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Butterfly Bushes

Q.5 of my butterfly bushes seem to be dead.

Zone 63304 | Anonymous added on April 19, 2020 | Answered

We are in the St. Louis area. The last year’s stems are dry and brown with no green when scraped. Do these plants come back from the roots or the old wood? Should I just wait? I planted these last summer so this was their first winter.

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Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Answered on April 21, 2020

In colder areas, butterfly bushes need to be cut to about 6 inches from the ground in late winter or early spring. They should return quickly from the ground. However, I have experienced butterfly bushes not returning after one or two years.

They bloom on new growth, so if you don't cut them back and they regrow on old wood, all the blooms will be on new growth at the top of last year's stems.


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