Perennials forum: Moving a 5 ft Attraction butterfly bush in Sept?

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Name: Sheridragonfly/Sheri
Alabama (Zone 8b)
Salvias Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Sep 13, 2014 2:26 PM CST
we are expecting some partial cloudy days and some light rain this weekend..thank good ness as it was 104 heat index today and several days this week and humid..

I have at least 2 months of growing time left here
can I dig up my butterfly bush and relocate it about 10 foot away in the flower bed this weekend?

do I prune it one third so it does not go into more shock or not be sealed in the branches for frost in
mid or late november? I figured that one should not hard prune any butterfly bush in the fall..
Better to do that March lst I do..

Also which of the smaller growing butterfly bushes are the best butterfly attractors that you have grown
we are zone 8..

This attraction never got over 5 foot and it is beautiful and drew so many swallowtails this year
the blooms were purplish red in my soil.

Thumb of 2014-09-13/Sheridragonfly/a944e6

Name: Tiffany
Opp, AL (Zone 8b)
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Sep 15, 2014 8:06 AM CST
I've been growing the BB pictured below for almost 30 yrs, first in OH, and in AL for the past 7 yrs, and would not try what you described. Prone to suddenly dying for undetermined reasons. Taking cuttings first would be a much more reliable plan. Put the cuttings in the ground where you want the new shrub. I started with 1 plant in OH, and have been using it to make new BB's every time I moved, including moving to AL. I always try to have at least 3 of them, in various locations, because of their tendency to die. I would probably wait until they've leafed out well in the spring because BB's have a reputation for resenting fall pruning, as you mentioned, and because spring cuttings have been almost fail-free while those done later in the year have shown a lower success rate. I've never used any root hormone for this plant (I don't own any.)

I don't know my plants' name, just that it's one that doesn't cause sprouts. It's a stiffly upright shrub, flower shown below. I've never once found a volunteer BB in any of the yards where I've had them. IDK how tall it can get, I trim them pretty heavily in the spring, and later as needed, so they don't get taller than me (up until about this time of year, then leave them alone.)

I can't tell from your pic if yours is the same kind I have or not.

My mom got one, blue chips I think, that has a droopy overall appearance, and is a mess, now a clump, from all of the sprouts. I would stay away from that one, or any with those droopy flowers.

The next step after attracting adults to your garden for nectar, if interested, is offering some host plants for their caterpillars to eat.

BB is always popular with butterflies, but Lantana is even more so.

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Name: Anne
Summerville, SC (Zone 8a)
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Sep 16, 2014 3:12 PM CST
Best to move it once it goes dormant for Winter but you can actually start now. Here is a way to move finicky plants.

Take a shovel and make a circle going straight down about 12 - 16 inches away from the main trunk and a minimum of a foot deep. Vertical only, don't go horizontal. What you are doing is cutting the roots around the plant but not underneath it. Wait a week or so and see how the plant reacts. If it shows any stress don't do anything until it recovers. If it doesn't show any stress after a few weeks you can go on and dig it up and transplant ... but personally I'd wait until after the first frost but make the cuts in the soil around the trunk now.
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[Last edited by Xeramtheum - Sep 16, 2014 3:14 PM (+)]
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