All Things Gardening forum: Butterfly Bush Question

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Name: Linda
Omaha, N.E (Zone 5b)
Always room to plant one more!
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freedombel
May 4, 2015 3:01 PM CST
I went to the nursery last week and got a voucher for a Butterfly Bush replacement, I just had to take in a picture and
show them, the guy at the counter said yup, it looks dead. So I got a voucher...I went today to see if they came in and the
woman behind the counter told me that they did not come in and mine likely has not broke dormancy and another week
or two of warm weather and the fact I pruned it way down will instigate it to grow, she said that is what Butterfly
Bushs do. I had one before and do not recall it looking dear, just all brown twigs. At any rate we had left it in the ground
because we decided to leave it be until we get the replacement. Do you think it will come back?
You can complain because roses have thorns, or you can rejoice because they have roses!
Name: Tiffany
Opp, AL (Zone 8b)
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purpleinopp
May 6, 2015 7:01 AM CST
Here's a pic I took on 4/20/2002 when I lived in OH, also Z5b. They're late starters, but I'm pessimistic about your plant at this point.
Thumb of 2015-05-06/purpleinopp/468a65

When did you trim yours? The usual rule for BB's is to leave them alone until new leaves appear in the spring, then shape as desired.

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springfield MO area (Zone 6a)
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Frillylily
May 6, 2015 7:20 AM CST
I have given up on Butterfly Bushes. They just don't do anything for me, they die over the winter. Crepe myrtles will not make a real appearance here until the first of June which is too late for my tastes. I also don't have long term luck with azaleas. They live for a few years and bloom, but then die off. They never really grow and get large like they do in warmer areas. Some things just don't prefer the cold winters, the winter moisture and spring sogginess I guess.
Name: Linda
Omaha, N.E (Zone 5b)
Always room to plant one more!
Cat Lover Birds Region: Nebraska Butterflies Hummingbirder Garden Ideas: Level 1
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freedombel
May 6, 2015 7:31 PM CST
purpleinopp said:Here's a pic I took on 4/20/2002 when I lived in OH, also Z5b. They're late starters, but I'm pessimistic about your plant at this point.
Thumb of 2015-05-06/purpleinopp/468a65

When did you trim yours? The usual rule for BB's is to leave them alone until new leaves appear in the spring, then shape as desired.



I am in doubt it will come back, it was last May when we bought it and it had leafs at least, this is May again and just twigs and brown branches.
I just trimmed in this week end, and there are zero leafs. I have had one in the past for 4 years and it came back every spring.
You can complain because roses have thorns, or you can rejoice because they have roses!
Name: Arlene
Southold, Long Island, NY (Zone 7a)
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pirl
May 6, 2015 7:39 PM CST
Try scratching the bark with your fingernails or some sharp tool. If you don't see green tissue, you do have a dead Butterfly Bush.
Name: Linda
Omaha, N.E (Zone 5b)
Always room to plant one more!
Cat Lover Birds Region: Nebraska Butterflies Hummingbirder Garden Ideas: Level 1
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freedombel
May 6, 2015 7:50 PM CST
pirl said:Try scratching the bark with your fingernails or some sharp tool. If you don't see green tissue, you do have a dead Butterfly Bush.


We did, no green. So sad, it was gorgeous and growing great last spring.....not something I want to have to replace
every spring, so we will try it again. If it does not make it I will try some other type of butterfly attracter.
You can complain because roses have thorns, or you can rejoice because they have roses!
Name: Bob
Vernon N.J. (Zone 6a)
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NJBob
May 6, 2015 8:34 PM CST
The one I have usually takes till almost June to start going.
Name: Tiffany
Opp, AL (Zone 8b)
Houseplants Organic Gardener Composter Region: Gulf Coast Miniature Gardening Native Plants and Wildflowers
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purpleinopp
May 7, 2015 7:31 AM CST
They are prone to dying suddenly, mysteriously, so having just 1 can be disappointing. I used to think it was an edge-of-hardiness thing in OH, but they do it here near FL border too.

Since they propagate *so* easily, it shouldn't be a major concern. Get a few going, then if 1 dies, it doesn't mean you have none. Putting a nice pile of leaves over after the leaves fall off for winter can help a lot too.

I strongly recommend finding a sterile cultivar. The one I have has never produced a seedling, and has been moved via cuttings around central OH a few times, then to AL, in my yard & my Mom's yard. About 20 yrs. It's something I do every summer, stick cuttings of BB wherever it might be nice to have another one.
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Name: Arlene
Southold, Long Island, NY (Zone 7a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Tomato Heads Houseplants Garden Ideas: Level 1 Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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pirl
May 7, 2015 7:35 AM CST
Good idea!
Name: Linda
Omaha, N.E (Zone 5b)
Always room to plant one more!
Cat Lover Birds Region: Nebraska Butterflies Hummingbirder Garden Ideas: Level 1
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freedombel
May 7, 2015 6:44 PM CST
Purpleinopp, terrific plan, I started many a Forenthia just that same way......am I right?, take cuttings and pin the
limb to the ground to root?
You can complain because roses have thorns, or you can rejoice because they have roses!
Name: Tiffany
Opp, AL (Zone 8b)
Houseplants Organic Gardener Composter Region: Gulf Coast Miniature Gardening Native Plants and Wildflowers
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purpleinopp
May 9, 2015 11:39 AM CST
I usually use a stick or screwdriver to make a hole, then stick the cutting in the ground. Sitting a lawn chair over for the first week or 2 can help them get going a little easier if it's already hot & sunny.
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Supershervelle
Jul 20, 2015 8:00 PM CST
Hi I'm new and the butterfly fly bush is my favorite. I am trying to learn as much as possible about them.
I have two in my front yard and while they don't look like they are dying, the bottoms don't look very "full". They are 3 years old and are currently about 10 feet tall. It's July and I live in Tennessee. We've had barely any rain, but I water enough, and I don't think I overdo it.
The rest of the bush looks great with lots of new blooms and shoots. Is it normal for the bottom of the bush to start to not become as full as the summer goes on?
Any info or help would be super! Thanks!
Name: Arlene
Southold, Long Island, NY (Zone 7a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Tomato Heads Houseplants Garden Ideas: Level 1 Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Plant Identifier
pirl
Jul 20, 2015 8:43 PM CST
Welcome, Supershervelle!

The bottom of mine seldom match the growth at the top. How far do you prune them in Feb./March? Down to a foot tall?

Supershervelle
Jul 20, 2015 9:02 PM CST
Hi. Thanks for the response!
Yes I dis prune them to about a foot at the end of February. Last year I did the same and they were unbelievable, but I don't remember if this happened or not. Guess it's Just a little curiosity .

This year I've added 12 more to my garden. Different colors and sizes. I recently found yellow honeycomb butterfly bushes and ordered them. I'm excited for those!
Name: Arlene
Southold, Long Island, NY (Zone 7a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Tomato Heads Houseplants Garden Ideas: Level 1 Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Plant Identifier
pirl
Jul 20, 2015 9:18 PM CST
You'll love them! Here it's a butterfly magnet by August. Have fun taking photos and remember to add the photos of each Butterfly Bush to the database and get acorns as a bonus!

You can put annuals or potted plants around the bottoms for a more lush look, if you wish. Coleus would be one good choice though there are many plants available to hide the bare bottoms. Here's the entry for Honeycomb and even the photo taken at the Botanical Gardens shows the bottom is bare - no problem at all. Butterfly Bush (Buddleja 'Honeycomb')

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