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dead Butterfly Bush

Byron Center, MI

I purchased a Butterfly Bush 3 years ago and each year it steadily got larger and more impressive. This spring however, the entire bush was as dead as dead can be. Can anyone offer advice? Are they susceptible to disease? Didn't I water enough?
Thank you!

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

I've heard them called short lived but not that short. Mine are declining and have some rot near the bottom, do you find any split wood, brown centers to branches, etc?

Lititz, PA(Zone 6b)

I've seen that happen with some butterfly bushes but I was never sure why. My former employer had a few butterfly bushes go south on them and they were only 6 years old. When I dug them out, they had a very poor root structure. The roots were very compact and in a small area. It was nice for me because they were extremely easy to dig out.

Victoria Harbour, ON

I cut mine down to the ground every fall or early spring and they grow beyond the size they were the previous year..do look woody and dead but then up they come to feed the butterflies..

Byron Center, MI

Thanks everyone for your info. Unfortunately I have already dug it up and disposed of it. :-(

Northumberland, United Kingdom(Zone 9a)

Michigan winters are probably a bit harsh for it. Was it a colder-than-average winter last winter? If yes, that's the cause.

Resin

Victoria Harbour, ON

I'm in Ontario Canada about same weather for both of us, sorry you dipug it out, you might have cut it as close the the ground as you could have and hoped for growth next spring. I sure would try another.

Hillsborough, NC(Zone 7b)

Agree with Betty for sure. Ours stopped producing one year and I whacked it to the ground. Since then I cut it to the ground each year (or near to ground) and back it comes. Buddleia not attractive with age on it and once flowering slows down can look very dead - and many branches are!

suburban K.C., MO(Zone 6a)

Mine looks dead every year, it is now about 5 feet tall! I heard recently that they die to the ground every year, mine always appears dead in the Spring.
Will

Thumbnail by shortleaf Thumbnail by shortleaf
Byron Center, MI

I guess I was a bit hasty in digging it up. I will probably another and then do as many of you said; cut it down to the ground in Fall.
Thanks!

Hillsborough, NC(Zone 7b)

Maybe not. It could have been a goner. Regardless the new one will spread itself and you will have many.
By to the ground - you know to leave a few inches.and if you want winter interest could do towards winter's end.

suburban K.C., MO(Zone 6a)

Come to think of it mine wasn't appearing dead around April, little leaves were forming, yours coulda bit the dust.
But, I remember it always looked like a bunch of brown twigs most of the time. I never cut it back and I always had them. I'll cut it back in late Winter now that I know you can.
I'd like to make mine more bushy and full looking but I don't think you can do that, you'll be cutting off the blooms.
5 feet tall and leggy might be the look I have, it's about done blooming.

Thumbnail by shortleaf
Byron Center, MI

Beautiful bush shortleaf!
Thanks for sharing. :-)
Doug

suburban K.C., MO(Zone 6a)

Thanks! And good luck with yours, Doug, they are beautiful. Mine is called 'Nanho Blue'.
Will

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

shortleaf- Cut it in February maybe March, you will see the side branches starting to grow, and all the new branches will bloom. The number of new branches will be determined by how far back/ down you go.
Deadhead now for more blooms.

suburban K.C., MO(Zone 6a)

Thanks sally, I'll do that. More blooms?! That'd be nice.

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