Deadheading butterfly bush

kss1956July 7, 2011

I read that your butterfly bush will bloom all summer if you deadhead the flowers. I looked at one site for information on how to deadhead and it went over my head-the way it was written seemed complicated. Also, how often should one deadhead?

I appreciate your help.



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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

in my simpleton world... a plant has one goal.. to procreate ...

it achieves this by producing a flower.. to attract the bug.. to achieve fertilization ...

once it has accomplished all that.. and set seed.. its hormones will tell it to stop making those fancy flowers ...

so to confuse it.. and make it continue making flowers.. we keep cutting off the seeds.. so the plant will continue to flower ...

so .. just keep cutting off the spent flowers ...

is that simple enough ... it does not matter what flower you are asking about ... its all the same .. procreation ... and hormone confusion ...

now.. the only further question is.. how low to cut back ...

the safest.. just cut the flowers off.. and watch and see how the plant responds.. if you have more than one.. cut one low.. and one high.. live and learn thru observation ...

all that said.. and i am thinking about the orange butterfly weed .. like at the link.. your use of the common name is confusing.. i suppose you are not talking about that one... take the time to learn the latin names.. and i bet your googling will become much easier ....

i think the confusion.. came because i consider buddelia to be a flowering shrub.. and you posted in the perennial forum, making me think about the weed.. go figure ...

good luck


Here is a link that might be useful: link

    Bookmark   July 7, 2011 at 6:56PM
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terrene(5b MA)

I deadhead my Buddleia all summer, to keep it tidy and encourage more blooms. The first flush of flowers is the largest, then smaller offshoots of branches and flowers will grow below the spent blooms. I just clip the dead flowers off, down to the next set of buds or flowers.

This is also a good idea if you live where Buddleia has invasive tendencies and reseeds a lot. I think it might be too cold here to be invasive, because mine has never made a seedling, whether I deadheaded it or not.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2011 at 9:18PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

I do deadheading 2-3 times per week because I love it. But weekly is fine for buddleia. Good description of how from terrene. Buddleia will bloom until a hard frost if you keep cutting off the dead flowers.

You didn't ask, but another important thing to know with BB's in your zone is that you don't want to trim in the fall. They don't always make it through winter and most folks agree the chances are better for their return if they aren't pruned in the fall. They are notorious for just dying after a few years, and often killed to the ground every year in colder zones. Wait until you see new growth in the spring, probably April, sometimes May. Then remove any dead branches, and shape as desired.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2011 at 11:19AM
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