeks to properly root and establish themselves, so all you can really do right now is make sure that they’re getting enough water and sunlight. Once they settle in, they should take off!

Butterfly bush

With warmer March it try to leaf out they it got colder those leaves die.Not seeing any sign of new leaves coming on this is April 25 do you think it will still get new leaves again?

Butterfly bush coming back?

These bushes are pretty hardy perennials (some would say invasive), so it seems unlikely that it will not come back. It may be that it was fooled by the early warmth, and succumbed to the chill, so needs more time to make a come back. Give it some more time.

Ok to transplant in Spring?

I have a bush growing in a now rather inconvenient spot in my yard. It is above ground, planted inside a ring of brick. What I would like to know is, would it be safe to transplant the bush into a large planter at this time of year since there has, of yet, been no new growth?

I think my bush might be dead

I planted a butterfly bush last year. I'm in Pennsylvania and it looks dead. I have not done anything to it but I just read that I should cut it back. Is it too late to cut it back? Should it have leaves by now? Thanks!

Cutting Back Butterfly Bush

Pruning a butterfly bush should done before new growth begins in the spring since they flower on new growth. Though it seems extreme, prune butterfly bushes to within one foot of the ground annually enhances the flower display. Good luck and happy gardening!

Bush Looks Dead

Just like Shannon from Pennsylvania, my butterfly bush is not showing any signs of life, at all. I live in Northeastern Indiana. I purchased it last year & paid a heft price for it. It is multi-colors and was beautiful!! I am a nervous nelly when it comes to trimming/cutting...I just wanted to clarify when you told Shannon to trim, does that mean trim all the way down? Thank you for your time. Sincerely.

Pruning a butterfly bush

Hi Donna, You haven’t seen any leaf buds at all? You do NOT want to prune after they have started to leaf out since they only flower on the new growth. If you prune after they bud, you’re cutting off the new flowers.

Pruning isn’t essential unless your bush is getting too large or out of control. We only prune to encourage new growth and lots of blooms.If your butterfly bush isn’t leafing out by early May, it may have died. Do the “scratch test.” Scratch the bark near the base of the plant. Do you see green or brown? If you see green, it’s alive. If it’s not green, start higher up. Work your way down the bush until you find signs of life and prune to that point. 

And, yes, butterfly bushes can be pruned severely; they love it. 


Butterfly bush

I also live in Pennsylvania and just planted 3 last year. I did not cut back because of them being so new . They looked dead for while but are now sprouting leaves all over. I live in central Pennsylvania. If you live in northern Pennsylvania it may take a while longer .

Butterfly bush

Our yard is under construction
Can I put my butterfly bush in a container until I can put it
Back in the ground again

help! I have NO flowers!

I planted a new bush in the ground. I am new to central Florida. It was 2 ft tall and is growing wonderfully but has NO flowers! What have I done wrong? It is on the NW corner of my house. Can't find any information on line to tell me. I may just cut it all back and hope it grows flowers when it grows back. Thanks. Bev

Butterfly Bush not flowering

Hi Bev, Butterfly bushes aren’t usually demanding, however, they do require full sun and rich well-drained soil. Is your plant in a sunny spot? Is your soil draining so the plant doesn’t have “wet feet.” Is the soil rich with compost? Apply a thin layer of compost each spring, followed by a 2- to 4-inch layer of mulch to retain moisture and control weeds

Do not prune the Butterfly Bush at the wrong time. This should be done in early spring before new growth begins. The flowers bloom on new wood.  That said, you may prune rigorously in early spring. Pruning butterfly bushes to within one foot of the ground annually enhances the flower display.

If you’re still stumped, we’d suggest speaking to the place which sold you the bush since it’s only four months old.  Butterfly bushes are amazingly resilient so all the best.

No blooms for years......

I have a very well established butterfly bush that has been in the ground for about 12 years. It bloomed nicely the first few years, but I have not seen anything in at least 5-8 years. It gets full sun. It is next to our pool. We also have black walnut trees about 20-25 feet away. Could any of these things be the cause? Anything I can do to get this plant to bloom?

Butterfly Plant Roots Out Bottom of Pot into Ground

Is there any way I can re-pot my very old butterfly plant if the roots have grown out the bottom of the pot into the ground? I want to put it in a much larger pot than it is in, but I just discovered it is now grounded. Is there any way I can re-pot it without damage?

repot a pot-bound plant

Certainly you can repot it: You can cut the roots at ground level, or unearth as many roots as you reasonably can and put it into the new, larger pot. Either way, as with any transplanted or trans-potted plant, this one will need time to become settled in its new container. These are pretty hardy plants (some say, invasive) so it should survive without harm. Just give it time.


We live in michigan. We planted our bushes last year and have not done a thing to them. They look dry should we cut them and should they have any green or buds on them at this time?

Too late to cut back butterfly bushes?

I usually cut these back in Feb or early March. I haven't cut them back yet this year and the bushes are now full of leaves top to bottom. Is it ok to cut them back at this point, or better to just wait until next year to cut back? Thanks.

when to cut back...

Butterfly bushes only bloom on new growth. Cutting back is done in spring (hoorah!) so since we are only 10 days on, this is a fine time to do it. You can cut it to 12 to 24 inches high.

Dark Knight buddleia

It's about 14 yrs old and the blooms aren't as colorful (deep purple) or large as they once were. Any ideas?

Has it fallen into the shade

Has it fallen into the shade of something else? Perhaps you need to boost the soil contents? For the vividly colored butterfly bushes, plant in sun and in rich soil with a pH of 6.0 to 7.5. When planted in shade, butterfly flowers tend to be pale pastels or even white. We hope this helps you.

We live in North Texas. The

We live in North Texas. The sun can be very strong. Being new to Butterfly bushes, does full sun even include Texas sun and heat? We are trying to find the best place to plant our bush, so it will florish.

You are in luck. Buddleia

You are in luck. Buddleia loves full sun. It grows well in average soil with medium moisture and good drainage. However, bear in mind that it is considered an invasive species so consider finding an alternative such as Summersweet (Clethera alnifolia) or, at the very least, only plant the one you already have and no more than that.


North Texas sun

We have these in our front flower beds, this faces west! In full sun they thrive,they are over 6ft tall and lots of flowers! Very pretty!!

Butterfly bushes

I live in Tennessee and just cut back my butterfly bushes. I didn't realize this was a spring time job. What should I do to protect them?

Buddleia in Tennessee

Buddleia is a pretty resilient shrub so it should be OK. Add a thick layer of mulch around it; if it starts to push new growth and frost is imminent, try tying a burlap sack loosely around it.


Information for all plants in

Information for all plants in the autumn ..

Growing Buddleia from Seed

Sow seeds into a vermiculite-filled tray in February. Set the covered tray outside to harden off the seeds. Then bring it in a place in a warm windowsill or heated propagator for germination.

Butterfly bush

When do you plant seeds for this ? In the fall or spring, and if spring is it better to start them indoors first ?

buddleia (butterfly bush) is invasive

Buddleia (butterfly bush) is beautiful and does attract butterflies. But, it it non-native (originated in Asia), spreads rapidly and butterflies select native plants to lay eggs on over butterfly bush. In cities it's rather safe to plant. In areas with open natural land it can spread. Do not plant anywhere near a nature preserve. In some states it is listed as invasive.

There are many other plants that work. I love the eye candy of the ButterfIy's in my garden but the eggs are most important.

Buddleia dying....

I have a Buddleia tree which I did not intentionally plant. It was from a garden a I had myself landscaped with multiple colors of Buddleia years ago. I had a new landscape design installed and 3 Buddleia grew into large plants which were formerly dormant. Now, 1 of them is wilting. I drip irrigate it.....to no avail. I'm not sure if I am over or under watering it. Do I cut back all of the wilted branches and stop watering it? Not sure how to approach this. I would appreciate your advice - thanks so much in advance.

wilting buddleia

I have the same problem. I suspect mole damage in my case as they are evident in the area.


I bought a buddleia plant which I planted in April. Up to now it has not grown at all, should I replant it in a pot to see if this helps. It has been planted in a sunny, well drained area of the garden. It is not dead as the leaves are there but no sign of new shoots.

Newly Planted Buddleia

Hi Daisy,

It sounds like it is in an ideal spot in the garden so don’t disturb it. My guess is that it is just taking time to get established. Often, plants undergo “transplant shock,” which can take more than a few months to recover from. It is not unusual for a shrub to appear stagnant for its first season. You may not see new growth aboveground because it is putting energy into root development.

Butterflie plant

Where can I purchase a Butterflie plant ???

Partial opening if flower

My butterfly bush has many flowers but they do not open fully. The top opens but not the part nearest the stem. Most of the bloom never opens.
Any ideas?
Thank you

Buddleia Blooms

Hi Barbara,

You might be looking at the spent portion of the flower. Often the bloom will go to seed from the bottom up, which makes it look like just the top portion is blooming.

Butterfly bush

My butterfly bush is in a pot and is doing great. The spread is about 3 feet. Will it survive an Ohio winter or should I find a spot in my garden and replant it!

Protecting Buddleia

Hi Tom,

You might be able to protect it better from the cold by keeping it in the container and providing shelter/cover/wrap. Also, buddleia is an invasive species so we recommend people plant only non-invasive cultivars in the garden.

