Is my butterfly bush dead?

Discussion in 'Woody Plants' started by lily, Mar 23, 2009.

  1. lily

    lily Active Member 10 Years

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    Last year my neighbor gave me (two) butterfly bushes from her garden. I believe they are called Black Knight. They are about 2ft tall. Just looking at them, I noticed that the branches look like dead twigs. They're dry, brittle and no green. I've never had BB bushes before so I'm not familiar with their growth habit. Do new shoots grow out of the ground or off the branches? When should I notice some new growth? Should I prune them shorter? Help please? Thanks.
     
  2. LPN

    LPN Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Must've been quite cold to do that kind of damage? I noticed my neighbors and his is about 12' tall and has leafed out during the past couple of weeks. These have naturalized here around parts of Vancouver Island.
    You can cut back to green wood and wait for new growth. They grow quite easily from cuttings so perhaps your neighbor would be willing to spare one or two this spring, assuming of course that one is OK.

    Cheers, LPN.
     
  3. lily

    lily Active Member 10 Years

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    LPN ~ Well, I pruned the poor things right back and there is no green to be found anywhere. I noticed it is easy to rock the stump back and forth too. Sounds dead to me. lol
     
  4. LPN

    LPN Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Lily ... Don't give up too easily. If you've gardened for any length of time, you know plants can be full of surprizes. You may have to wait until well into May to see any results.
    Best of luck and keep us posted.

    Cheers, LPN.
     
  5. lily

    lily Active Member 10 Years

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    Thanks LPN. Okay, I'll leave them there. I just finished fluffing up the soil around them and added a bit of compost and a handful of slow release granular fertilizer and added some mulch around it. Now I've got my fingers crossed. I'll let you know what happens. Thanks again for helping me with this.
     
  6. LPN

    LPN Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    I just popped out an snapped this pic of my neighbors plant now standing at least 10' tall over the fencing. Plenty of new leaves and the old spent blooms from last season still persist. I hold out hope for yours!

    Cheers, LPN.
     

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  7. lily

    lily Active Member 10 Years

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    Wow, that butterfly bush looks lovely. Oh boy, I just ran out and snapped mine.
    Do you still hold out 'hope'? lol
     

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  8. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Looks dead above ground, but there's still a chance it might sprout from the roots. Wait at least two more months yet before giving up.
     
  9. lily

    lily Active Member 10 Years

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    Thanks Michael,
    Yes, it looks dead but I'll leave it for a couple of months to see if it surprises me. Thanks for your reply and suggestion.
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2009
  10. Davidm

    Davidm Active Member 10 Years

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  11. lily

    lily Active Member 10 Years

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    David~ Thank you. Yes, I am going to leave it there to see if it will grow. Let's keep our fingers crossed. Thanks for the link on Butterfly bushes. Very helpful and much appreciated.
     
  12. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    >These have naturalized here around parts of Vancouver Island<

    http://www.nwcb.wa.gov/weed_info/buddleja_davidii.html

    It's time to stop making new plantings of butterfly bush in this region anyway. If yours manage to grow back later be sure to keep the spent flower heads snipped off so no seed is set and dispersed.
     
  13. 1950Greg

    1950Greg Active Member

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    I have to agee with Ron on this. To many Butterfly bushes around very invasive, I got rid of mine two years ago and there still popping up.
     
  14. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    From page linked to above (emphasis mine):

    "This popular ornamental shrub has been establishing in not only disturbed areas, but natural areas as well, where it has negative ecological impacts and is difficult to control.
    It forms dense thickets, especially along river banks and river gravel bars, which crowd out native vegetation and may alter soil nutrient concentrations.
    The seeds, so easily spread by wind or water, can remain in the seed bank for three to five years.
    This shrub can begin producing seeds during its first year.
    Once established, this shrub is difficult to remove. It will re-sprout from the rootstock after its stems are cut, and the cut stems can also grow into new plants.
    Butterfly bush is a Class B Noxious Weed in Oregon, is one of the top twenty weeds in Great Britain, and is a serious problem in New Zealand"
     
  15. lily

    lily Active Member 10 Years

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    Hi Ron,
    Hmmmm thanks for letting me know about the butterfly bush being invasive. Maybe it's dead and won't grow. I won't be getting a replacement.
     

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