The Q&A Archives: Transplanting Error?

Question: I felt my butterfly bushes were taking over the area I had them planted in. I transplanted them. One did fairly well, we have had rain and the ground was moist. It wilted at bit but, for the most part it looks like it will go on and bloom. The other one wilted terribly. The leaves are turning brown and getting crunchy. Should I cut it back or just leave it alone? It has been about 2 weeks.

Answer: Ideally you would transplant in early spring so the roots have some time to become established before the stress of the hot summer weather. It sounds like the wilted plant is suffering from transplant shock and possible root loss, so it would be a good idea to cut it back to compensate. You could cut it back by about half. Make sure the soil stays moist but not sopping wet until they become reestablished. A few inches of organic mulch would also help keep the soil moist.

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