Butterfly Bushes

Prune or Cut Back a Butterfly Bush That Is Overgrown

Anonymous added on June 27, 2017 | Answered

We recently purchased a house, in southwest Georgia, and in the landscaping there is a Butterfly bush, tree actually growing by the back door. It apparently is quite old, bloomed earlier this month, June, and has since quit blooming, it is covered with green leaves. It appears that the tree was pruned back on several occasions but has not been for the last few years(previous owner has passed), and house was not occupied for 2 years, so everything is in bad need of attention or pruning. Can this butterfly bush actually be pruned back, if so, when and how far back can we prune it. It is approx. 8-9 feet tall, truck is about 8-10 inches in diameter. It actually has quite a bit of character with the trunk, as it makes a great specimen/accent shrub or tree. And it does appear that it is done blooming, we thought that butterfly bushes bloomed through out the spring/summer season. Would it be possible to prune this back to a more easier to maintain size or replace and start over? Your thoughts would be appreciated. Thanks!!!!

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Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Answered on June 27, 2017

Pruning is part of regular maintenance of a Butterfly Bush. I would wait until your plant is dormant and cut it back. You can work in stages with your plant, since it has been a bit neglected.
I like to take 1/3 off of a plant. Then you can do the same the following year.


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