The Q&A Archives: Polygala fruticosa 'Petite Butterflies'

Question: How quickly does this species of Polygala grow? And how much can it be trimmed and pruned?

Answer: Polygala Petite Butterfly developed naturally as a sport from the South African Polygala fruticosa, which normally grows to about 4 feet tall. Polygala Petite Butterfly tops out at only 18 inches tall but blooms in the same nonstop manner as P. x dalmaisiana. Petite Butterfly's soft green leaves and pinkish-magenta flowers are somewhat smaller as well.

It is a moderately fast grower, reaching mature size in the second year. You can trim it to keep it compact, pruning just after flowering has finished. This plant blooms in cycles throughout the year so simply choose a lull in the bloom cycle to trim it back.

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