How to prune buddleia – when to do so and the best methods to use

You should understand how to prune buddleia to help keep it in check, as otherwise this popular and sturdy shrub may become just a little unmanageable.

Buddleia, also referred to as butterfly plant, bakes an appearance in lots of backyards like a fast growing shrub, and it is pretty, conical formed blooms really are a magnet for bees and butterflies.

With flowers in colors varying from pink and white-colored to lavender and deep crimson, created in summer time right through to fall, buddleias create a lovely accessory for garden ideas. Follow these suggestions to keep on the top from the pruning, and guarantee your shrub wears its best floral show.

How You Can PRUNE BUDDLEIA – For Novices

Some types of buddleia may become scruffy remains to their personal devices and be a tangle of stems, so understanding how to prune buddleia could keep them searching good and encourage new growth and much more blooms. Therefore will assist you to attract butterflies along with other foraging pollinators and advantageous insects who flock towards the aptly named butterfly plant.

An additional valid reason for understanding how to prune buddliea is the fact that ‘it is recognized as an invasive species both unofficially and – in certain states – formally, by their invasive plant councils,’ explains Kathleen Connolly, landscape designer and founding father of Talking about Landscapes. So keeping the shrubs under control will assist you to curb their energetic growth.

You will find both deciduous types of buddleia and evergreen shrubs. Check which variety you’re growing inside your backyard prior to getting to utilize the pruning shears and secateurs.

‘Large buddleia hybrids may benefit from yearly pruning because they are weak-wooded and have a tendency to separate as we grow older. Most of the generally grown buddleia hybrids grow too big for the amount of roots they produce. If they’re not pruned yearly, they’ll sometimes blow in the wind,’ explains Tony Avent, plantsman and Chief executive officer of Plant Delights Nursery in New York.

Which zone you reside in

The range of buddleia you have inside your backyard

‘Generally the optimum time to prune buddleia begins at the begining of spring, but it all depends around the weather in your town and zone for your year. A great guideline is by using the typical last frost date for that zone which is dependent upon the USDA,’ explains Nikki of Perfect Plants nursery in Florida.

Keep close track of the elements forecasts, particularly if you reside in a cooler zone, and when frost is anticipated in your town, then postpone on pruning before the weather gets warm. Some gardeners can commence pruning in March or perhaps late Feb, whereas others might have to hold back until early May.

The majority of the Buddleia davidii cultivars flower on new wood, so by pruning in spring you’ll encourage a bounty of recent blossoms.

‘Buddleia shouldn’t be cut hard within the fall as losing insulating branches and stored sugars may reduce their winter hardiness. Watch for spring to prune your butterfly shrubbery,’ adds Tony Avent.

However, there are a handful of exceptions for this rule as some buddleia cultivars, including B. alternifolia and B. globosa, flower around the previous season’s growth, so reducing in spring would take away the flower buds. Rather, eliminate a portion of the earliest branches on these varieties in midsummer, after flowering, in the same manner while you prune lilac along with other shrubs that grow around the previous year’s growth.


To prune a buddleia plant, first make certain you will find the correct tools to hands, that will include pruning shears or saw, secateurs and loppers.

To prune a buddleia that flowers on new growth: ‘We generally cut the buddleia shrubbery to 1-2 ft tall, however, many could be cut down and can recover fine,’ explains Tony Avent of Plants Delights Nursery.

Other experts, however, advise against trimming stems lower down, because they feel this might damage the guarana plant.

‘If the plant is at the rear of a border and you really need it to become taller, work back to create a frame that’s up to about 4 feet (1.2m) high,’ add some experts at seed specialists Thompson & Morgan.