How to Cut a Butterfly Bush


As its name suggests, the butterfly bush, or summer lilac, attracts butterflies as well as hummingbirds and bees, making it an appealing addition to your garden. This perennial plant can grow up to 8-feet tall and wide, and begins producing flowers from May to August, which range in shades from purple to white. As this bush grows, it needs to be trimmed to ensure that essential nutrients are going to the roots and other vigorous parts of the plant. By using a couple of key procedures, cut your own butterfly bush so that it continues to thrive.

Step 1

Use pruning shears to cut your butterfly bush to a height of 4 feet. Do this in the winter season to prepare your bush for upcoming climate conditions such as snow, and to get it ready to produce flowers in the summer.

Step 2

Inspect the bush and cut back any dead branches that you see. These older limbs are a drain on the plant system because they keep the healthier parts from absorbing all of the vitamins.

Step 3

Trim the butterfly bush in June to the shape that you prefer. Be sure to cut off any growth that does not work for the parameters of your landscape.

Step 4

Remove any dead flowers that you see during the bush's blooming period. Continue this practice every two weeks to prolong the blossoming.

Things You'll Need

  • Pruning shears


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Who Can Help

  • Aggie Horticulture: Proper Pruning Techniques
Keywords: butterfly bush care, cutting butterfly bush, lilac bush pruning

About this Author

Jenny Glass has been writing professionally since 2001 and is a glass artist with a Web design and technical writing background. In addition to writing for Demand Studios, she has been a contributor to "Glass Line Magazine" and runs her own art glass business.