When trimming a butterfly bush, only trim back one-third of the plant at a time and dispose of the buds in a way that will not allow the plant to spread. Maintain a rounded shape butterfly bush with advice from a sustainable gardener in this free video on gardening.
Hi, this is Yolanda Vanveen, and in this segment, we're going to talk about how to trim a butterfly bush. Now, butterfly bush, or buddleia, is one of the most beautiful plants that you can have in your garden. They attract butterflies, and they come in gorgeous purples and hot pinks and they're just a beautiful plant. But unfortunately, they are also considered an invasive weed because what is happening is that the seeds drop into all of the natural waterways, and then they are growing into the natural waterways and stopping all of the habitat for salmon and other fish and animals. And so they...it's becoming a huge problem in the Northwest. If you live in a really cold, cold climate where they don't winter over, it's not quite the problem. But if you live in a milder climate, you want to trim your butterfly bush to protect the environment more than anything. So what my rule of thumb is is as soon as the flowers are starting to turn just a little bit brown and don't look good, cut the flowers out and don't throw them in your compost pile. If you can, you either burn them or make sure that they're disposed of and they're never going to get into the natural environment because you do not want those seeds to multiply too quickly because they are really a dangerous item. And so when you're trimming it back, too, my rule of thumb is never trim the plant more than one-third, so you want to just even it out. Leave some main branches, but cut out some of the wilder branches that look more like a Medusa because the goal is to have more of a round shape to the plant. So by just cutting the flowers out as soon as they're done blooming before they turn to seed and by trimming the plant back every fall and winter just to keep it more even, you will find that you will have a gorgeous, round butterfly bush for the next year.