Butterfly Bush: Pruning and Care Tips

Aptly named, Butterfly bush is a bush or shrub with large, flowering clusters that butterflies love. Its flowers are often purple but also come in pink, white, gold and other colors. Here are tips on pruning and care of your butterfly bush.

Butterfly bush is an easy-to-grow, evergreen, drought-tolerant, fast-growing bush that can reach sizes of 8 to 15 feet tall by 4 to 15 feet wide. Butterfly bush loves a sunny spot with well-drained soil. Give it a little fertilizer in the spring and avoid the use of insecticides. Once it is established, it is relatively drought-tolerant. Don’t overwater but do water deeply a few times in the summer.

In some areas butterfly bush is considered an invasive species as it spreads quickly through seed from its flower clusters. It can easily take over an area in your garden and steal nutrients from other plants. Since it does grow large very quickly you may want to plant it away from other plants in your garden. You may also prune it anytime to control its growth.

Deadhead or pinch off flowers after it blooms to promote additional blooms and reduce the plant’s spread in your garden. Don’t cut off new growth as flowers bloom on new wood, but prune your bush back in the fall to shape it. In cold climates, apply mulch in the fall, and cut it way back in the winter.