My husband trimmed our 2 yr. old butterfly bush in early spring (Buffalo, NY area). He trimmed it to about a foot from the ground. After trimming, we had two unseasonable frosts. Come late spring we have seen only a VERY tiny bit of green growing from it. Could there still be life in this bush or should we give up on it? Thanks, in advance, for your help.
Pruning Butterfly Bush
I have one too and find them to be very tolerant of hard pruning. Late winter/early spring is a good time to prune, so nothing wrong with that. Give it some time and patience. Mine has grown very fast since my pruning but doesn't have many blooms on it yet. These seem to be true summer shrubs. If they don't cheer up by July you could take a very sharp knife and scrap away a thin layer of the trunk down low and look for green tissue. That's my test for life in most woody plants.