Growing issues

Hello - I have had my butterfly bush for years now, and it used to bloom beautifully. Now, it's slow to bloom and the leaves look very "skeletal". I am not sure what is eating the leaves, but how can I save my plant from getting eaten up?

Also, my bush never grew into a nice, wide "bush" - rather, it's flimsy and needs to be tied up every year, or it falls over on the ground. What can be done about this?
(We cut it back every Spring - it just grows back the same way.)

Thank you!


Hi Susan,

The bushy growth habit you like is the result of proper pruning (not cutting down to the ground). With respect to your leaves, there are a few different insect pests that cause that kind of damage. All told, your buddleia doesn’t sound like it is particularly healthy. But don’t despair, this is a great opportunity! The standard Butterfly bush is an invasive species; horticulturists now advise against planting it, so consider replacing yours with a non-invasive, sterile cultivar like ‘Asian Moon’, ‘Blue Chip’, or ‘Ice Chip’.

Hummingbird Moth visit

I have mostly natives and some edibles and adapteds in my yard in Leander Texas. I just had a Hummingbird Moth visit me while I was sitting on a sandstone boulder in front of my Butterfly Bush or Buddleia davidii. I had a beautiful little ladybug too!!!

Moth Hummingbird

I have a place in Collingwood Ontario. An hour and half north of Toronto. I had a moth hummingbird visit my butterfly bush for the first time in 3 years. When I first saw it years ago I did not know what it was. I was so happy to see it again this year.

Transplanting Butterfly Bush

I did not cut it back but it has new growth coming from the root. Can I transplant it now it is June 19th 2016. If I can should I cut the old branches that have no growth o. Them?

Transplanting Butterfly Bush

Buddleia has a very shallow root system, which makes successful transplanting a challenge. Be prepared by watering it well before and after digging. Also dig wide around the root zone to get as many feeder roots as possible. Before transplanting, only prune what you know is dead. (It blooms on one-year-old wood.)

Butterfly Bush

I am in lower Michigan near Detroit - I planted a new butterfly bush in May - I see what appears to be the beginnings of flowers, but I haven't seen any of the small green buds materialize into full flowers.....When should I expect to see blooms?

Forgot to prune butterfly bush

I am in Ohio it is the beginning of June and the bushes are about 5 feet tall and wild looking but without blooms.
Can I prune them now with any luck of their flowering this summer?

Prune Butterfly Bush

You should have time to prune them as long as you do it very soon, although they may not bloom. Hopefully they will bloom next year as long as you get your pruning done a bit earlier.

Dwarf Butterfly Bush

Want to plant a dwarf butterfly bush in a half whiskey barrel due to a moist garden area and no place to put inside in Ohio winter. Is this a good idea?

Budleia, Zone 7b OK

We live Lawton OK and planted a small budleia bush (approx 12" high). It was promptly eaten by rabbits and we now have a 3' stem sticking out of the ground.(We also planted two lilac trees with the same result). Over the past 2 weeks no new shoots have appeared. Will this plant survive? Our soil is mainly clay but we did plant the bush in a good mixture of potting soil, sand and gypsum. Yesterday (5/31/16) we bought another larger plant with several branches that have several dead flowers on them. It's still in the pot. I also purchased some green metal frames that can form a square around the plant plus chicken wire to keep out the rabbits until the bush is established. We have just moved from CO to OK and this is our first shot at planting a budleia. Can you advise our next steps?

I live on southeastern

I live on southeastern Michigan and my butterfly bush was cut down late fall when my flower garden was cleaned for winter. It is now May 29 and I have no growth at all on my butterfly bush. Did I kill it? It was amazing and beautiful last year?

Butterfly bush starts growing

Butterfly bush starts growing late in spring. Don’t give up on the plant yet. It’s best to prune the bush back to about four inches in late winter or early spring.

Butterfly bush

I cut both my butterfly bushes back in the winter. It's May 20 in the Chicago areaand neither looks like they are developing new growth. Did I kill them?

Plant in pot

I live in New Orleans. I prefer to plant in pots since it's so hard to weed. Will my plant be ok in a pot??

in a pot...

Every plant is an experiment of sorts but this may be more of one than most: We’ve seen/heard tales of mixed success. To answer your question, your butterfly bush might be ok. If it has a large enough pot. And for one season. About the season: It is needs a winter chill—a period of 20-degree temps—in order to thrive each year.

We hope this helps.

White cotton-like puffs on my butterfly bush

What are these cotton-like puffs filled with seeds? Are these part of the regular cycle of a budalea (sp?), or are they signs of a problem?

Butterfly bush

I was wondering if all butterfly bushes bloom on new growth?The reason I ask is because we have had one for many years, we had problem of keeping it upright.We would it back every fall and in the spring it would grow from the root but only on the outer ring of the roots resulting I in the Bush flopping down like the peel of a banana so we had to support it all the way around the outside. We were advised my a local nursery not to cut it back in the fall but wait till spring when we saw new growth which seems to be on the older branches as well as new growth from the roots.So is it possible that some varieties bloom on last season's growth as well. Since we stopped trimming in the fall we have more blooms although we still have to support it.

Butterfly Bush

I live in Mi. and I would like to relocate it, when can I move it? and do I have to trim it down first?

Best time to move the bush is

Best time to move the bush is in spring, before it starts growing, or in the fall after the leaves turn brown.

You can prune the bush back some for easier transportation.

Butterfly bush

I live in southern connecticut. My butterfly bush has bloomed for two years. This year it started to bud and we got an ice storm The bush looks like it is dead. Will it come back to life. It is now the end of April. Did I lose the bush?


I live in zone 5. Since I'll be cutting down my bushes every year, and I assume they'll never grow full size, how closely can I space them? Do they still need to be 5-10 feet apart?

spacing b-fly bushes

Our 5 to 10 foot distance is the same as that recommended by the National Gardening Association and depends on species. Read the plant tag closely for specifics on your type or consult the source from which you bought it.  If you plant them too close, your will have poor air circulation and other challenges which will stree the plant. These are meant to spread out. Again check the plant tag. And, just a thought, if you are planning this as a hedge row…perhaps there is another option.

Butterfly Bush

Sine we live in zone 4 and the Butterfly Bush is for zones 5 & up, would it help to cover the base of the bush with layers of leaves in late fall and hopefully the bush would not die?

Butterfly bush

I planted a butterfly bush last year but did not cut it back. I live in PA and with the winters I was wondering how strong they are? It now looks like it is dead but the branches are still viable. Can I cut it back now and will it still resurface?

My butterfly bush looks dead.

My butterfly bush looks dead. The branches are still viable. Should I cut it back now?

Since they bloom on new wood,

Since they bloom on new wood, even if there is no die-back, cut them back to the ground every spring. Even where winters are mild enough for the stems to survive, prune severely to stimulate abundant growth on which flowers are borne.

Butterfly bush

I have a butterfly bush that sent up new shoots, forming a whole other bush. Can I dig the new one up to transplant or does it share a complete root system?

Butterfly bush

My butterfly bush has crinkle leaves with no bugs and no poison having ever been put in that area. Help also there are two of them very far apart and they both have same thing

Check for spider mites. Look

Check for spider mites. Look for small orange specks under the leaves. Spray the bushes with a stream of water to knock the mites off and then apply insecticidal soap or horticultural oil to the leaves.

Buttery bush

Can this bush thrive well in New England climate

This plant is marginally

This plant is marginally hardy in many parts of New England, so plant in a protected spot and cover the roots with bark mulch n late fall. Cut it back to the ground each spring. 


Planting in March in WI

I just looked out my window and saw the neighbors across the street planting a few bushes. Its spring i know but we are getting snow this week and a night temp of 19 degrees F. Is there something that can be planted this early in this part of the country?

Hi Marlene,

Hi Marlene,

It’s always risky to plant something too early. Hopefully your neighbors will cover the bushes before you get the cold snowy weather. It’s always better to wait for a stretch of nice weather and check your last possible frost dates before planting.

We have 2 large butterfly

We have 2 large butterfly bushes that grow
well but are somewhat "thin" in foliage. What's the best way to prune this spring to get more lush growth? Sounds like you recommend trimming back to about 8 inches in the spring...i live in southern/coastal connecticut.

Pruning the bushes back in

Pruning the bushes back in the spring will encourage new growth and more blooms. Cut the bushes back to 4 to 6 inches.

butterfly bush

I have a dwarf butterfly bush that bloomed for the first 2 years but has had no blooms in 3 years. It comes back slowly but by the time it is fully leafed out the colder weather has arrived. I live in 5a zone. Anything I can do to make it bloom?

Mulch the bush after the

Mulch the bush after the ground freezes to protect the roots. Don’t prune until late spring when you begin to see new growth. Then you can cut the branches back to about 8 inches, or you can just cut back what is dead. The plant needs full sun and rich well-drained soil.

butterfly seeds

I have butterfly bushes that are seeding what should I do now with them please help me :-)

Hi, Sherri: Wait for the seed

Hi, Sherri: Wait for the seed pods to dry, and then remove them. Inside are the seeds, which are very, very tiny. Find some fertile soil that has good growing conditions for them (see above), and then plant the seeds. Simple! Good luck!

