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Trees, Shrubs and Conifers: dead Butterfly Bush

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Forum: Trees, Shrubs and ConifersReplies: 15, Views: 141
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dwendt
Byron Center, MI

July 8, 2013
9:20 AM

Post #9591483

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!

sallyg

sallyg
Anne Arundel,, MD
(Zone 7b)

July 11, 2013
4:12 PM

Post #9595645

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?

Sequoiadendron4

Sequoiadendron4
Lititz, PA
(Zone 6b)

July 12, 2013
5:48 AM

Post #9596092

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.

Bettypauze

Bettypauze
Victoria Harbour, ON

July 12, 2013
5:57 AM

Post #9596098

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..
dwendt
Byron Center, MI

July 12, 2013
11:17 AM

Post #9596463

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

Resin

Resin
Northumberland
United Kingdom
(Zone 9a)

July 12, 2013
12:59 PM

Post #9596576

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

Bettypauze

Bettypauze
Victoria Harbour, ON

July 12, 2013
1:45 PM

Post #9596626

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.
missingrosie
Hillsborough, NC

July 12, 2013
1:57 PM

Post #9596638

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

July 14, 2013
8:11 PM

Post #9599145

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

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dwendt
Byron Center, MI

July 17, 2013
5:23 AM

Post #9601973

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!
missingrosie
Hillsborough, NC

July 17, 2013
5:47 AM

Post #9602003

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

July 17, 2013
7:37 AM

Post #9602114

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.

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dwendt
Byron Center, MI

July 17, 2013
11:45 AM

Post #9602397

Beautiful bush shortleaf!
Thanks for sharing. :-)
Doug
shortleaf
suburban K.C., MO
(Zone 6a)

July 17, 2013
12:31 PM

Post #9602454

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

sallyg

sallyg
Anne Arundel,, MD
(Zone 7b)

July 21, 2013
6:38 AM

Post #9606911

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

July 21, 2013
1:17 PM

Post #9607323

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

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