Pruning Butterfly Bush - Knowledgebase Question

Cary, NC
Avatar for crpmgp
Question by crpmgp
September 5, 1998
I have a five foot tall butterfly bush that was planted a year ago and has never been pruned (except for deadheading). There seems to be conflicting information about the time of year to prune; is it fall or spring? Also, where on the branch do you make a cut? Is 6 to 10 inches a good cut back to height?

Answer from NGA
September 5, 1998
Buddleia davidii, the Butterfly Bush, is a fast-growing shrub with dense, arching, spikelike clusters of flowers that butterflies like to visit. There are many varieties, but the care is the same; prune after bloom and remove some of the oldest wood down to within a few inches of the ground. In areas where winters are cold, soft wood may be killed by frost. If this happens, prune out the dead wood in the spring.

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