Howdy! I have an area of my property that was covered with heavy brush. We had to use a strong herbacide to clear the area and so have left the area empty this summer. Next spring I want to establish a perennial butterfly garden in this area. To this end I have started some butterfly bushes in a grow bag. They are about 7 or 8 inches tall now (mid August). I have attached a picture for your reference. My question is how to care for them over the winter. The seed packet said it takes 365 days to bloom. Should I place the grow bag near the place where they eventually will go? Since they are not going to bloom this year they won\'t be dropping any seeds. I don\'t think the ground is ready to receive them yet. Should I bring them into my very small house for the winter? Do they need the cold snap? Would it be too cold to put the bag in the unheated shed? Please advise. Should I break up the plants into individual pots now or just wait for spring to plant directly into the ground. Also, any other advice you can give would be great. I live in Fairfield if that makes it easier for you. Thank you in advance for your time and help. I look forward to hearing from you soon. Laura Ashley
Butterfly Bush Transplants
I'll wager a bet that at least 40 states in the union have a Fairfield. The picture shows what appears to be butterfly weed, not butterfly bush. Confirm this by looking at images of both. Butterfly weed produces a taproot. If you aren't going to plant them in Sept., put them in separate, deep containers. They need a cold period to trigger bloom. I think your ground is OK to plant in: the herbicide container will tell you - or the website if you no longer have the container. Otherwise, if you live in a state with cold winters, zone 6 or colder, dig holes in the soil for the containers until spring. Butterfly weed is late to emerge so be patient.