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Video transcription

Hi, I'm Mark Viette, and today we're going to talk about some of the best ways to prune butterfly shrubs. Butterfly shrubs are my favorite plant for the garden, the reason being, they'll bloom for months. They can bloom from three months to four months, with either, it could be gold, it could be purple, it could be white, even pink blooms. Butterflies like monarchs, and swallow tails love butterfly shrubs, even hummingbirds love butterfly shrubs. But one thing you're going to notice right here, with this plant in front of me, is that they get big. And it an almost get too big for the garden. So, I'm going to show you some of the easiest ways to keep this plant manageable for your own backyard. It's real important to have very good, high quality tools, it'll make gardening that much easier for you. If you're using tools that are really hard to work with, by at the end of day, you're going to go, wow, why did I get involved in that? So, I like to use great tools. And you'll notice on this butterfly shrub, some older stems, this is probably three years old. This one right here, is probably two years old, and this one right here, is only one year old. So, you're going to find a variety of stems that come out of the base of the plant. This is a plant that can be cut back quite hard. The ideal time to prune butterfly shrubs, or Buddleja as they're known as, would be in spring. After threat of real cold weather, and I would probably say, early spring. So, at some point, we are not getting much below 25 degree temperatures during the evening, if you do get that cold. So, you just come in, and you want to cut it anywhere from 12 to 18 inches tall. It's one way to do that, I cut the small ones that are easy. Then, you'll also come in here and cut some of the other ones, and you cut them all at this height. And usually I like to cut, if you look right here, right above, that's a bud, there you can see some growth. If you do see some growth, cut right above that. And you just continue removing these large branches all around, as you see here. As to the large branches, you'll come in and use a heavy duty pruners. And you just come in, just like so, and it really makes pruning easy. I don't like to use you know, chain saws. You always have to be careful, whatever you use. If you, you might want an eye wear, glove wear, always take all those safety precautions. And you just work your way around the butterfly shrub, just like this. And by the time you're done, as you'll see, we'll have cut all these branches, 12 to 18 inches. If you have very thick branches, feel free to use a little hand saw for some of the larger branches, if it requires that. But most of these are pretty young. Again, you do this each and every year. Now, one other option you can do, instead of 12 to 18 inches from the ground. You can cut it to two inches from the ground. And the reason you do that, is instead of the plant getting eight feet tall, it'll be more like five and a half feet tall. When you're done, your butterfly shrub will look like this, you can follow up throughout the year. And prune out any of these stems that completely die back. I'm Mark Viette, and it's this simple to prune a butterfly shrub.