The Q&A Archives: Purning A Butterfly Bush

Question: We prunned our butterfly bush last fall, I have yet to see any new signs of spring on it such as buds and the like. Could have we killed it off? It was two years old.

Answer: Butterfly bushes normally come into growth rather late in the spring. They are sensitive to extreme cold, so many gardeners in cold winter areas will hold off pruning them until the mid spring so that the outer branches can help shield the lower part of the plant. In severe winters, they may be killed back to the ground, and when this happens they may take some extra weeks to resprout from the ground. The established root system helps them regrow quickly, and they should bloom normally since they bloom on new growth of the season. So, although it is possible it is dead, it is worth being patient for a while longer.

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