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From Wilting to Thriving: How to Deadhead Your Butterfly Bush

It’s only worth the money if you witness the Butterfly Bush blooming throughout the season, which requires you to deadhead it, and you might wonder how.

Generally, you can deadhead the Butterfly Bush once the flower blooms in the summer and fades away. By deadheading, you can divert all the plant’s energy into producing new booms rather than spending on seed production.

Unlike pruning being winter care, deadheading is the grooming you give the plants during the growing season.

When Do Butterfly Bushes Bloom?

Also known as Summer Lilac, the Butterfly Bush (Buddleja) is a perennial woody shrub prized for its yellow, pink, or white fragrant panicle blooms.

With the rapid growth habit, Butterfly Bush actively unfurls new leaves in spring and begins to bloom from the last weeks of June to the first few weeks of September.

However, Butterfly Bush blooming time can vary depending on the USDA zones.

Nonetheless, the plant puts out vibrant, enchanting conical flowers till the late summer of every USDA zone.

You can boost the Butterfly Bush flowering by feeding them with an organic bloom booster rich in phosphorous.

Likewise, careful pruning and prompt deadheading during the active flowering ensures prolonged Butterfly Bush flowering.

How To Deadhead Butterfly Bush?

The perennial Summer Lilac blooms roughly for about, after which it fades away. 

Not only is the withering bloom unaesthetic to look at, but it also initiates seed production rather than consecutive blooming. 

Generally, you cut back the spent flower as soon as you notice them throughout the blooming season, the late summer to early fall. This will allow the plants to redirect their energy to root and foliage growth, promoting a healthier and bushier plant.

That said, there is no such stone-carved rule for when to deadhead the Butterfly Bush, as it may differ per your local climate and blooming.

However, follow the steps below to deadhead the Butterfly Bush.

  • Locate the faded or spent flower cluster or inflorescence on the bush.
  • Use clean and sharp pruning shears and cut off the flower cluster just above a pair of healthy leaves or buds.
  • Make sure not to trim too far down into the stem, as it would injure the healthy stem, a potential entry for pest attack. 
  • Continue deadheading all the faded flowers on the bush, working your way around the plant.

Pro Tip: Severe pruning off the Butterfly Bush plant at the end of winter can encourage better flowering in the following blooming season.

From Editorial Team

Prevent Invasion!

Leaving the flowering Butterfly Bush unattended leads to the self-seeding shrub taking over your garden.

So you better avoid planting Summer Lilac in the Pacific Northwest. Or even if you do, promptly deadhead the blooms before it sets seeds to prevent invasive wrath.