Butterfly Bush not blooming?

trillianh(GW 9 /Sunset 15 /Nor CA)September 3, 2009

I have 2 butterfly bushes, one yellow/orange and one red. My yellow one is blooming like crazy, I keep cutting it back and it keeps spreading. The red one however is slow to grow and only has a couple blooms. I know they will only bloom on new growth. I have fertilized them equally.

Any ideas?

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misssherry(Z8/9SE MS)

There is a great variance in butterfly bushes from one cultivar to another - do you know your red one's name? If it's Royal Red, it should be vigorous.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2009 at 5:52PM
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I find a lot of variance among our specimens, too. Can't really say for sure, but maybe it's rather new and putting down roots instead of making bloom? Or it may need more frequent dead heading or more sun and water?

My biggest crime is that I fertilize them too heavily and then they get rangey. Apparently they like a light dose of well-balanced fertilizer in the spring and don't need much more.

I'm taking cuttings of my favorite bushes so that I can grow more of the most vigorous ones next year.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2009 at 8:30PM
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Fairfieldcircle, which BBs are your most vigorous?

While on the subject of BBs, MissSherry, has anyone grown the newer dwarf cultivars and found them to be vigorous in growth, bloom, and attractiveness to butterflies? The Nanho blue I grew for 3 years didn't get any takers so I took it out. Consequently, I am now reluctant to try other dwarfs like Peacock, which I love the look of.

I don't know why your BB is not blooming, As with all plants, unfortunately sometimes you just get a dud that doesn't do what it is supposed to do. I'd give it at least another year to see what happens, tho.


    Bookmark   September 3, 2009 at 8:48PM
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trillianh(GW 9 /Sunset 15 /Nor CA)

I believe it has been living here for at least 2 years, unfortunately it was here when I moved here so I have no clue what the name is. It seems to stay about 2 feet tall and is thin. How to describe this online, like the branches are normal size but it is not "bushy".

    Bookmark   September 4, 2009 at 1:25PM
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misssherry(Z8/9SE MS)

Susan, I've tried a few of the dwarf types, like ?Adonis Blue - it was in the Peacock series - and it never grew at all. I've had my best luck with the medium sized types like Ellen's Blue, which is about 6'-7' tall and about 5' wide. I loved Royal Red, but it grew SO huge I couldn't reach the top blooms to dead head them, and I got tired of pruning it back.
I'll probably be getting another BB next year, and I'll definitely get a medium grower.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2009 at 3:53PM
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