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Growing a Butterfly Bush From Cuttings

butterfly image by palms from

A sure way to attract butterflies to your garden area is to grow butterfly bushes. The butterfly bush produces large clusters of flowers on the ends of stems which not only draw in butterflies, but also other beneficial insects like bees and lady beetles. To start a new plant without having to purchase one, you can always grow a butterfly bush from cuttings. Each cutting will eventually become a full-sized plant.

Wait for autumn to collect a usable cutting by clipping off the tip of a branch just above a set of leaves. Take the cutting from the bush by clipping the branch off immediately below another set of leaves. Your cutting needs to be at least six inches long.

Remove any lower leaves from the cutting, leaving the uppermost set of leaves on the cutting and intact. You can cut these lower leaves off with your pruners or pinch them off between your fingernails.

Dip the base of the cutting into a small bowl of water and then immediately into the rooting hormone up to 1 inch deep. The water will help the cutting hold the powder on.

Fill a plant pot with potting soil and moisten the soil well, but don’t allow it to become overly soggy. Stick the cutting into the soil 4 inches deep with the top leaves sticking up above the surface.

Set the pot in a warm, sunny window where it will not be in direct sunlight. Keep the soil moist around the cutting as it roots over the next two to four weeks.

Move the cutting to a new window where direct sunlight is possible and water regularly whenever the soil is dry. By the mid to late spring the cutting should be planted out into your garden in a full sun area with good drainage.


Be sure to label your cuttings if you have cut from more than one variety of butterfly bush to keep your new plants organized.

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