Is my Butterfly Bush dead?

bristlingacresMay 9, 2008

On a whim last year I planted a butterfly bush in a protected SW corner of my house. While the rest of my shrubs are coming alive and showing signs of coming back the butterfly bush seems to be dead. How can I be sure? I'm ready to yank it out.

I didn't do anything last winter to protect it. Is there something I should do to protect future butterfly bushes (or shrubs that aren't quite hardy enough)?



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Give it some more time. Mine still look dead also (I am in Franklin). I planted mine 2 years ago and last year in spring I thought the same thing. My husband told me to give them more time (I planted about 5 of them). They all came back beautifully!! So I would wait a bit longer- maybe end of May or beginning of June to see what happens. I did some research online and this is what I found:

"A note if you've never grown butterfly bushes:
They look dead first thing in the spring and some branches die, but wait until May and June to see how it's done over the winter. If there are some dead branches, simply trim them off. In climates like Michigan and other Midwestern states it dies back, and growth only comes from the new wood, so you will have pruning to do in the spring."

I hope this helps,

    Bookmark   May 9, 2008 at 11:29AM
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milwdave(Zone5 Milwaukee)

Julie is right. Here, they act more like herbaceous perennials than shrubs. They do tend to die back to the ground level. For future reference, when planting, plant about an inch or two deeper than they were in the pot. This protects a little section of the stems and they tend to break from those if they lose ALL of their top growth.

Franklin, also.;)

    Bookmark   May 10, 2008 at 8:34AM
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So, as of yesterday I have ONE green leaf on my butterfly bush. I can't tell if that means it'll come back or if I need to toss it out.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2008 at 8:59AM
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Green=alive. If it were me I would give it more time. Weather has been cool, but supposedly warm weather is now upon us so the wait shouldn't be too much longer.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2008 at 10:56AM
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I think our Butterfly Bush is no more.... Was trimmed to the ground around May I believe....and since have seen no signs of life. Should I just go buy another? Is this one dead?

    Bookmark   June 10, 2011 at 6:22AM
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I have a 2 year Fothergilla Major Mt Airy shrub that just now started showing signs of life, and I trimmed it back after the winter months. I'd give it just a little more time. Good luck.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2011 at 1:33PM
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It's June 10th and still no sign of leaves!
Could it be that all 3 bushes died over winter?

    Bookmark   June 11, 2014 at 8:06AM
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Mine came up in June, except two.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2014 at 2:38PM
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