The Q&A Archives: butterfly bush(buddleia davidii)

Question: Can you train these buddleia bushes(black knight, pink delight, white profusion, african queen, purple prince) grow together to form a tree, and if so how do you do it? Also if successful how do you prune the tree to have an umbrella-like canopy form? Please note that these bushes are not neat & tidy grower.

Answer: I don't think you'll be successful in training butterfly bushes into tree forms. The roots tend to clump and enlarge as the plants mature, sending new stems up from the root system to help renew the plant. If you tried to train the plant into a single trunklike stem, you'd be forever battling sucker type growth at the base. Butterfly bushes are typically cut down to soil level every few years to remove the oldest, non-productive stems and to encourage healthy new growth. Wish I could be more encouraging about your idea!

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