Hello I live in Colorado and

Hello I live in Colorado and have planted my Buddleia Purple splendor in a pot, can I leave it outside year round, thanks Len

Colorado is a big state and

Colorado is a big state and the plant hardiness zones range from 4a to 6a. Butterfly bush is hardy to 20 degrees F in the winter months, so as long as your area does not go below that temperature, your potted plant should be fine. Alternatively, you can leave the plant in the container and keep them outside until they have been hit by a hard frost. Then move them into a unheated garage or shed and give them a little water during the winter months so that they don't dry out.

I live in zone 6. I ordered

I live in zone 6. I ordered and received 2 Butterfly bushes in July. They were just tiny seedlings so I planted them in a big pot. They have grown about 2 inches and even produced a flower but I'm concerned about what to do now., If I transplant to the yard will they survive? What can I do to help them?

You can leave the plants in

You can leave the plants in the container and keep them outside until they have been hit by a hard frost. Then move them into a unheated garage or shed and give them a little water during the winter months so that they don't dry out.

bi color butterfly bush indoors

I came across a bi color butterfly bush from Utah his week (early February) it looks like it hasn't gone dormant .. Im zone 5 and Temps are fluctuating from the negatives to 50° (gotta love New England)... so can I skip wintering and keep it alive this way for the next few months? Also, is there a chance it could keep growing if I transplant it to a bigger pot?

Any advice would be appreciated thanks :)

We have butterfly bush that's

We have butterfly bush that's been in the ground for four years. It's has been beaten down by rain and weather to the point that it is not standing up anymore. How do we make it stand up again?

I Live in Las vegas, Nevada.

I Live in Las vegas, Nevada. My Momwanted to get her still young butterfly tree out of the corner it was in, and she knew I was a fan. So she dug it up, put it in a pot and I am unsure about whether or not it will survive. My instinct tells me to leave it in the pot as it is September and I fear the shock of yet another replant so quick may destroy it. What would you suggest? Also, A few leaves had turned black and then wilted, I assume this is transplant shock? and not to worry? Thank You for your time. I GREATLY appreciate feedback.

As long as the container you

As long as the container you have it in is large enough to accomodate the roots, keep it watered and in a spot where it is shaded during the hottest part of the day. When the weather cools off a bit, transplant it to its permanent location.

I live in nothern Mayland. I

I live in nothern Mayland. I planted a butterfly bush in late July of this year. It's been really hot this summer so I've been watering it every day if not every other day. Just enough to keep it moist. But this past week it's been turning brown. It looks almost dead. From reading other comments I see that I shouldn't cut it back till spring and that they come back pretty well from trauma. Is there anything else I can do to bring it back? Or should I just wait it out and hope for the best?

It sounds like you may have

It sounds like you may have overdone the watering causing the roots to drown or rot. Well-drained soil is the key to a successful buddleia.

So it's too late for it?

So it's too late for it? There's nothing more I can do?

Check the soil around the

Check the soil around the plant to make sure it is not too soggy and water when dry. Cut off any dead branches and hope for the best. Where there is life there is hope! I wouldn't give up on it until next spring.

I planted Buddelia davidii

I planted Buddelia davidii 'Buzz' in a large container this summer, it's done well. We're slightly north of the 49th parallel, whatever zone that is...and I have no place to plant it come winter.

You can leave it outside and

You can leave it outside and prune it back after frost. When it gets below mid-20s, overwinter your plant in an unheated garage. Keep the soil on the dry side but not too dry. Repot in the spring.

Live in chgo area,have two

Live in chgo area,have two butterfly bushes over 10ft apart,same sun and earth.One stands tall and upright the other kind of wilts and/or droops yet flowers what does it lack or need?

That's a hard one. Have you

That's a hard one. Have you used any fertilizer nearby? Irrigation can move the chemicals into the root zone of one plant more than another. Also, check for insects. Perhaps one has been attacked, but not the other. Otherwise, I suppose plants are like people. Some are heartier than others.

A neighbor dug up a 5 foot

A neighbor dug up a 5 foot butterfly bush and it looks like they hacked through some of the roots to get it out of the ground. They asked if anyone wanted it so I took it and planted it in my backyard. The leaves had shriveled a bit. Do you think the bush may rejuvenate and come back? I live in Maryland. Thanks in advance.

The best times to transplant

The best times to transplant buddleia (or any shrub) are in the early spring or in the fall. In this case, keep the plant well watered until it's roots recover from the trauma. If the plant is large, cut back some of the excess foliage.

I recently purchased a

I recently purchased a butterfly bush and it was doing fine, I live in Wv I'm not sure what zone that is I don't know that much about them other than I like them. We have had a lot of rain, and my plant looked totally dead. The neighbor who knows about plants told me I should dig it up because it was gone. I decided to cut it back instead even though it's July, I hope it's not going to make a difference. It was totally green when I cut the dead looking branches back, I just hope I haven't cut it back too early. It was dead looking anyway, I guess my question is do you think it will make it until next spring? I did cut it down pretty short thinking it was dead anyway, my timing was way off. Please help.

It's always good to cut off

It's always good to cut off dead or diseased branches. These shrubs handle stress well and will grow back if the roots are still healthy. Give the bush a bit of time and you may see some new growth.

I have a butterfly bush in

I have a butterfly bush in the corner of my yard. It gets a fair amount of sun, and had lovely blooms earlier in the summer. We had a very early spring, so it probably bloomed earlier than normal. Unfortunately, I have found that grasshoppers are loving on the leaves of this bush - and another that I have. The leaves are chewed to lace. The bush still has new growth though. Lately, the leaves towards the bottom of the bush are yellowing. I live in UT and we have had some very hot weather. I water every day. Am I overwatering it?? I am so afraid to not water - I have killed quite a few plants thinking they were getting too much water when in fact, they were not. The soil is good where this bush is - not clay - good drainage. I do water in the evening - should I water in the morning instead? Any advice would be appreciated!!

I just planted , for the 3rd

I just planted , for the 3rd time a butterfly bush. I live in The Dallas/Ft. Worth area. It had flowers in bloom on it when I purchased it. Each spike had buds. As soon as I planted it, they turned brown as if they had bloomed but didn't. Any advise? Shout I cut all the spent (under matured) buds off and hope for the best? Or should I just wait and see what happens? I'm so frustrated! I know they grow here; I've seen mature ones...

I struggle w/butterfly bush

I struggle w/butterfly bush here in zone 9B/10 Tampa Bay region of Florida. I was going to give up, then saw a deep purple flowered one and couldn't resist. I asked at the nursery, and they said the biggest gift I can give the butterfly bush is to water it. They water their potted ones twice a day. Deadhead anything brown just above a node and give your plant a chance to get used to its new home. And good luck to both of us :D

Buddleia Blue Chip Jr.

I just purchased this plant,Buddleia Blue chip Jr., and it is flowering. I live in Southern California, and we have very little rain. How often should I water the plant and do they ever require fertilizer? My nursery told me NOT to fertilize it.

Buddlea is a noxious weed in

Buddlea is a noxious weed in Washington State. The flowers offer some nectar, but no place for egg laying. Do not plant it here!

I just moved in March and my

I just moved in March and my new yard has a very tall Butterfly bush that looks like it hasn't been pruned in years. I don't want to kill it. So if I prune it way back in the Fall will it come back next Spring? I read you're supposed to cut them back to about 2 to 4 feet above ground and if I do that I will be cutting off all foliage.

Someone who knows please let me know how I should prune it.


Butterfly bush can survive a

Butterfly bush can survive a deep pruning, but right now might be a good time to just prune about 1/3 of the height

Zone 4 Pink Delight butterfly

Zone 4 Pink Delight butterfly bush. I ordered 8 plants and am wondering if I made a mistake, and they won't grow in Zone 4? Will they survive if prune them down to ground level in late Fall, and put a deep layer of straw over them until next Spring? Thank you.

It may get too cold in zone 4

It may get too cold in zone 4 for the 'Pink Delight'. You can apply a four to six inch layer of mulch covering the crown in the fall and hope for the best. 

Will any varieties grow in

Will any varieties grow in zone 4? Thank you.

In general, the butterfly

In general, the butterfly bush is a Zone 5 and south kind of plant. It would be better to look for native plants that will thrive. You might find this database helpful: 

I live in zone 4. I have at

I live in zone 4. I have at least 7 butterfly bushes. One is 17 years old. They grow well here.

Please report your results. I

Please report your results. I also would like to grow this shrub in zone 4 Western Wisconsin! Thank you kindly.

I live in Chicago and have a

I live in Chicago and have a huge butterfly bush (its about 4years old). I cut it way down almost to ground level (about an inch from ground) every October just before Halloween. Every spring new shoots come up bigger and with more flowers. I hope this helps you.

Its May 24th and my buddleia

Its May 24th and my buddleia bush has already bloomed and the blooms have gone brown (I live in the Los Angeles area). Should I cut it back now and will it bloom again in the summer if I do so? The plant is about 1.5 feet tall.

Hi Katie, Just remove the

Hi Katie,
Just remove the spent flowers to encourage additional blooms during the summer.

My blooms on my butterfly

My blooms on my butterfly tree are dying as soon as they bloom. Otherwise the tree looks great. It is in a big pot. Not sure what's going on.

