Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Rate Thread
#369890 May 16th, 2013 at 08:55 PM
Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 566
Ditchy Offline OP
Digger
500 Posts
OP Offline
Digger
500 Posts
Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 566
I have 3 Exceptionally large ones, and in the fall I always cut back all the dead flowers.
But it seems thet are all woody now, And I know we had a late start here, but I wonder how long I should give them before I really prune them back hard, I realize they are late growers but I only have some leaves showing on the very bottom of the branches. Ideas?


[Linked Image]
Ditchy #369898 May 16th, 2013 at 10:33 PM
Joined: Nov 2003
Posts: 31,597
Purl One
30k Posts
Offline
Purl One
30k Posts
Joined: Nov 2003
Posts: 31,597
I have always read that one should prune back the butterfly bushes late February to early March. I have done this for the 20 years we've lived in this house and they always grow huge.

That said... my husband hates these bushes. Mostly because I had a few that grew outside their boundaries and he hated mowing under them. So last year I actually cut them back twice. I had a late start because my mom passed away in April, and I had to drive the hour distance to the hospital every day, so I didn't have any time for gardening. So the first cutback was late April. Then I cut them back once again in late May, after they started getting long stems. They did flower just a bit later than usual, but they were full with lots of blooms.

This year, I cut them back late February during a warm spell, and lower than usual. They are now filling out nicely. I will probably do it again in a week or so just to keep them in check again.

I did lose 2 bushes that were in the center of 9. I have a garden area just outside my walk-out basement doors and these bushes give nice privacy from the neighbors. The center ones were probably the oldest, plus we had a lot of ice and snow this past winter, not to mention Hurricane Sandy.

Good luck with your bushes. Some of your wood could be dead - I had to trim out some of mine. But as long as there are green stems coming out, the plant is still alive. I do the scratch test to see what is dead and what is alive - scratch your fingernail or a shovel edge along the stem or trunk. If you do not see green under the outer layer, then that part is probably dead.


[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 566
Ditchy Offline OP
Digger
500 Posts
OP Offline
Digger
500 Posts
Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 566
Thanks! I am going to prune them back HARD tomorrow. I> had never done it earlier than April, But they are out of control so if one dies I can deal.
LAst year the one at the end of the driveway was almost 4 feet high, and about that wide around. Big gorgeous Purple blooms, bloomed to Oct.
I have 4 and they are all from one lone plant I got from a mail order catalog 13 years ago, so they owe me nothing! LOL flwr


[Linked Image]
Ditchy #369927 May 17th, 2013 at 11:19 AM
Joined: Nov 2003
Posts: 31,597
Purl One
30k Posts
Offline
Purl One
30k Posts
Joined: Nov 2003
Posts: 31,597
Good luck with the pruning! I, too, have lots of bushes from the first 2 I bought. Not only have I made new bushes from cuttings, but they self seed all over and I let them grow a bit and pot them up. I have shared so many bushes with friends and family - they are planted all over NY, NJ, and Connecticut.

By the way, I am about to cut mine back a second time for this year. I noticed today that they are growing very quickly, so if I want to control the size somewhat, I'd better do it soon. Mine have gotten so high that it's hard for me to deadhead them, which I like to do often as it increases more blooms for a longer period of time.


[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]

Link Copied to Clipboard
Seasonal Ticker
Gardening Links
Gardening in March
Gardening in April
Gardening in May


Shop at Amazon and Support AGF
Are you shopping online? Click this link first and A Gardeners Forum will receive a commission for your referral at Amazon.com (shopping through this link to Amazon will not have any impact on your prices at Amazon).
Like Us on Facebook
Forum Statistics
Forums65
Topics14,240
Posts236,363
Average Daily Posts7
Members15,963
Most Online10,356
Nov 2nd, 2019
Top Posters(30 Days)
Tina 69
Random Gallery Image
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.5