tru2pru
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Posts: 19
Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 9:14 pm
Location: Virginia

Leaning butterfly bush

I have an established butterfly bush that has a serious lean to it. I was cleaning up and noticed that the soil on the backside of the plant looked like the roots were starting to pull up, much like some trees do when there has been too much rain. I would like to "right" it by losening up the soil around the front of the roots and re-positioning it. I will be pruning it this week (I always prune in the spring, gets me out of the house after a long, cold winter :D ), and I was thinking about trying to "fix" it then. Because it has been there a few years, and this is the first time that I noticed this problem, I was wondering if there were any tips on how to do it without damaging the plant.

Thanks

[img]https://i979.photobucket.com/albums/ae280/tru2pru/Fall2009007.jpg[/img]
[img]https://i979.photobucket.com/albums/ae280/tru2pru/Fall2009004-1.jpg[/img]
Celeste

Student Nurse by day, Supermom by night!

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Pineville
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Joined: Sat Dec 19, 2009 5:50 pm
Location: Bucks County, PA

This is fairly common- Butterfly Bush gets quite top heavy by fall with its rapid growth. If you cut it back - I usually take them back to 18-24" - it should be easy enough to spade around the root ball and straighten the plant.
A 24-30" diameter root ball should be fine. Butterfly bush is shallow-rooted, so the ball doesn't have to be deep, but the deeper you can get it, the more it will help to anchor the plant.

tru2pru
Full Member
Posts: 19
Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 9:14 pm
Location: Virginia

Thank you for the info. This is, by far, my favorite plant in my garden. It is also the one that gets the most attention/comments from visitors since it flanks my porch steps. I was really concerned that I would damage, and subsequently kill it trying to fix it. I guess the fact that we had an incredibly wet winter (over 5 ft of snow from december to march) didn't help much :wink:
Celeste

Student Nurse by day, Supermom by night!

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stanhorst
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Joined: Thu Feb 25, 2010 8:43 am
Location: Virginia

I agree with Pineville. You'll not harm the bush by cutting it back significantly. In fact, I remember reading somewhere that Butterfly Bushes should be cut back every year. I've been doing that with mine for a while, and not experienced any problem. It always comes back quickly.

Stan Horst
Publisher: BetterBenches.com



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