How Do You Prune Butterfly Bushes?


Quick Answer

To prune a butterfly bush, cut away damaged, diseased and dead limbs, and cut the whole shrub down to 1- to 2-feet high for easy management, says Gardening Know How. Pruning is most effective when the plant is dormant in a warm climate where frost is not an issue.

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Full Answer

Butterfly bushes should be trimmed rather than pruned when the intent is cosmetic and the plant has not become too difficult to manage, as stated by Gardening Know How. Trim lateral branches in a way that encourages the plant to grow in the way you desire.

The butterfly bush is a shrub whose main purpose is to supply nectar to passing butterflies, according to the National Gardening Association. It may also be used as a fragrance and cut flowers. The plant grows between 5- and 10-feet tall and comes in such colors as violet, blue, red, pink and yellow.

Butterfly bushes are hardy plants that respond well to pruning and do not require special attention, according to Gardening Know How. Although pruning when the bush is dormant results in a more lively plant, the plant may be pruned at any time. If you live in a cold climate, surround the bush with a second layer of mulch to insulate it.

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