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How do I prune a butterfly bush (Buddleja)?

Last Updated: Apr 22, 2016  |  42 Views

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Butterfly bush (Buddleja davidii) is a popular deciduous flowering shrub for the home garden. It is a useful landscape plant because it will flower on both old and new growth. The common name  is derived from the fact that the fragerant flowers attract a wide range of butterflies.  

Pruning Buddleja davidii, B. albiflora, B. japonica, and B. officinalis is usually done in late winter or early spring. It can be pruned back hard to a height of several inches or it can be pruned to any height desired. Just be sure to cut right above a leaf at the desired height and not in between leaves.

Another group of Buddleja needs no more pruning than necessary to keep the plants shapely and free of crowded, weak shoots. Pruning this group is done immediately after flowering; these species include B. alternifolia, B. globosa, and B. colvilei.

For tips on a variety of gardening topics, see our Plant Information Guides.
- Courtesy of NYBG Plant Information Service

Answered by Anita FinkleBookmark and Share

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