falling butterfly bush(Buddleia Raspberry Wine) - Knowledgebase Question

York, PA
Question by psgunter
August 12, 2007
I planted two butterfly bushs (Buddleia Raspberry Wine) about a month and a half ago. I have never had much luck with gargening and have been working hard to establish my new garden in my new home. However, these two Buddleia seem to be spreading out but staying close to the ground. is this normal or should they be tied up and supported some how to grow up instead of laying down.

Answer from NGA
August 12, 2007


Based on your description I am not exactly certain what is happening to your plant.Butterfly bush in general is stiffly upright until it begins to bloom. Then the weight of the flowers can make the branch tips bend somewhat. If overfertilized and/or grown in a shady spot, a butterfly bush might grow very lax and floppy. This shrub should be grown in a full sun location, meaning full direct sun all day long for best results. Butterfly bushes are not fussy about soil with the exception that it should be well drained. This means it should not be kept sopping wet/saturated. Average fertility is adequate, so a top dressing of compost and/or application of general purpose fertilizer such as 10-10-10 in granular or slow release form would be enough. It is difficult to envision a spreading plant, but I suppose it is possible you might have a plant that was started from a cutting with a sideways direction and it has continued to grow that way. You could try cutting it back by about one third and see if that would encourage upward growth. It is late in the season to be trimming these, and it would delay blooming, but it might help. You might also want to consult with your local Penn State cooperative extension and see if they can determine why it is growing sideways. I'm sorry I can't be more specific for you.

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