Avatar for PatriceFeldmann
May 7, 2018 7:13 AM CST
Wildwood MO
We live in Wildwood, MO. Our two butterfly bushes have yet to \\\"come alive\\\" after a winter of pretty frigid cold snaps; the winter wasn\\\'t brutally cold all season, but there were some really frigid weeks. It was also a very cold early spring. The bushes are on a very sunny hill (one at the top and one at the bottom of the hill). All the other bushes and grasses on the hill are doing nicely now that we\\\'ve had 2+ weeks of warmer weather. Should we be worried about the bushes\\\' inability to leaf out at this time (early May), or are they taking longer than usual this spring in this zone?
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May 7, 2018 11:20 AM CST
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
Welcome!

Here are two things you can do:

Do you know of any other Butterfly Bushes in your neighborhood? Are they leafing out?

Give your Butterfly Bushes the 'scratch' test. Scratch the bark of a couple stems (check near the soil). If the layer under the bark is green, your plants are alive. If its brown or hard, dead.

Even if it fails the scratch test, the roots could still be alive.
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

President: Orchid Society of Northern Nevada
Webmaster: osnnv.org
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May 7, 2018 9:38 PM CST
Name: Kyle
Middle TN (Zone 7a)
Region: Tennessee Plant and/or Seed Trader Cat Lover Dog Lover Roses Ferns
Hostas Foliage Fan Bromeliad Heucheras Native Plants and Wildflowers Birds
Spring came 3 weeks late here in TN. Probably for you too. Butterfly bushes are iffy for me. Yours may be dead. Or the branches may be dead only and new growth will sprout from the base. Keep an eye on it.
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May 8, 2018 6:07 PM CST
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
Curiosity question... I have lived in zone 8 and currently live in zone 6. Butterfly Bushes do great in both places. What is it about TN or zone 7 that makes them 'iffy'?

I do cut mine back every fall to about 12 inches just to keep them under control. I also planted dwarf varieties here as my yard is much smaller than it used to be.
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

President: Orchid Society of Northern Nevada
Webmaster: osnnv.org
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May 8, 2018 6:24 PM CST
Name: Carol H. Sandt
Lancaster County, Pennsylvania (Zone 6b)
Annuals Roses Peonies Region: Pennsylvania Region: Mid-Atlantic Hostas
Growing under artificial light Foliage Fan Daylilies Butterflies Bookworm Aroids
My butterfly bushes (all Buzz series) are just now starting to produce leaves. I would suggest patience.
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May 8, 2018 7:23 PM CST
Name: Kyle
Middle TN (Zone 7a)
Region: Tennessee Plant and/or Seed Trader Cat Lover Dog Lover Roses Ferns
Hostas Foliage Fan Bromeliad Heucheras Native Plants and Wildflowers Birds
DaisyI said:Curiosity question... I have lived in zone 8 and currently live in zone 6. Butterfly Bushes do great in both places. What is it about TN or zone 7 that makes them 'iffy'?


I have tried a couple and even had one volunteer from seed. They were beautiful. They had severe winter dieback every year and I would cut out dead wood. But they just got weaker every year until they just finally died. Maybe it was the soil I had them in? Possible.
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May 8, 2018 7:58 PM CST
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
It just proves that all zones (even though they have the same number) are not created equally. I wonder what the difference is? Confused My yard in CA was river bottom - anything would grow no matter what you did (or didn't) do to it. In Reno, my house sits on an area called 'Chalk Bluff'. That chalk is 100% alkali. I have added a lot of compost and garden soil to planting holes but some plants (azaleas) give up the ghost after just a couple years when the alkali either seeps in or they grow out of my neat little planting holes. So far (5 years in), the Butterfly Bushes look great.
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

President: Orchid Society of Northern Nevada
Webmaster: osnnv.org
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