The Q&A Archives: Buddleia Care

Question: I have 2 butterfly bushes. One in a container and one in the ground. Its getting cold here {northern Mi.} The stalks are pretty sturdy. Should I cut them back and cover or bring the one in the house?
Also I have a Whiskey Begonia in an 8" pot outside.If I bring that one in should I remove any dryed flowers. I just want them to survive the long winter so I can enjoy them next spring!! Thank you for all your help----Linda

Answer: Butterfly Bush, also known as Buddleia davidii, blooms on new growth. Therefore, stems should be pruned back in early spring to encourage large, lush flower spikes. You can let it grow into a shrub form, (which could eventually be about 12'x15') but your flower "show" won't be as spectacular. FYI, I always prune back my Butterfly Bush on St. Patrick's Day to about 6"-10". Whether planted in the ground or in a container, your butterfly bushes should winter over outdoors without problem. If you're concerned about the potted plant blowing over in winter winds, you can cut it back after frost nips the foliage, or you can bury the pot in the ground until next spring.

Whiskey begonia is considered an annual. You can collect seeds from the flowers to begin again next spring or you can try to keep it alive by taking it indoors. If you bring it inside, remove spent flowers to encourage additional growth and place the plant in a brightly lit area.

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