The Q&A Archives: butterfly bushes

Question: No matter where when or how I plant my butterfly bushes they die within a week. I have one place I planted three and they are beautiful one is 14 feet tall. What am I doing wrong?

Answer: It's normal for plants to go through an adjustment period right after being planted. As soon as the roots become established, the plant will more than make up for this lull in growth. The stress can cause yellowing and dropping leaves, regardless of the amount of care you give the plant. Not to worry, though, the plant will replace these lost leaves later in the season. Watch for new growth - this will indicate the roots have become established. As for watering, newly planted trees and shrubs appreciate a deep soaking once each week during the first growing season. Butterfly bushes are drought tolerant after they've become established, but watering once a week during their first year is important. If weather is really hot, you may need to water the plants twice a week. Best wishes with your new plants!

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