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Pruning your butterfly bush

Learn more about how and when to best prune your buddleja
By: Proven Winners®
14 Apr, 2022

How do you prune a butterfly bush? And when do you prune your buddleja? We will explain it you here.

No pruning?

Is your thumb anything but green? In general, butterfly bushes don't need to be pruned. Your buddleja will just continue to grow and bloom. The only thing is that it will start to age after a few years: some branches may die and it may start to bloom unevenly. In addition, it may also get (much) too big. To prevent any of these things from happening, it's best to give your buddleja a nice trim each year.

Don't be afraid

You can trim your butterfly bush almost entirely, up to about 20 to 30 cm above the soil. The remaining stumps will soon produce fresh, new branches that will bloom abundantly again. No mucking about trying to find out what's 'old wood' and 'new wood' and such! Also, don't be worried about running into thicker branches. Butterfly bush wood is soft, and proper shears will easily be able to cut it.

In the spring

It is best to prune the butterfly bush after winter has ended, around March. Before, this was mainly to prevent the plant from dying from frost. But that doesn't really matter any more for Proven Winners' butterfly bushes, as they are super frost-resistant. The reason we are still giving this advice, is so that your garden doesn't look as bare in the winter. What's more, birds, hedgehogs and other useful critters will be thankful for every bit of extra protection they can get.

Compact varieties

Proven Winners® no longer cultivates very large, individual varieties. These buddlejas did not stay attractive. Some larger varieties which do remain attractive are Miss Pearl, Miss Ruby and Miss Violet. These all grow to a height of 150 cm and have intense colours. Genuine eye-catchers!

Proven Winners also grows even more compact varieties. The smallest ones only grow to about 50 cm and hardly need any pruning. You could trim them a little in early spring, just to keep them nice and full. The best-known compact varieties are the plants from the 'Chip' varieties in various colours and the brand new 'Rocketstar®' variety in various colours. The bushes of these varieties remain compact, but the flowers grow very big. Very special!

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