Friday, June 8, 2007

Don't Toss that Butterfly Bush Just Yet

Even if yours looks like mine.

In Michigan Buddleia growth usually only comes from new wood. But I swear that last year it leafed out on the old growth, so I left a substantial amount this year to see if it would do it again.

I’ve been watching it closely and so far nothing is happening on the old growth. Buddelia does take forever to begin growing so don't give up on it until at least mid June.

People who have never grown Buddleia sometimes think it is dead and pull it out too early. I am not worried because even if the branches don't leaf out, it is sprouting new growth from the ground. Once it gets going, it’s a vigorous grower and should be 6 feet by early July.


  1. We are a few weeks ahead of you in the growing zone and I can attest that the butterfly bushes we have are growing like crazy-new growth seems to be on the end of last years.

  2. Dianne, I was wondering while I was writing this if your butterfly bush was blooming on last year's growth. Thanks for posting and letting me know!

  3. Zoey~
    Here in southern pa. the new growth on my butterfly growth is about 10 to 12 inches high, but nothing on the old wood and I'm like you, I could swear that last year, leaves sprouted on those old branches!I'm going to wait a few more weeks to see if anything happens. (if I cut down all of the old growth,the bush will only be about 1/4 the size it is now)sigh....

  4. Suzy, That's my dilema exactly! I want enough height for it to fall over the deck railing when in bloom.

    I remember last year looking through the whole bush in the fall to see if there were any branches without leaves and I could not find any. It MUST have leafed out on the old growth!!! LOL. It will be interesting to see if either of us get any growth this year.

  5. Zoey, my butterfly bush acts differently every year, I swear! Some years it blooms on old wood, and others, like this year, the new growth envelops the old wood before it has a chance to bloom. I hacked away at mine this year.

  6. I am in northern Ohio and am thinking about cutting down the old wood on my Black Knight. It ordinarily has leaved out from old wood, but we had a disastrous late freeze this year. However, plenty of new growth is coming up from it as well as the other BBs, and buds have already formed.

    My gardening buddy says we should wait a while longer (his are doing the same), but the branches are very "crisp" and the buds are without sign of life...

    How much longer before giving up and trimming?

  7. Anonymous,
    I was going to cut mine down on Saturday, but then reconsidered and thought I would wait another week before chopping it off.
    Like yours, though, mine looks pretty crisp and dead.


I appreciate you taking the time and effort to leave a comment. I will try to answer any questions you have. Please note due to Blogger changing word verification so almost nobody can read it, I have had to change to no word verification and only allow registered users to comment.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...