Butterfly bush... are you alive?

david883(5/6)April 14, 2014

So not only is it split pretty significantly at its "trunk" but when I did a little light pruning the other day (only a few inches back so far) there was no green inside the little branches. We had a pretty extreme winter here so... what does everyone think my odds are? I just planted it last year and it got huge but I'm apprehensive of its survival. Its a blueberry cobbler I believe. I figured this board was the best place to ask.

Any input would be appreciated! Thanks again!

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runmede(7a Virginia)

My butterfly bushes look like that and I'm in zone 7a. I am going to give them time. They can come back from the root, if they are not totally dead.

Here is a link that might be useful: Is my butterfly bush dead?

    Bookmark   April 14, 2014 at 10:12PM
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bandjzmom(7 NWGeorgia)

David, I have 14 butterfly bushes in my yard, and they are truly some of the most hardy plants around. I am in zone 7b, and all of my varieties except for Sungold now have "some" leaves on them. I would expect yours would be a bit behind mine, so I would guess that your odds are dadgum good that your bush is just fine. :) Angie

    Bookmark   April 15, 2014 at 6:37PM
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david883(5/6)

Thanks to you both. I'm certainly going to give them some time... especially now that we got another 2-3 inches of snow last night out of nowhere (after a few solid days in the 60s and even 70s!) So I'm going to keep my fingers crossed. It grew so much in its first season out there that it wouldn't be too discouraging to have to replace it but I'd hate to anyway ha ha.

Thanks again

    Bookmark   April 15, 2014 at 8:30PM
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david883(5/6)

After reading runmede's link to previous posts I am wondering, though, how it dies back to the ground. Its got such a thick base/trunk... I'm not going to go out and cut anything back but does that mean that you literally cut that trunk to ground? Hopefully I'll get to find out if this one comes back :)

    Bookmark   April 15, 2014 at 8:35PM
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runmede(7a Virginia)

When we have late bad weather it is better not to cut back until you see some growth or until weather stabilizes. A late frost/snow storm can kill back new growth. I am slowing my cleanup and I'm glad I did. It is snowing and hailing tonight with temps down to 20. 7a wasn't 7a this winter for me.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2014 at 9:14PM
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bandjzmom(7 NWGeorgia)

David, No, you don't cut them down to the ground, but you can cut them back to 1-2ft. I usually just cut back to whatever is the thickest trunk branch. They bloom on new wood, so you will get more blooms by cutting back.~Angie

    Bookmark   April 16, 2014 at 6:56AM
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molanic(Zone 5 IL)

I'm in 5a and I haven't noticed any growth on mine yet. I haven't pruned them yet either. I usually go down to no higher than a foot off the ground once I see some signs of new growth, sometimes earlier. If it died back further I go back and cut off some more later.

If it doesn't come back, and you have trouble overwintering them you may want to consider starting some from seed. For years I bought cultivars in the store and they usually didn't live more than a year or two and never got very big or healthy looking. Then I started some from seed via wintersowing and planted out five plants that are still going strong more than five years later. I think the straight species is much hardier than the cultivars you buy in the stores. It does get huge though and is invasive in many areas. I try to keep mine deadheaded to prevent problems.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2014 at 11:25AM
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Leafhead

I don't foresee mine coming back:( The Dairy State has had a HOLY COW Winter...
But we'll see.
I'll be surprised-and thrilled- if my White Profusion comes back; it was my biggest draw.
Oh, well... Swallowtails love Swamp Milkweed more than anything (Esp Tigers). And it's reliable in -0 degree weather.

John

    Bookmark   April 18, 2014 at 12:46PM
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runmede(7a Virginia)

The best place that I have found to buy native and non native butterfly plants. He has butterfly bushes for $5.

http://www.ebay.com/sch/m.html?_ssn=dogwooderitternet&rt=nc
Ron Rottman dogwood@eritter.net

Here is a link that might be useful: Ron Rottman eBay link

    Bookmark   April 18, 2014 at 1:02PM
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Leafhead

Have you heard of Monarda Blue Stocking? Wow! (He has it listed). Are they attractive to butterflies as well, or just sterile cultivars? I found them particularly spectacular.

John

    Bookmark   April 18, 2014 at 4:49PM
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runmede(7a Virginia)

Ron's plants are pesticide free, too.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2014 at 5:16PM
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vmpalmerton(z8 OR)

I lost various bushes this winter. Mine is growing like crazy. If you find that your's didn't make it I will be glad to send you a start.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2014 at 2:12AM
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Leafhead

Thanx, Runmede.
I like that he's pesticide free and I love Monarda Blue Stocking. I'm going to order some.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2014 at 2:34AM
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