cutting back butterfly bushes - Knowledgebase Question

Murrells Inlet, So
Question by Susiet05
December 31, 2009
Just wondering when is the time to cut back the butterfly bushes in our yard and how is it done?
Also my pansies are not to perky-should I fertilize them and what do I use. Thank you! (I live in South Carolina.)

Answer from NGA
December 31, 2009


Butterfly bushes are usually pruned back in the spring, in preparation for new growth. In some parts of the country they freeze down to ground level and you can safely prune everything down to ground level. If yours does not freeze down to ground level but only loses its leaves in the winter, you can prune it back by one third to one half in the spring to encourage healthy new growth. If yours has been in the ground for several years and has never frozen down to ground level, you can remove some of the oldest, innermost stems all the way down to ground level. This will make room for healthy new stems and keep the shrub fuller.

Pansies grow and flower best in the cooler weather and will continue to bloom all winter if you remove the spent flowers just as they are beginning to develop into seedheads. You can trim yours back by a few inches to encourge new growth and feed with a 10-10-10 slow release fertilizer. Enjoy your garden!

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