Hi, I have 2 beautiful

Hi, I have 2 beautiful butterfly bushes... they have each grown to almost 5 feet tall... just this morning I noticed wilted leaves and upon further investigation, one of the branches has broken off. It's about 3 feet tall with lots of beautiful purple flowers. Can I just make a clean cut at the bottom and stick it back in the soil. Or should I cut it at the bottom and then shorten the branch significantly and put it in a pot? I want to try to save it if at all possible. Please guide me. I read through the comments and see about a new cutting and putting it in rooting hormone but this stem broke off... can it be saved? Thank you!!

Hi Christy, It's best to cut

Hi Christy,
It's best to cut the branch off where the brake is. You can then propagate any softwood cuttings (new growth) from that branch. The big woody branch is not going to grow back.

I have a few buddleia

I have a few buddleia cuttings & would like to know how to grow shrubs from them. Wirh thanks.

Black Walnut Trees, will the

Black Walnut Trees, will the bush grow within the root zone of them?

Hi Linda, Some of our readers

Hi Linda,
Some of our readers have had success growing a butterfly bush near a black walnut tree. Some varieties do better than others.

Linda. I do not have any

Linda. I do not have any hands on experience with black walnut, but I took a tree science class in college and was told that the leaves of black walnut are high in acid or another toxin I don't exactly remember witch. But they tend to kill grass and other plant life including sprouting walnut trees when they decompose. So it would most likely help if you rake any leaves that fall from your Black Walnut tree and not use them in your compost if you are trying to grow anything underneath them

It is not the leaves of the

It is not the leaves of the black walnut that will cause you a problem. It is the root that kills other plants. The roots release a toxin in the soil to surrounding plants that will kill them. Few plants are immune to black walnut toxins. The only plants I know that are resistant are ginseng and black raspberries.The odd thing about black walnuts is depending on the weather and the rainfall determines the amount of toxins released by the roots. That is why plants will live next to a black walnut tree just fine one year and then die the next year. If you ever look at the ground around a black walnut tree you can tell where the major roots run. I have a garden near a walnut tree and you can draw a line through my garden to the tree. The plants will either be stunted or dead when the weather gets hot and dry. Plants a few feet away will be fine.

I started my Butterfly Bush

I started my Butterfly Bush from seed last year. The seedlings remained very small until late fall when they just shot up in height. Now they are about 1.5ft tall. At what point/height do I start pruning them? They do not have any flower blossoms on them. I live in Georgia.

The bush blossoms on new

The bush blossoms on new wood. Even if there is no die-back  cut them back to the ground every spring. Even where winters are mild enough for the stems to survive, prune severely to stimulate abundant growth on which flowers are borne.

I live in New Mexico near

I live in New Mexico near Albuquerque. My butterfly bush has got healthy looking green leaves. I planted it where it will get direct morning, and late afternoon sun. Some of the leave are turning black on the tips and curling. Is this a sign of watering too much?.....or is it being caused by something else?

We planted butterfly bushes

We planted butterfly bushes last summer and they did well all through the growing season. I have read that they should be cut back in early spring, but I've found conflicting information about how far to cut them back: some sources say to cut them back to the ground; others say to cut them back to 1-2 feet high. My bushes are probably about 2 feet tall and this is their first spring in the ground. We live in Northern VA and they are planted in full sun at the top of a small slope, so the soil gets decent drainage. I'm not sure how far to cut them back, or if I even should this first year...any guidance is greatly appreciated!

I live in southern Florida

I live in southern Florida and have 2 butterfly bushes that, while green and growing,are not blooming. I have been feeding osmocote and since reading the instructions on this site, am worried I may have over fertilized. I would love to see blooms this year, how do I correct this mistake? Thank you for any advice.

Butterfly bushes only bloom

Butterfly bushes only bloom on "new" growth. Have you ever pruned it back? Hard as it is to do (and maybe believe), these plants thrive when they are cut back to 12 to 24 inches high, ideally in early spring—or, thinking of south Florida, when spring conditions exist. If your plant is already leafing out, prune out some of the older branches. Sprinkle fertilizer around the drip line (outer "ring" of branch shadows; not at stem) in March or April, and then again in mid-summer. No need to overdo it. Just as, if not more, important is good, rich compost. If that's not at the base of the plant now, get some, and gently scrape off some of the existing soil and work compost in. Put down some moisture-holding mulch, too.

Here in the UK Buddleia

Here in the UK Buddleia Davidii are viewed as a somewhat two edged sword in the garden. At best they are a great attractant to butterflies, bees and other nectar feeders. At worst they are an invasive weed. They need savage pruning when dormant if they're not to become a nuisance plant. And don't be fooled that they will suffer if they're not pampered and mulched over the winter period. They breeze through it with no apparent harm. Control them or they will control you!

Hi! We have a really short

Hi! We have a really short growing season here so we decided to keep my butterfly bush in its pot until next year. It was doing great until a week or two ago when it stopped growing and the leaves started to curl and turn brown. I can't figure what is wrong. I trimmed it the first time about a month ago but thats's all that has changed.

It's natural for a butterfly

It's natural for a butterfly bush to turn brown in the fall. Water the bush well and move the plant next to a southern facing wall for added warmth and protection. Also cover the pot with mulch (straw works well).The plant may also be moved into an unheated garage or cool basement. If moved indoors, be sure to check the soil moisture every couple of weeks and water as needed. Pruning is best done in early spring while the bush is dormant.

I live in South Jersey adn

I live in South Jersey adn lost 2 Butterfly bushes in last years cold winter. I purched a dwarf one this year. I want to transplant it to a lanscaped bed on my patio. I am concerned about the root size. I do not want the roots coming through the wall or lifting up the patio. How much space do I need for roots?

I have read through many of

I have read through many of the answers below and am more confused. I found one answer that said the roots are massive and another answer that said the plant does not have a big root system. Not sure which is the correct answer.

Butterfly bushes have

Butterfly bushes have non-aggressive fibrous root. It will do well on your patio. A dwarf can also be planted in a big container. Add a bit of mulch around the plant for winter protection.

I have recieved a few

I have recieved a few butterfly bushes from work. I got them in the ground and used a root stimulator for 3 weeks and the blooms were doing amazing. Then I switched to a Bloom booster every 2 weeks... now they are drying up like they haven't been watered but I live in KS with near hundred degree temperatures, so i water them religiously. I trimmed the branches down and the spents... but is this them going dormant? or what is happening?

any help would be awesome anna_johnson0318@yahoo.com

Anna, You do not need to

You do not need to use a blooming fertilizer on your butterfly bushes. They will bloom without much coaxing. Butterfly bushes do not need very heavy feeding. They prefer a balanced fertilizer type, 10-10-10, 5-5-5 for example. They will do well with some higher nitrogen fertilizer in early spring when new growth appears, or after a heavy pruning. By a fertilizer high in nitrogen, I mean high in the first number, 10-5-5, 15-5-5 for example. In later spring and summer, use the balanced fertilizer. You may not need much if your soil is good and fertile. The color of the foliage will tell you if it needs more food. I have found that the amount of sunlight the plant gets is the thing that causes the most rapid growth, much more so than fertilizing. It seems like the more sun, the better. Also, how loose and we'll draining your soil is plays a part. The easier they can spread roots, the bigger they'll get.

I live at the shore in NJ. I

I live at the shore in NJ. I have been able to grow other shrubs and trees by mixing purchased soil in with the sand. Do you think a butterfly tree will survive and grow if I do the same for it? The tree will be in full sun all day. Any comments/suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

Did you ever plant the bush

Did you ever plant the bush at the Shore? I lost my house and all the landscaping during Sandy. I expect the house to be up this summer and am thinking about plants. I have one in my house in northern nj and it is great. If you did, please reply to my e-mail.. I am not on this type of page much to see a response.


I purchased two tiny

I purchased two tiny butterfly bush seedlings growing in 3" pots a couple of weeks ago at a state park here in southern Indiana. Should I pot them up to larger pots and bring them inside this first winter or go ahead and plant them in the ground. Whichever recomendation you give please include info about how to treat them for their first winter. Thank you for your time, Cathy Jo

Plant your seedlings in

Plant your seedlings in bigger pots now and transplant into the ground in the fall. See our planting instructions on this page. Before the cold weather arrives add mulch up to 6 inches deep around the plants to protect them from winter chills. Good luck!

Thank you so much for your

Thank you so much for your quick reply about my butterfly bush seedlings. Besides the two I mentioned, Just yesterday I found in a large pot that last year sat under my butterfly bush, several young butterfly bushes from six to ten inches tall. I have been pulling them out as weeds this spring and early summer to allow my hen and chicks to fill the pot. After noticing yesterday that their not weeds, today I dug them out and potted them in 6 and 8 inch pots a total of 18 butterfly bushes. Oh My!. I'll give most of them away and treat them as you instructed. We had a really hard winter last year and I lost two well established large butterfly bushes as I failed to mulch them last fall. I waited so long hoping they would survive and come back that when I finally gave up on them I then had to wait till late June for the local nurseries to get thier second shipment of them as so manny were lost to last winter in our area and the spring shipment sold out quickly. So now I'm overflowing with butterfly bushes. Have learned a hard lesson and will always mulch in anticipation of a long hard winter. Thanks again for your reply, Cathy Jo

I transplanted my butterfly

I transplanted my butterfly bush from the garden this spring into a plot of pretty good soil mixed with a little sand. It is in full sun almost all day, I water it when there has not been a lot of rain, which by the way we had plenty of for the last 3 days. This morning the stems and leaves are all wilting, I watered it about 5 hours ago and it is still drooping. Is it getting to much sun to early in the morning? I love the colors and want it to live !!!!! Please HELP,,,, TY, Amy

I live in San Antonio Tx. I

I live in San Antonio Tx. I did not cut back my butterfly bushes this spring and now they appear to be dying.....lots of woody stalks and few leaves after a gorgeous blooming season in the spring and early summer. do I cut back the dead stalks and continue to trim any spent blooms?

