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Butterfly bush

Gardening Reference » Gardening in 2006
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by tracy10 on June 13, 2006 08:14 AM
I purchased a couple of butterfly bushes last year truly enjoyed them. However, I did not cut them back and right now they look dead. Can anyone tell me what I should do to help these poor bushes?? My hummingbirds look very sad. [Smile]

Thanks!!!!

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4seasonlover
by alankhart on June 13, 2006 10:03 AM
It isn't necessary to cut them back, but they bloom more when you do. When you say they look dead, do you mean there is no new green growth at all?

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by tracy10 on June 14, 2006 02:27 AM
Yes, no green growth at all. Both bushes are gray and very dead looking. I will be patient and see if something happens. This is my first year with them and thought I should see green by now. I purchased both bushes a couple of months apart last summer so I thought it was weird that they both were gray with no new growth. Thanks for setting my mind at ease that it wasn't mandatory to cut them back but sounds like I may want to do that next time. [Smile]

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4seasonlover
by lilylu on June 14, 2006 02:51 AM
Sounds like your dear bushes didn't make it through the winter they should have some signs of life by now are the branches really dry and brittle?...and snap off easily??...mine just uped and died on me last year after blooming the previous 5....I was so sad....let it go for the summer and in the fall, cut it all the way down....see if it comes back next spring....
[tears]

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"Seeing life through Rose-colored glasses!"  -
by tracy10 on June 15, 2006 09:27 AM
Yes, the bushes are very dry. Thanks for the tips. I will cut them back later in the year and see what happens. Guess I will purchase some new ones and take another chance. Thanks again!

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4seasonlover
by johnCT on June 16, 2006 12:34 AM
Tracy, they should have leafed out by now. Even in Maine. In the fall, if you buy new ones, cut them back to 12" or so and mulch them heavily to help protect them from heavy freezes.

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John - Zone 6
by TulsaRose on June 16, 2006 03:14 AM
Tracy, you need to find out what your hardiness zone is before you plant any more Butterfly Bushes. They may not tolerate your winters as they are only hardy to z5a, z5b. Maybe with very heavy mulching you could pull one through winter but I would find out my zone first.

Go here and plug in your zip code to find out which zone you are in...
http://www.garden.org/zipzone/index.php?img=neusa

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Rosie z7a
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by joclyn on June 16, 2006 04:11 AM
most stores - whether it's a nursery or some place like home depot or walmart - usually offer a 1 year guarantee. if the plants are dead (and it does sound like it) i'd contact the place you purchased them from and see about getting a refund or replacements.

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