The Q&A Archives: Can I transplant butterfly bush now or should I wait until spring?

Question: I have fifteen butterfly bush grown from seed that have grown much larger than I expected this year so I would like to transplant them now and should I cut them back. They are in bloom at this time. I live in Zone 5a (or 4). How would I winter protect them?

Answer: Whether or not your new little plants will need a little or a lot of winter protection really depends upon how old they are and how strong they are. If they're strong, I'd plant them now and plan to mulch over the top of the soil after the first frost in your area. Mulching will help keep the roots from freezing and will also help keep the soil from heaving in alternating thaws and freezes so the roots aren't popped right out of the soil. If you get lots of snowfall and very cold temperatures in your garden, and if the plants are small and weak, you might want to plant them in a cold frame for their first winter outdoors. This will ensure their safety. Best wishes with your butterfly bushes!

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