We live in Georgia and I had

We live in Georgia and I had the same problem last year. I cut everything down to about 8" off the ground. This was an eye sore for a while but at the end of the Spring, our butterfly grew back bigger and more beautiful than the ear before. This year, I did the same thing and had even better results!

I live just outside of

I live just outside of Calgary Alberta Canada where I thought we lived in a zone 4, however I was informed we live in a zone 2-3a anyway question: can I grow buttery bushes here ? I have a direct south facing back yard which means I get sunshine all day . Yes we have rain. Yes we have cold winters yes we have frost so with all that will the butterfly bush grow here? Is there any special care they will need? Thank you for responding .

I live in zone 3b ironically

I live in zone 3b ironically my butterfly bush came back the following year after one of the coldest winters on record in Minnesota.
My butterfly bush is planted on the sunny most side of my yard that receives the most sunlight from morning till evening.

Did you end up planting the

Did you end up planting the butterfly bushes, and if so, did they survive the winter? I ask because I am in Zone 4b, and want to plant these but not sure they will survive the harsh MN winters.

Butterfly bush

Hi , I live in Calgary, I have three butterfly bushes growing in my yard for three years , the dark knight, miniature white and a red,.... They die to the ground every year but grow big and give many flowers every year.... I just cover with mulch in fall.
They are zone five and we are zone three

My friend just gave me a

My friend just gave me a butterfly bush. I reside in Bullhead City, AZ. The temperature here can get up to 123 degrees. I have very little shade. Can I put this bush in a planter or does it have to be in the ground. My friend also gave me a Russian Sage. I love flowers and plants of any kind. I am from NYC where plants are scarce in apartment living. Thank you.

Yes, you can grow some

Yes, you can grow some varieties of butterfly bush in Arizona. They are a good choice because they love full sun and are relatively drought-tolerant. They do not need shade though they will provide it. However, they do need good soil that is loomy and drains well with deep, infrequent watering. If your soil is questionable, they will also grow in a patio container. 

I live in Spokane WA, my

I live in Spokane WA, my daughter gave me two B bushes last year and I was able to plant and keep them through the winter. They were doing really well until a few weeks ago when I saw that something has been eating it. The leaves are like lace, and I can,t seem to find anything on them. did spot an earwig on one. My plant is well grown about 4 ft tall the other is smaller about 3ft and not as full but both are being destroyed by whatever is causing the lacing effect. Can anyone help?

I have a butterfly bush I am

I have a butterfly bush I am not sure what type. I think it was mislabeled at the store. It said it was a black knight, but I have had it two years and it is only 3'tall. I live in Central CA and the plant is in full sun all day. Well each summer the leaves get scorched. They turn brown and crispy with arched like lines over them. I am not sure why this happens. We have sandy soil and it seems to drain well.

I am not an expert but do you

I am not an expert but do you prune it down fall or spring to bring out new growth. Its prob staying at 3' cause you haven't cut off the older limbs. Also put in a spot where the bush can get shade off n on (cover over bush at hottest times) its a very prolific grower n bloomer make sure to cut or break off spent flower to get new ones. Hope this helps Kimmi

Hello, I just recently bought


I just recently bought a butterfly bush, and I had it in full sun (still in the pot). The blooms and leaves kept drying up like they were being fried by the sun so I moved it to part shade. The blooms and leaves stopped drying up but the blooms are still very limited. Unlike how they were when I first bought it. Now I'm confused as to where I should plant it. Full sun or part shade?

When established butterfly

When established butterfly bushes do best in full sun. See our planting advice above and make sure to water the newly transplanted bush daily if it is hot and sunny.

I just bought my first

I just bought my first butterfly bush and planted as recommended. Some of the panicles when I bought it were a beautiful purple and some of them had died.

It's been a couple of weeks and now all panicles have died. The leaves are still growing nicely. When should I see new flowers? Where do they start? From another panicle? I water it twice a day since the temperature reaches 90 - 98 degrees. Maybe I just need to give it more time.

You need to cut off the dead

You need to cut off the dead flowers and they will put out new ones.

I live in Seattle, WA. I

I live in Seattle, WA. I bought a butterfly bush last year and, since I live in an apartment, I planted it in a big planter. It bloomed last year then went dormant for the winter. This spring I cut away all the dried branches and it is now several feet tall and very green. However, as of today, 6/17/14, I have no blossoms. Should I do any pruning to encourage blooming? I water it once a week and turn the planter so it grows straight. Your advise is appreciated.

I live in Spokane and have a

I live in Spokane and have a long-established butterfly bush. I have a lot of new growth, but no blossoms. It won't be blooming for a while still. (6/19/14)

If you dont over water it

If you dont over water it will bloom in July and you will have Butterflies and Hummingbirds.

I live in Bakersfield, CA &

I live in Bakersfield, CA & planted a butterfly bush in late March. It gets full sun, is well drained but we do water daily as we get only 2-3 inches of rain yearly lately. The bush did well & has a lot of blooms but I noticed yesterday that some of the leaves are turning back & curling up. They lo have OE holes as if bugs have been eating them but I don't see NY insects on them. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated as we lost our east huge bush last year. This one is about 3-4 feet tall.

We moved to a home last year

We moved to a home last year at this time in sw Virginia. There are two beautiful huge butterfly bushes...one in front yard and one in back....but this year, they both look dead...can not figure out what happened!

Hello: I am new to gardening.

I am new to gardening. Last spring 2013, my lawn was dug up and now I have a garden. I live in Queens NY and I have noted that my two Butterfly bushes after blooming beautifully last year does not have a single blossom. They are growing beautifully but no flowers at all. My garden gets full sun from 11:30 Am till sundown. Please advise.
Thank you.

I don't think butterfly

I don't think butterfly bushes bloom until mid to late summer. Around the 4th of July to fall. At least,that's what mine have been doing

I don't think butterfly

I don't think butterfly bushes bloom until mid to late summer. Around the 4th of July to fall. At least,that's what mine have been doing. All leaves, no blooms till the fourth!!! :D

I bought a butterfly bush

I bought a butterfly bush about 5 weeks ago, I live in the Bay Area near Berkeley. I planted in a sunny area with well amended soil. It looked great for about a week and then began to die. there are a few green branches but the bulk of the plant looks dead. I watered lightly daily in the beginning and then backed off thinking I was over watering - now don't know what to do.
I used to grow tomatoes on this strip so there is sun, the soil was originally clay but has been amended over many years. Help!
do i need to start over, cut back the dead sections or leave it alone

Cut back any dead branches

Cut back any dead branches and water when the soil is dry. The bush may send up some new growth

I have a butterfly bush that

I have a butterfly bush that has been glorious for years. We had to move it a couple years ago because of the size it grew to be. I usually cut it back about 1/2 its growth yearly. It is June 10th, and all I have is dead branches. No new growth showing at all. I have another that is a new bush that is starting to green up, but not the big one we've had for years? We are going to cut it down to about a foot high (were waiting for the baby birds to fly the coop as they were using it as a landing) and hope it comes back. I would be devastated if it is dead. Is it possible the winter/spring weather is causing it to be a very late bloomer? Or could it be gone? Thanks!

Not knowing where you live

Not knowing where you live and how severe your winter was it's hard to say when the bush will show any signs of growth. Many regions in North America has had delayed growth this spring. Give your bush a few more weeks to see if it will come back.

I have a butterfly bush that

I have a butterfly bush that was well established when we bought our house 12 years ago. So it is quite old. It has withstood severe damage from a hurricane but this winter was extremely cold (in Baltimore) and now the bush has not come back. My husband cut it down to about 1 ft tall in late fall. I am concerned that it's truly dead but I haven't completely given up. It's now June 9th and is getting quite warm here. Is there any hope left for it to come back?

Don't give up yet! Many areas

Don't give up yet! Many areas of the county has had delayed growth on trees and bushes.

Hi, I live in Garland Texas,

Hi, I live in Garland Texas, and just bought my mom 3 butterfly bushes for her 70th birthday. She wants them planted against her back wooden fence. I know they need to be planted 5-6 ft apart from each other, but my question is how far from the fence should we go? I have seen 2-3 ft. and another site said 5-6 ft. I am not the green thumb that my mom is, but she has just been diagnosed with early stages of Alzheimer's and I am leery of following her advice on this. Thanks.

What a lovely birthday

What a lovely birthday idea--to attract butterflies! A fence provides extra shelter for the delicate winged beauties, too. In terms of how far back to plant your butterfly bushes from the fence: You need to find out the maximum spread of the variety; the nursery (or shop) you bought them from should be able to tell you if it's not on the label. When the plant is fully grown, you don't want to squashed or pushing against the fence.  For example, see examples on this page which list the mature spread of different varieties: http://www.naturehills.com/bus... The mature spread can vary from 3 to 6 feet.

