Butterfly bush - Knowledgebase Question

Brainard, Ne
Question by bkozisek
September 28, 2008
I have 2 questions. First I have aquired a butterfly bush to be moved. The Bush is in Yutan ne. and I want to move it to Brainard, ne. It is now 6 feet tall. Can I trim it back to one foot tall and move it this fall? and can I break up the roots to make 2 different plants or bushes? Second I have to move some old peonies to a new location. Can they be replanted in the fall. How deep do the roots have to be planted below the surface? I will want to remove them again in 2 0r 3 years. How deep do I have to dig to get most of the roots out not to destroy it and get the whole plant moved ? Would appreciate your reply on these 2 things I have to move. Thank You, Bern

Answer from NGA
September 28, 2008


Although you can move your butterfly bush now, it would be best not to prune it back at this time. When you prune you encourage new growth which will not have enough time to harden off before winter weather. You'll have to prune it back again in the spring, so why not wait until then to do your pruning? Whether or not you can divide your butterfly bush depends upon the root system and whether or not there are several stems rather than simply one main stem. If there are several stems coming from the root mass you should be able to separate the roots into two or more plants.

Peonies resent being moved and will often refuse to bloom for several years after being transplanted. Since you anticipate having to move them in the future, I'd suggest replanting them into containers rather than back into the ground. The rootmass will be deep but not very wide. Expect to find the majority of the roots within the top 18" of soil.

Best wishes with the move!

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