Ask a Question forum: Butterfly Bush

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Name: Lisa Pope
Boyertown, PA (Zone 6b)
May 29, 2017 8:27 AM CST
We moved into a new house in September. We had a beautiful and large butterfly bush by our patio. The previous owner told us that he would just cut it down to the ground every fall and it would grow back in spring. Well, sadly, we did exactly as he said and we have absolutely ZERO growth as of yet. I am devastated. It was my favorite part of the new house's landscaping. Was this wrong to do? Is there still hope for it, or is it dead and gone?
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Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
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May 29, 2017 10:43 AM CST

When the previous owner said 'down to the ground' maybe he meant down to a foot tall. Did you notice where previous growth at originated? I have always cut mine 'down to the ground' but that translates (at least for me) at 1 foot above the ground.

As you cut it at ground level, you don't have the benefit of shoots coming off old stumps. But that shouldn't necessarily kill the Butterfly Bush. You will have to wait to see if it grows new shoots coming up from the roots, which could take awhile.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

Name: Suzanne/Sue
Sebastopol, CA (Zone 9a)
Sunset Zone 15
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May 29, 2017 10:51 AM CST


Perhaps clear away some of the black mulch from the base, you may yet get new shoots.
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Name: Karen
NM (Zone 7b)
Region: New Mexico Region: Arizona Cactus and Succulents Greenhouse Sempervivums Bromeliad
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May 29, 2017 10:55 AM CST
Welcome to NGA, Lisa! I really hope it will come back for you. They are beautiful. Maybe your weather hasn't been warm enough? It would help if you fill out your profile with your plant zone and general area where you live.
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Southeast OK (Zone 7b)
May 29, 2017 10:04 PM CST
I would think it needs a bit more time. I'm much further west than you so mine come earlier. He didn't give you bad advice. Just hang in there a bit longer. Once they break ground, it will be much faster growing.

I winter sowed mine last year. It got 3 foot tall in one season. This spring it came slow. But once spring was in full force, it didn't stop growing. It has topped 5 foot since April. I cut mine back this spring and thinned it. It will come.
[Last edited by KarenHolt - May 29, 2017 10:08 PM (+)]
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