I have a butterfly bush

I have a butterfly bush planted at the house base in an area that gets 8-10 hours of sun per day. The soil drains well and the only rain run off is from the front of a single story house as a gutter is just above. In the spring the bush is covered with fresh green leaves but as time goes on the leaves along the bush seem to wither and turn brownish exposing wood and only the tips maintain any green foliage and the blooms are very limited in number as size. It try to water regularly when there is no rain but it doesn't seem to help. How much should I water and do you have any other suggestions.

Do you cut back your

Do you cut back your butterfly bush in the spring? It should be cut down to about 1 to 2 feet each year.

I live in area of Austin, TX

I live in area of Austin, TX and wild deer are everywhere unless one builds a 6 ft fence. How resistant is a butterfly bush to deer?

There are truly no deer-proof

There are truly no deer-proof bushes, but butterfly bush has proven to be deer resistant. Good luck!

Live in Illinois - Chicago

Live in Illinois - Chicago area. New home and new to gardening. Just reading that I should have cut back my butterfly bush early Spring. Is End of May too late? Thanks.

Do not worry about your

Do not worry about your butterfly bush. They are resilient. I was in a similar situation last year, moving into a new house with a butterfly bush. I did not cut it back and it bloomed beautifully all summer. Do cut it back next spring though.

I bought my first bush last

I bought my first bush last year. It was starting to come up nicely though being an amateur the shoots looked like weeds. Still, I left it alone...until I showed my husband. He said it looked like weeds and against my better judgment I started pulling the shoots until a few came off the old wood. Will it recover?

I've had a butterfly bush now

I've had a butterfly bush now since 2011...it was a tiny, little dead looking cut from my Sister's hardy butterfly bush, it grew into a beautiful 10 foot bush with awesome flowers and attracted many butterflies and hummingbird moths etc. We decided last August/September to start cutting it back as it was growing into our fence and knocking it over and also shading our sunflowers. It is now May 28, 2014 and the only new shoots we've gotten were at the bottom of the bush which now look like they have died off because of some more cold and frost we've had. No new shoots are growing from the top of the bush at all..we cut it down to about 3 feet...by this date do you think our bush is dead or should we at least give it another month or so? I know by now it is usually beginning to grow new shoots. Please help...I did put miracle grow underneath of it as I have every year since I've had the bush)It is a buddleia davidii, with large purple flowers...Please Help!!!

Be patient. The bush will

Be patient. The bush will come back. It is delayed because of the colder spring weather.

Hello, My Butterfly Bush has

My Butterfly Bush has not come up yet. It was a new transplant last year suin the early summer. I did prune it, but not until late spring. When should I give up on it? Anything I can do to help/encourage it? I'm in Eastern, MA.

PS. I LOVE this site. So helpful!

Butterfly bushes will not

Butterfly bushes will not show new growth until late May in New England. With the warmer weather you will see new leaves soon.

I live in Michigan and am

I live in Michigan and am getting really worried about my butterfly bush after the winter we had. (I worry every year, and every year it comes back just fine) However, I am not seeing any new growth yet at the base of my plant--I've had it for over 8 years. I trimmed some of the branches back, and they are not dry and hollow, but do not show any green yet. We had 30 degree weather up until 2 weeks ago, so should I just be more patient?

Be patient. The bush will

Be patient. The bush will come back. It is delayed because of the colder spring weather. It might be late May before the bush shows any signs of growth.

Thank you for the

Thank you for the reinforcement! That's what I've been telling myself, but didn't want to have to accept it was dead.

I live in Pittsburgh and mine

I live in Pittsburgh and mine shows no growth but everything is a few weeks late this year.

HI Les, I live in the New

HI Les, I live in the New Castle Area north of Pgh and have about eight butterfly bushes on our property. It is now June 1 and they all appear dead. It's heartbreaking. PGH sling starts a few weeks before ours so I am wondering if you have had any luck yet with yours?

My son and I bought 2 potted

My son and I bought 2 potted Butterfly Bushes in Early Summer of 2013. They were quite tall in the pot when we bought them. We looked carefully at the directions to plant however a few weeks after planting them the leaves started falling and looked like the bushes dried up. Now they still do not appear to be turning green. I have a couple of questions since the soil here in Omaha, Nebraska where we live has a lot of clay. We added potting soil however I wonder what we can do the next time regarding the soil to help them survive. I also question when we removed them from the pots that maybe we did not get the soil off enough to see the root bulb. Any help in this would be greatly appreciated! After my 3 year old daughter passed away, my 11 year old son and I love butterflies. We definitely will purchase and plant more but want to know exactly how to keep them living. Thanks so much!

Hi Deanna, Butterfly bushes

Hi Deanna,
Butterfly bushes like fertile well-drained soil. Compost and a bit of sand added to your clay soil will help. See our planting advice above.
Find more plants that attract butterflies at http://www.almanac.com/content...

Hi Deanna, I lived in the

Hi Deanna, I lived in the Omaha area for over 10 years and the number one thing with any new plant was keeping it well watered every single day until well established to have really deep root system because of the frequent strong breezes, wind and gales which are quite hot at times. It just dries them to a bone in no time like a hairdryer. Most of the time, compared to the East, the humidity isn't all that high either to help make up for that evaporation and heat. They just really need babied at first. I had a couple butterfly bushes that grew well in Elkhorn. Watered a lot at first and happened to be on northwest side of a fence with evergreens which screened some of wind but still tons of sun and did well.
They are indeed well worth it for the butterflies and blooms. Good luck.

Thank you for all of the

Thank you for all of the information!!

when pruning in early spring,

when pruning in early spring, to 1 foot above ground as recommended , how tall and fast does it grow for the summer and fall of same year

It depends on the variety but

It depends on the variety but most butterfly bushes grow fast and reach 4 to 5 feet pretty quickly.

I have two Butterfly Bushes

I have two Butterfly Bushes that I cut back each year to about a foot in early Spring. They both grow back to around 5 to 6 feet by late June to mid July. I live in central Ohio. Its fun to see what they'll attract each summer, especially the hummingbirds.

Just planted to butterfly

Just planted to butterfly bushes in terra cotta containers, should i water them a bit more till they get settled ? or just enough to keep soil a bit moist? How long should it take for them to get settled?

Keep the soil moist but don't

Keep the soil moist but don't overwater. The bushes should settle pretty quickly and when the weather warms up you should see some rapid growth.

Over this past weekend

Over this past weekend (5/2014)I purchased a Purple Midget Butterfly Bush "Buddleia davidii "purple midget". I can't seem to find any information online about this bush as far as the proper way to plant it, care for it, etc. Any suggestions on where I might find info on this particular butterfly bush? The planting instructions (which are minimal) on the tag mentioned make a mixture of native soil and conditioner. What is the "conditioner?"

Hi Stephanie, Follow the

Hi Stephanie,
Follow the planting advice at the top of this page. Mix compost into the soil.

I live in Maryland. I have a

I live in Maryland. I have a butterfly bush that appears to have died- maybe due to the harsh winter we had. Or are they late bloomers?

Many bushes and trees have

Many bushes and trees have suffered from the cold and snow this past winter. But don't give up yet. There is still a good chance that the bush will leaf out. Even if the top branches have died, there is a good chance that new growth will emerge from the roots.

Are butterfly bushes deer

Are butterfly bushes deer resistant? and can they be planted and thrive in large (3 ft tall x 1 1/2 ft wide) pots?

Hi Mary, Yes, butterfly

Hi Mary,
Yes, butterfly bushes are deer resistant and are rarely damaged. The butterfly bush will do well in a large container. Just remember to water often during warm spells as containers dry out much more quickly than if the bush was planted in the ground.

Hello. I have a rather large

Hello. I have a rather large butterfly bush that I planted fairly close to my house about 7 years ago. It is currently around 12 ft tall and at least 12 ft wide. I live in central Kentucky, so we occasionally get some pretty rough winters. This past winter was one of those. The tree next to my butterfly bush received a lot of ice accumulation and, due to the weight, a branch broke off and landed on top of my butterfly bush causing it to lean over and partially uproot. My neighbors say that the bush is dead and that I need to cut it down. However, I am hoping that they are wrong and it is only in a dormant phase, as it normally looks this way in the spring and doesn't bloom until summer. I am not sure of the exact type of bush that it is, but it produces white flowers. I hope I have given enough information to receive some help. Please reply with good news. Thanks.

Is it possible to put the

Is it possible to put the uprooted section of the bush back in the soil? Increase watering so that the bush can start rebuilding its roots. If the root damage is bad, then you may want to prune the bush back by about 1/3.

Hi I accidentally chopped

Hi I accidentally chopped through some of the big roots on my buddlia when I was digging it up I have replanted it but the leaves have wiltered have I ruined it or will it come back ?

Buttefly bushes are tough.

Buttefly bushes are tough. Your bush may be in transplant shock. Give it extra water and let it get a chance to establish in its new location.

I recently expanded my garden

I recently expanded my garden to control an erosion problem from drainage issues coming from my neighbor's yard. I planted a new butterfly bush in the corner, but a lot of water collects in the "trough" area of the garden when it rains. My butterfly bushes leaves are wilting. I assume it is drowning, so I moved it to another location in the garden. Will the bush recover, or did it truly drowned? Leave are green still.

You were right to move it.

