Deadheading, Coppicing and Pruning Butterfly Bush:
Buddleia is a great backdrop or border shrub and various Buddleia species bloom at different times. For example, Buddleia alternifolia blooms in early spring while others, like Buddleia asiatica and Buddleia officinalis bloom in late winter.
As a rule of thumb deadheading flowers of Buddleia is recommended to allow the bush to flourish throughout growing season, regardless of bush type.
Because winter puts many Buddleia in a dormant state, coppicing is
highly recommended. The dormant state occurs when temperatures outside
are freezing (below 32 degrees) for many hours.
Coppicing (French for 'couper', or cut) is a
pruning technique that stimulates new growth when gardening season
starts. This technique is used on various deciduous trees and shrubs
and also helps to develop roots and long term sustainability.
Don't confuse coppicing with transplanting and planting bushes in the fall. Fall is the best time to transplant but if any branches are trimmed at this time, open wounds would be left open going into winter leaving bush vulnerable to moisture and disease.
Buddleia alternifolia is different! Flowers grow off of the previous years blooms. If coppiced in the same manner as other common Buddliea's there will be no flowers for the next growing season. It's best to cut back stems where healthy buds are located or cut back where stems have not flowered. Do this mid-summer right after flowers have bloomed.
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