How do you save a dying butterfly bush?
Try gently twisting a stem around your finger – if it snaps off, it's probably dead, but if it bends, it's probably alive. If it's late in the spring and you discover dead growth on your butterfly bush, prune it away. New growth can only come from living stems, and this should encourage it to start growing.
What happens if you don't cut back a butterfly bush?
Most people prefer to cut back the entire shrub to within a foot or two (31-61 cm.) from the ground, which actually allows it to become more manageable. Without pruning, the butterfly bush may become a bit unruly.
Why does my butterfly bush look dead?
If not enough water isn't the culprit, too much water probably is. Poor drainage will kill a Buddleia, as it will so many other garden plants. You can till the soil, amend it within an inch of its life, and water religiously, but if the soil doesn't drain fast enough, the roots will rot right out.
Downy mildew is a relatively common problem that can occur when temperatures are cool and the plant's leaves are wet for a long period of time. Another one of the common butterfly bush diseases is rhizoctonia, a fungal root rot that makes leaves yellow and drop and destroys the roots.
Always prune just above some new leaf growth to encourage is a mass of new foliage. This pruning might seem a bit radical, but come spring, it'll be back looking fantastic." "So whatever the colour, size or form, these tough-as-boots bird and butterfly magnets could be a great addition to your garden!"
Don't worry that you're being too brutal, as buddleja is so vigorous that it will quickly re-grow.
Butterfly bush is a hardy perennial in many areas of the country. Still, the plant loses its leaves and goes dormant in winter to weather the cold.
While pruning is not absolutely necessary, butterfly bushes tend to bloom better and keep a better shape if pruned hard each spring. They can also be pruned in summer to encourage new blooms, or just to tame untidy growth.
Prune in spring, after the new growth emerges.
Many people cut their butterfly bush back in autumn, as part of their fall clean up. But particularly in cold climates, this can leave your butterfly bush more susceptible to damage over winter. Do not prune until you see green buds on the stems.
Light: Butterfly bushes grow and flower best in full sun. They will grow fine in part shade, especially in warmer climates, but their flowering may be reduced. Soil: Butterfly bushes are not particular about the soil conditions, as long as it drains well. Poorly-drained soils can cause root rot.
Give butterfly bush about an inch of water a week while they're actively growing, if rain isn't sufficient, but don't worry if you occasionally forget to irrigate. In the first year after planting, these bushes need regular water to develop strong roots.
Caring for Butterfly Bushes
Remove spent flower spikes to encourage new shoots and flower buds. In addition, it is important to deadhead the flowers just as they start to wither so that this invasive plant doesn't spread volunteer seeds. The bush should bloom abundantly even in its first year.
Butterfly Bush are light feeders however will benefit from fertilization. Feed in late winter or early spring with a slow-release shrub & tree type fertilizer or a natural, organic plant food.
A greater problem with butterfly bushes is overwatering. The shrub, especially a larger variety, grows rapidly on its own. Overwatering can cause the roots to rot and can force too much growth into stems and leaves at the later expense of flowering. In winter, water monthly or let snow and rain keep the plant healthy.
The best pruning time for burning bushes is in the early spring, just before active growth begins.
Prune back the undamaged branches to within 12 inches of the soil. The butterfly bush will grow back vigorously and produce flowers from summer through frost. To keep the flowers coming until winter arrives, deadhead regularly. Cut the flower stalk just below the blossoms to encourage new flower production.
The bloom time will be extended if you deadhead the dead flowers, so it's a good idea to remove them.
The answer is yes, you can – with caveats. Growing a butterfly bush in a pot is very possible if you can provide this vigorous shrub with a very large pot. Keep in mind that butterfly bush (Buddleia davidii) grows to heights of 4 to 10 feet (1 to 2.5 m.), with a width of around 5 feet (1.5 m.).
How long do butterflies live? Here's the short version: Most adults, on average, live from two to four weeks. For example, a swallowtail butterfly generally lives from six to 14 days while a monarch butterfly can live from seven to nine months.
Do butterflies sleep? At night, or when the day is cloudy, adult butterflies rest by hanging upside down from leaves or twigs, where they are hidden among the foliage.
When Monarch butterflies travel south to Mexico for the winter, they will live up to 5 months without eating. Monarchs may find a rare meal during the colder months, but most do not eat at all since their food source, which are flowers, isn't growing.
As the head grows and fills in like the one above, prune stems just as you would any other butterfly bush: Remove a few older branches every year, and do a bit of shaping after the “tree” flowers. Trim off any sprouts from the ground or from along the trunk.