You were right to move it. The butterfly bush does not do well in wet, poorly drained sites. We assume you're in a suitable growing zone for this plant (zone 6 and warmer).
Early spring is also the right time to transplant--before it breaks dormancy in your area. Usually, butterfly bushes move easy, as long as you transplanted correctly in the right site, soil, etc.  Good luck!

I live in Bellevue, NE and my

I live in Bellevue, NE and my mom passed away this last summer at the age of 92 and one of the joys in her life was to sit at the kitchen table and watch her butterfly bush. I am planting 2 in her honor this next week. Both areas get full sun but each area has unique issues. One is next to a big green power box and I think the reflection of the heat has killed everything I plant near it. The other area is a spot near the front of my house which is sort of confined. If the bush gets to crazy big can I trim it and kind of train it to stay withing the confines of the area?

Butterfly bush is very

Butterfly bush is very forgiving so you will be able to trim it to stay within the confines of where you plant it. You'll severely prune it each spring. Since they bloom on new wood, cut them back to the ground every spring.

I know a lot of things don't

I know a lot of things don't like growing next to electrical power boxes or large power lines. There's an invisible electrical field around anything that give off or generates power. This has been know to destroy plants, and irritate or ward of animals too. I've seen this from past experiences.

Do they every get older and

Do they every get older and just stop booming

Cut your butterfly bush to

Cut your butterfly bush to the ground each spring and you should have years and years of beautiful blooms.

I planted 2 butterfly bushes

I planted 2 butterfly bushes last year. I cut them back this spring and since they started growing I see several new sprouts around them, some about a foot from the original plant. I'm wondering if these are from seeds or off the root system? I haven't tried digging them up yet, but hoped they were new plants to dig up and transplant somewhere. I've had one in my back yard for several years and have never seen a new plant around it, so I was pretty excited to see these. I live in Ne Alabama.

Your butterfly bush is

Your butterfly bush is producing suckers; they sprout near the original plant. You need to dig out these weedy seedlings to control the spread. You can try transplanting the roots, too. After your bush finishes flowering for the season, prune at least one-third of the plant down to the stems.

I live in southern Indiana

I live in southern Indiana and lost all of my butterfly bushes this winter. There is no sign of life in any of them. The branches are all dry and brittle and no sign of new growth at the base. The same holds true on one of my hydrangeas on the North side of my house. :-(

I have the same question. I

I have the same question. I live in Johnstown PA though. They are still very brittle. The guy at Lowes said they were probably dead and I should take them back. I also read online given the horrible winter temps we had that they sometimes die completely and start new shoots. I guess this is saying The old branches are dead and not coming back.

If you break a branch, does

If you break a branch, does it just snap? If you take a knife to the branch, do you see any green? You can try to prune it back and see if this sparks new growth. If your butterfly bush isn’t showing new growth by late May, it may have died.

Yes it snaps...dry and

Yes it snaps...dry and brittle, no green at all. And I'm not the only one, it has happened to everyone I talk to. Nothing even growing from the base. The same with one of my hydrangeas. :-(

I am giving mine a couple

I am giving mine a couple more weeks because everything is late this year and today just noticed some buds on a crepe myrtle bush that I almost gave up on. The butterfly bush should come back from base of plant. I'm in western Pennsylvania.

I prune my plants several

I prune my plants several times in the year. The time time I trim the bush was in September, the weather was still in the 80s, then one day it drop down to
the 30-40. My question is, when should we start seeing new growth in the spring?
I am hoping the cold did not kill them.
I live in Tennessee, 45 minuets from Knoxville.

Hi Kathy F., Hopefully your

Hi Kathy F.,
Hopefully your bush will be OK and you should see new growth soon.

Kathy, my Butterfly bushes

Kathy, my Butterfly bushes are just starting to get some new growth (I live in NE Georgia). I was getting worried as well, so hopefully you will see new growth soon.

I am new to Farmers & did not

I am new to Farmers & did not see where to check for a planting zone. I just heard about this Butterfly Bush plant & would like to know if it can be successfully planted & grown here in Phoenix, Arizona, where I live. I am referring specifically to our high heat index, very low humidity and our soil condition which is hard packed clay based. I will probably have to rework the soil but the high heat is a real concern. Thanks for your informaion in advance.

There is a variety of

There is a variety of butterfly bush recommended for the south. It is called Woolly butterfly bush (Buddleia marrubifolia). Buddleia davidii 'Black Knight' will also do well in hot climates.

I live in Fla. I want to put

I live in Fla. I want to put in a few butterfly bushes but I don't have a spot that gets full sun. One site gets 2-4 hours of full sun then about 4 hours of dappled sun. The other site gets mostly full sun most of the day. Do you think the bushes will thrive in either location?

Butterfly bushes need as much

Butterfly bushes need as much sun as possible. Choose the spot with the most sun.

I live in zone 8 in Panama

I live in zone 8 in Panama City, Florida we don't get hard freezes here like the northern states do just mild freezes. I want to plant a bunch of Buddleia seeds. However, I don't know if I am suppose to refrigerate the seeds for a week to mimic a cold experience or not. I contacted the person that I purchased the seeds from but she wasn't exactly helpful.

Panama City itself is in zone

Panama City itself is in zone 8B. Many varieties of Buddleja should work well in 8B. Just make sure the soil doesn't get too moist as it likes it on the drier side.  Pests from moistness is the main problem for this plant in your area.

You didn't answer my question

You didn't answer my question should the seeds be placed in the refrigerator or not?

No, there is no reason to put

No, there is no reason to put seeds in the refrigerator.

I have a butterfly bush

I have a butterfly bush planted in a wet area. Are these bushes generally tolerate of winter wet?

The butterfly bush does not

The butterfly bush does not like wet soil. This plant is highly susceptible to soil diseases. It prefers average soil, and even dry soil is fine. 

This has helped thank you

This has helped thank you

hi all from little old new

hi all from little old new zealand
we have a purple butterfly bush and love it but are trying to figure out how to do cuttings.as i cant locate any other colours here.as a child we had a red butterfly bush i would be interested if anyone had any colored seeds they wanted to send me
thank u
jimy mason

I planted 3 butterfly bushes

I planted 3 butterfly bushes in containers in the spring. I just brought the containers inside because I live in central NY. Can I leave them in the garage and do I water them?

As stated two answers down:

As stated two answers down: You can overwinter the containers in a cool shed or unheated garage. The plants need to go dormant. If you leave them outdoors protect the containers with straw or hay. You can also plant them in the ground now and add some mulch around the bushes. Keep them watered until the ground freezes.

Can I prune my butterfly bush

Can I prune my butterfly bush now in October? I live in Durham, NC. It has really grown in the past 2 years and it really needs shaped up.

Prune your butterfly bush in

Prune your butterfly bush in late in winter or early spring.  The results of studies demonstrate that pruning buddleia before the plants have become fully dormant in the fall increases the chance for winter injury resulting in death.

I am trying to identify a

I am trying to identify a Buddleia species that I spotted growing in a garden in the Dunblane area. The flowers had the characteristic spike of the Buddleia davidii species but the flower colour was more like the Buddleia globosa and/or Buddleia x weyeriana.

I live in Syracuse NY and

I live in Syracuse NY and have 3 butterfly bushes in containers on my front porch. What do I do with them during the winter? When is it safe to plant them in my landscaping in spring?

You can overwinter the

You can overwinter the containers in a cool shed or unheated garage. The plants need to go dormant. If you leave them outdoors protect the containers with straw or hay. You can also plant them in the ground now and add some mulch around the bushes. Keep them watered until the ground freezes.

hello, I bought a house last

hello, I bought a house last year that has a butterfly bush in our front flower bed. we let all our plants grow this year because we have no clue what was what and now we want to trim the bush back (late October) because it is over 8ft, we arent sure how to cut or when. help!

It is better to prune in the

It is better to prune in the spring. Cut the bush back to about 1 foot after it has started to warm up a bit. This will stimulate new healthy growth.

We moved into a house in

We moved into a house in western NC mountains zone 7a. The previous tennants did nothing and all the plantings were seriously overgrown. There are two butterfly bushes planted beside the second story deck. They were both growing into the deck and way over aprox. 10-12 feet high. We moved in August 1. I pruned the tops and all along the trunks just to be able to access the garden they were planted in. They are both sprouting all along the trunks from ground to top. They have just lost the last of the blooms. The foliage is a beautiful sliver green and healthy looking. Should I still prune in the spring?

To keep the bushes from

To keep the bushes from taking over your deck again prune in the spring and then again later in the summer.

A neighbor gave me a

A neighbor gave me a butterfly bush back in the summer that had been dug up, so I transplanted it in full sun. It is approx.6Feet tall. it never bloomed but in late summer and even now in the late fall it has green pods on them. I pulled one of the pods off and opened it up and it looks like a bunch of tiny white seeds inside. are these new seeds or is it because it didn't bloom? I have mulched good as we had our first frost just last night.Iam in southwest Virginia area. any information you can give me would be helpful. also if these are seeds do I need to cut the pods off and dry the seeds to plant?

Usually seed pods develop

Usually seed pods develop throughout the flower clusters. The pods look like small green upright footballs. When the pods mature they turn dark brown and spit open at the tip. I'm not sure that the pods you have are from a a butterfly bush. Check with you neighbor who gave you the bush.

Yes, the pods are small,green

Yes, the pods are small,green football looking pods. do the pods seeds just scatter around by themselves or do they have to be planted?

