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April 27, 2021

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Sorry to hear about HH's problem from the previous post.

Unless you have a cultivar that is zone 9 (doubtful), the butterfly bushes should be fine. They always start late and need a fair amount of water. I usually don't cut back my butterfly bushes (zone 5), as reference.

Stu--Thanks. We play the cards we are dealt.

Bogie--I had read that one should cut back the branches in March to make way for the new ones, so I was surprised when the branches (that I had thought would be dead) gave forth life. Obviously, I've no idea what cultivar we have. I bought them from Lowe's in 2010. Actually, I bought Pink Delight and Nanho Purple, one or the other of which I think died several years ago; but, since I have no memory for colors, I can't tell you which color has survived. (If I had to guess: purple.) Note added photo from 2012.

As to water: The butterfly bushes get sprinkled with Zone 7 of our lawn's irrigation system.

I just came in from working on the butterfly bush. Indeed, all of the branches from previous years were dead; but, there were new, green branches coming up around the perimeter of the base. I took the dead branches out.

Butterfly bushes only bloom on new wood, which is why a lot of people cut them back. I am unsure why those branches would have died, your area doesn't get near cold enough to kill them. Maybe old branches only live for a couple of seasons?

I think I had read the online exposition on butterfly bushes that was put out by K-State Research & Extension. I did add an "after pruning" photo to the posting and note that I broke off the dead branches below ground level if they responded to a moderate amount of moment.

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