How To Grow Butterfly Bush
It is understandable that gardeners love butterfly bush plants (Buddleia davidii). The shrubs are low maintenance, grow fast and – in the summer – produce beautiful, fragrant flowers that are attractive to bees, hummingbirds and butterflies. The sun-loving deciduous shrub is easy to grow and easy to propagate by seeds, cuttings or division. Read on for more information on how to divide a butterfly bush.
Butterfly Bush Plants
Butterfly bush plants are native to Japan and China and rise quickly to some 10 or 15 feet high, offering lush flowers in shades of blue, pink and yellow, as well as white. The flowers, presented on panicles at the end of branches, smell sweet like honey. Butterfly bushes are tough and easy plants, tolerant of drought, poor soil, heat and humidity. Since these shrubs grow rapidly and can reach a spread of 8 feet, a backyard gardener may wish to divide the clump at some point.
Can You Divide Butterfly Bushes?
Dividing butterfly bush is one of the best ways of propagating the plants. It is entirely possible to divide healthy bushes as long as they are big enough. You may want to know when to divide butterfly bush. You can act at any time during the year as long as the plant is healthy, but many gardeners prefer to divide plants in fall, when the soil is warmer than the air at least part of every day.
How to Divide a Butterfly Bush
Dividing butterfly bush is not difficult. The process of division is a matter of digging up the roots of the plant, dividing them in two or more pieces, and replanting the separate divisions. But a few tips can make the process of dividing butterfly bush faster and more effective. First, it pays to soak the soil around healthy, thriving butterfly bush plants the night before you are to divide them. This makes removal of the roots much easier.
The next morning, carefully dig up the roots of each plant. Use pruners or your fingers to divide the plant into several pieces, being sure that each “division” has a few roots and a few stems in it. Act quickly to replant the divisions. Replace one of the divisions back in the location where you dug it from. Plant the others in pots or in other locations in your garden. Do not hesitate in replanting the divisions, as the roots may dry out. Water all divisions well and keep the soil moist, but not wet, until the plants are established. You can fertilize if you wish to promote faster growth.
How To Get A Butterfly Bush To Bloom
Large, brilliant, and long-blooming, butterfly bushes make for beautiful centerpieces in butterfly gardens and landscapes alike. When you’re anticipating innumerable long, pendulous, pollinator-attracting flowers, it can be a serious letdown if your butterfly bush will not bloom. Keep reading for reasons why there may be no flowers on a butterfly bush, as well as ways to get a butterfly bush to bloom.
My Butterfly Bush is not Blooming
There are a few reasons a butterfly bush will not bloom, most of them related to stress. One of the most common is improper watering. Butterfly bushes require plenty of water, particularly in the spring during their main period of growth. In the summer, they need steady watering during periods of drought. At the same time, the roots will rot very readily in standing water. Make sure your plant has adequate drainage to accommodate all that watering.
Butterfly bushes require at least partial and, preferably, full sun to bloom to their full potential. For the most part, they are very hardy to disease and pests, but they can sometimes fall victim to spider mites and nematodes. In another vein, if you’ve planted your butterfly bush recently, it may still be suffering from transplant shock. Even if it was blooming when you planted it last year, it might still need a year to recover and put down new roots.
How to Get a Butterfly Bush to Bloom
Perhaps the most common cause of a non-flowering butterfly bush is improper pruning. If left to its own devices, a butterfly bush can turn into an unruly thicket with sparse blossoms. Prune your butterfly bush back in the autumn or early in the spring, before new growth starts. Cut at least ? of the stems down to until only 3-4 inches (7-10 cm) remain above the soil. This will encourage new growth from the roots and more flowers. If you live in an area that experiences very cold winters, your plant may die back to this state naturally and the resulting dead wood will have to be cut away.
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