You can let the pods

You can let the pods naturally seed or you can save the seeds for new plantings. Wait until the pods turn a dark brown (this could take a few weeks). Sometimes it's best to remove the pods (even if green) and let them dry/turn brown on a piece of tissue paper (on a tray or plate) until the tip of the pod splits. Tap and the very small dust-size seeds will fall out. Fold up the tissue and store in an envelope in a dry place until ready to plant.

My wife's butterfly bush has

My wife's butterfly bush has pulled the root system from the ground due to heavy growth on the sun drenched side of the plant. It needs pruning & trans-planting now (mid Oct). Question is: Can I prune it back now and move it to a more suitable location? I live in Richmond, VA. Just had a two day soaking rain. I truly would like to save this beautiful plant. FYI...the root system is more than half way pulled from the ground.

Thanks for any help and info.

October is a good time to

October is a good time to transplant trees and bushes. Prune the bush so that it is easier to move and then prune it back more in late winter or early spring.

I live in NE Ohio. My

I live in NE Ohio. My butterfly bush was planted last year and has outgrown its current location. I want to transplant it now (October). Should I move it, or should I wait till spring? If I move it now will it hurt to cut it back and cover it with mulch for the winter? Any help would be appreciated! Thanks!

I transplanted my butterfly

I transplanted my butterfly bush this past spring. I gave it a lot of water and it is thriving really well. It flowered this year and was beautiful.



is butterfly bushes avaliable

is butterfly bushes avaliable in pakistan??? can any one help?

Yes it is available in

Yes it is available in Lahore, Pakistan.
I have recently converted my lawn into a bird/ insect attracting Eco-garden.
Among other insect friendly plants, butterfly bush certainly holds the center stage. Mine is in deep pink color.
You may also find its fragrance very amusing.

Hi I bought a butterfly bush

Hi I bought a butterfly bush that was supposed to be white purple and orange allnon one flower but when it bloomed it was just lavender like my other one did I get sent the wrong plant

We really don't know. This

We really don't know. This plant comes in a wide variety of colors. Call the company which sent you the plant for information.

My daughter lives in Indiana

My daughter lives in Indiana not far from Chicago and she put a butterfly bush in a sunny spot but it has grown so high she wants to dig it up and give it to the neighbors who love it. Can you help me by telling me the best time to do this and if there are any butterfly bushes that grown only 4-5 feet tall. This is is well into 7 feet tall and massive. Thanks in advance

This shrub typically grows

This shrub typically grows from 6 to 10 feet tall by 4 to 10 feet wide.  You can severely prune in late winter back to the woody frame to keep it under control. In fact, pruning butterfly bushes to within one foot of the ground annually enhances the flower display. They are easily to transplant. Try moving in May; they can be late to "awake" in spring.

Are ALL hummingbird bushes

Are ALL hummingbird bushes suppose to be cut back? I live in Alabama. How far do you cut them back?

According to your local

According to your local extension:
Prune the butterfly bush in early spring before new growth begins. Do not prune in the fall or winter as this increases the risk of cold damage.
Pruning butterfly bushes to within one foot of the ground annually enhances the flower display. Don't worry; they will re-sprout vigorously from the crown (i.e. where the stems meet the roots).
Also, deadhead the spent panicles before they go to seed to lengthen the bloom period, provide a neater look to the plant, and prevents unwanted seedlings in the garden.

Thank you so much, I

Thank you so much, I appreciate the information.

I live in Winnipeg, Canada.

I live in Winnipeg, Canada. Zone 3-4. Recently saw the white Buddleia at an outdoor park here, which was full of hummingbirds, bees and butterflies. I am not sure if this species was transplanted into the ground for our very hot summers and then dug out and put into a greenhouse over winter, OR can I plant these here and leave them be over the winter -- something like the hydrangeas we have ???

Most buddleias are hardy to

Most buddleias are hardy to USDA zone 5. You may be able to overwinter a bush if you grow it in a container and move it into a cool garage or basement for the winter. Visit a local nursery and see if they have any suggestions. There may be a few varieties that are hardier than others.

This is a really informative

This is a really informative site. Thank you! I am renting a home and thinking of buying; 3 HUGE butterfly bushes. And I mean HUGE. I have never seen so many beautiful and colorful butterflies in my life! {cheaper than therapy ;)}; so the thought of 'cutting them back to a few feet' scares me. The one in front of my front door is probably at least 15 feet high and well over 20 feet wide (limb spread). I live in NC.

I planted two butterfly

I planted two butterfly bushes 2 years ago. They were pruned back -last spring and have been beautiful...until about two weeks ago. They both look totally dead - brown leaves over the entire plant - no green, no flowers. There are no bugs/mites/aphids. About two weeks ago we had a spike of very high temperatures 104 the last two days - 100+ over the past month. The plants are on an irrigation system - and I increased the watering amount (we are on water restrictions and can only water one day a week) but no change. Should I just cut them back now ... or wait a bit longer ... all other plants seem to be doing fine - just these two bushes.(Austin, Tx)

The heat was too much for the

The heat was too much for the bushes. Cut off the branches that look dead and remove the dead leaves. Keep them watered. Hopefully the roots are still fine and you'll get some new growth later this season or next spring.

I have recently purchased a

I have recently purchased a butterfly bush called, " lavender Sunset". Does anyone know what does the flower looks like? I just wondering if anyone knows it is a bi color plant?

I believe this plant will

I believe this plant will have medium purple flowers with orange-yellow centers. I have seen buddleias that look like this; am not sure of the cultivar name.

my butterfly plant is 12 feet

my butterfly plant is 12 feet tall when is the best time of year to prune this down before the cold winter winds and frost come i would like to cut it down to 6 feet thats below my fence for shelter

I live in Arizona where the

I live in Arizona where the summers can reach 110+. Will a butterfly bush survive here ?

The Woolly Butterfly Bush

The Woolly Butterfly Bush (Buddleia marrubifolia) is a good variety for Arizona. See more here:

Thanks !

Thanks !

Have a silly question> Hope

Have a silly question> Hope someone can answer. I've looked into ordering butterfly bush seeds online and many places have them. What I want to know is do butterfly bushes form their own seeds like many plants and flowers do. If so, please let me know.

Yes, the butterfly bush has

Yes, the butterfly bush has seeds. They are very tiny--almost like a powder. If you want to cultivate new plants, start them from cuttings. It's far easier.

Hi.. I am from Florida and I

Hi.. I am from Florida and I am looking to get a butterfly Bush for my house. Do you know where can I get Them arround Kendall área

We would suggest your best

We would suggest your best on-the-ground answer is from your Florida cooperative extension. Here is a page with a county office near you: http://solutionsforyourlife.ufl.edu/map/index.html

Hi, How are you? This may

Hi, How are you? This may sound like a silly question but I have to ask it anyway. I just bought a lilac colored butterfly bush today at a local nursery. It is about 3 feet tall, and maybe 2 feet wide approx. It is still in a pot and i plan on planting it later this evening. (i live on long island, new york). My question is: if I am supposed to cut it back basically to the bottom every year, how will it get to be 5-6 feet tall? wont it be regrowing the same amount each year?

Yes, you can cut a butterfly

Yes, you can cut a butterfly bush completely to the ground in the spring.  We cut ours down to about 10 inches. Ours grows 5 to 6 feet every year. By cutting it down, you'll get more profuse blooms.

I live in Washington, and I

I live in Washington, and I have found that simply by cutting the blooms off each year that the next year it puts out lots more blooms than the previous.

I just starting to grow a

I just starting to grow a butterfly bush from scratch and it Is in a plastic egg like container with small holes but some are to tall what should I trans plant into next

We're not sure where you

We're not sure where you live, however, if your region gets cold, you really want to save the seeds and sow them indoors about 8 to 10 weeks before last spring frost. You may need extra artificial light. Once seedlings have at least 2 pairs of leaves, you can transfer each one to an individual container. Then, you can transplant them outdoors, but first put them in a sheltered place for 7 days to accustom them to the weather. Set the small plants 2 to 3 feet apart in a sunny area well after all danger of frost.

I just purchased a white

I just purchased a white profusion butterfly bush. Right now it is only a bit over a foot tall. How long can I keep in a container? I didn't realize when I bought it that it would get 5-10 feet tall.

Fall and spring are good

Fall and spring are good times to plant the butterfly bush. If you live in a colder region we suggest that you plant the bush in the fall and add some mulch. Prune in early spring to promote new growth. You can also prune the bush during the summer so that it doesn't get too big.

I have two butterfly bushes

I have two butterfly bushes that were growing fine until the rainy season - we live near the coast in central FL. Now 75% of the leaves are brown and wilted. No sign of any holes in the leaves or webbing. I pulled the mulch back from around them, but am not sure what else I can do. Any suggestions?

Too much water can cause root

Too much water can cause root rot. Hopefully by pulling the mulch back and letting the roots dry a little your bushes will bounce back. Add a little compost around the bushes if you haven't fertilized lately.


Botanical Name: 

Buddleia davidii

Plant Type: 

Sun Exposure: 

Soil Type: 

Soil pH: 

Hardiness Zone: 

Flower Color: 

Bloom Time: 

Keep Your New Garden Growing

keepgardengrowingcover.jpgTop 10 Veggies.
Almanac Editors Tips- water, feed, pest control, harvest


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