The Q&A Archives: Butterly bushes

Question: Planted 6 tricolor (three plants together) spring before last. 2007 2 are excellent. 2 fair and 2 poor quality and little growth. replanted some

Answer: New bushes can be grown from seed, though it's a challenge. Pre-chill the seeds for 4 weeks before sowing. Since your seeds were outdoors all winter, they've already been pre-chilled. The seeds need light to germinate so just press them lightly onto the soil. They will take up to 90 days to germinate. Cutting or layering stems is an easier way to propagate. Layering is a simple process: find a long stem that you can pull down to ground level, nick the stem slightly and bury the nicked part in the soil. You can anchor it down with unbent paper clips. Water your plants as usual and the branch will develop roots where it is buried in the soil. Next spring you can cut the stem from the parent plant and plant it on its own, or simply leave it where it is and remove the parent plant.

Best wishes with your project!

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