Should You Remove Dead Flowers From Butterfly Bush?


The shrub usually begins blooming in early to midsummer, and should continue blooming through fall, depending on growing zone and weather. Gardeners have little to do in order to get a butterfly bush to bloom, even in its first year. Just make sure it gets sun, water and proper pruning.

Why are the blooms on my butterfly bush turning brown?

Dead-head the spent blooms while the plant is flowering.

This means that you should pick or cut the flowers that have died while the bush continues to bloom. Spent blooms will start to turn brown and will look very wilted. Cut the dead blooms back to where they attach to the stem.

Can I prune butterfly bush after flowering?

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.

Why are butterfly bushes bad?

Because butterfly bushes offer copious amounts of nectar, they become extremely attractive to pollinators, distracting them from other native co-flowering species, and reducing the native’s reproductive success which eventually also harms the native’s populations.

What is the lifespan of a butterfly bush?

Buddleia is a coloniser of short lifespan (the oldest individual having been found is 37 years old). The largest densities of invasion would normally be observed in the first ten years.

How do I get rid of dead flowers on my butterfly bush?

Deadheading Butterfly Bush

These dead flowers detract from the beauty of your shrub. As soon as you notice flowers starting to fade, cut them back by deadheading. If you trim the spent flower spikes back to the next flower node on the branch, this will encourage your butterfly bush to bloom again.

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.

How do I get rid of spider mites on my butterfly bush?

Water Stress and Spider Mites

Look for yellow pinpricks where mites have been feeding, or gently shake the branches of the bush to dislodge them. Walter Reeves recommends that you remove them with a strong spray of water early in the day, giving the plant time to dry before nightfall to stave off fungal infections.

Are coffee grounds good for butterfly bushes?

A. Coffee grounds are a good source of slow-release nitrogen. They can be worked directly into the soil around your plants or added to your compost heap. … Check your garden soil pH before directly adding coffee grounds.

Are butterfly bushes toxic to dogs?

Although butterfly bushes (Buddleja davidii) are not edible, they are no more toxic than any garden plant. They should be safe to plant where children, dogs, cats, and other animals live. In fact, butterfly bushes are deer resistant. They attract and feed nectar to hummingbirds and butterflies.

What can I plant instead of a butterfly bush?

Native substitutes for Butterfly Bush

For sunny, open garden or landscape plantings, try Sweet Pepperbush, also called Summersweet (Clethra alnifolia) or Virginia Sweetspire (Itea virginica). For wetter soils, try Buttonbush (Cephalanthis occidentalis)—a food source for moths—or New Jersey Tea (Ceanothus americanus).

Do butterfly bushes have deep roots?

Root Type/Characteristics


Butterfly bushes have a fibrous root system designed to wind through the nutritious top layer of soil. … While this denies the butterfly bush the anchoring that taproots provide, it also prevents problems with root rot that some deep-rooted plants can have if the long tap sits in water too long.

Where is the best place to plant a butterfly bush?

Planting a butterfly bush in an optimum location minimizes the time you’ll spend on maintenance. Choose a sunny or partly shaded area where the soil is well-drained. Soil that is constantly wet encourages rot. When planted in good quality garden soil, a butterfly bush rarely needs fertilizer.

Do butterfly bushes make good cut flowers?

The buddleia has fragrant blossoms, attracts butterflies and excels as a cut flower. This variety blooms on new growth and comes with the recommendation to cut back hard in late winter. … It will send out vigorous new shoots and bloom all summer until the first frost.

How often should you water butterfly bush?

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.

Should I fertilize my butterfly bush?

Normally, butterfly bushes do not need to be fertilized. One reason is because the shrub already grows so rapidly each season after pruning close to its base. With heavy fertilizing, the plant can grow too quickly and the stems become weak.

Should you dead head butterfly bushes?

Early bloomers such as Alternate-leaf Butterfly Bush (Buddleia alternifolia) bloom on old wood and should be pruned after flowering in the spring. Deadhead, or cut off, all spent blooms. This prevents the plant from going to seed and encourages it to reflower.

How do I make my butterfly bush bushier?

Cutting it back about halfway will do wonders to help it branch out. A little pruning will help encourage fuller and more dense growth. I would also recommend moving this bush to a different location. Butterfly bushes are fast growers, and the small area next to the sidewalk is not enough space to contain it.

Do I deadhead lavender?

Lavenders thrive if pruned back fairly hard but never cut back into old wood as most lavender plants won’t re-grow from this. … Dead-head French lavenders throughout the summer as they’ll flower continuously from May to September. Deadheading will also encourage more flowering through the season.

Do butterfly bushes need sun or shade?

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.

What kills a butterfly bush?

With butterfly bush, often the most effective use of herbicides is to make a cut-stump treatment. The trunk of the bush should be cut off at the base and concentrated glyphosate (such as in Roundup) or triclopyr (such as in Garlon or Brush B Gon) should be applied to the freshly cut surface.

What do you do with a dead butterfly bush?

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. Don’t do it too early, though. A bad frost after this kind of pruning can kill back all that healthy living wood you’ve just exposed.