Prune buddleia in autumn to ‘stimulate plant growth’
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Most gardening experts suggest pruning buddleia from February to April or in June and July. However, some varieties may need cutting back in autumn depending on where they’re located and their size.
If the plant is pruned in the spring months, it can grow to an incredible height of three metres in the summer months.
Some experts claim February on a frost-free day is the “best time” to prune buddleia, according to Plantura Magazine.
Varieties such as buddleja alternifolia and buddleja globosa bloom on stems from the previous season so they need cutting back in midsummer.
Butterfly bushes can also be pruned in autumn after flowering. But this shouldn’t be much of a trim compared to spring.
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Should you prune your buddleia in autumn?
Gardening author Lorraine Ballato said if the plant is more than four feet, then it can be trimmed in autumn.
She explained: “If [your] plant is now at four feet plus, you could top it off or cut it in half, but no further.
“In the spring, when you see new growth at the base, then you can take it down.”
If the buddleia is a dwarf variety, it’s better to leave it until spring.
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She added: “This is a long-lived plant in most cases, as deer and other critters avoid it. It’s also not prone to disease. Its only enemy is cold and stormy weather.”
Regardless of when you trim it, the best way to ensure buddleia plants remain healthy each year is to cut it back in the spring.
Lorraine added: “Regardless of what you do, plan on giving this plant a spring cutback.
“The act of pruning will stimulate the plant to produce that growth.
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“Then just sit back and watch the fabulous flowers and the pollinators that flock to them.”
For those who have particularly harsh weather in the winter months, it may be best to protect the plant with fleece or burlap to stop it from being damaged by storms and wind.
In particularly cold parts of the UK, it may be necessary to add a winter mulch, especially after the ground freezes. However, those in warmer areas won’t need to do this.
Horticulture specialist Nancy Trautz Awot said buddleia plants can live for up to 30 years.
Buddleia plants are particularly attractive to pollinators like butterflies and bumble bees.
Buddleia has blue-purple flower clusters that poke out of the bush. The plant originates in China and is known for its beauty and easy growth.
The plants grow fast, flower early on in their lifecycle and produce flowers throughout their 30-year lifespan.
The flowers produce a heady, sweet scent that smells like honey. The smell is strongest at midday.
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