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Butterfly Bushes

Q.Have a 10 yr. old “butterfly tree.” Last year, all branches were full and bloomed. This spring, only new growth at bottom of tree

Zone Bradford, PA. 16701 | Anonymous added on June 6, 2020 | Answered

has leaves? This situation has not happened before. In Pa. this winter, we had three days in a row of zero temps. Do I have a half dead tree?

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Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Answered on June 9, 2020

Are you talking about a butterfly bush, buddleia? I am impressed it thrived for 10 years. Mine don't normally last that long. They are hardy to -20 F (-28.9 C) so I don't think the cold hurt it unless that was very unusual. Do you cut the bush back in late winter or early spring? They can be cut to 6 or 7 inches above ground. Go ahead and cut off the dead branches and see if that encourages new growth.

Here is more information:


If by any chance you meant a chaste tree, those too can be cut to the ground.

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