I love finding an ignored plant/bush in need of TLC. Usually at the end of season you can buy it significant discount to plant and try to revive with your TLC.
Late last summer I bought 3 butterfly bushes that
had been overlooked by the Home Depot waterers, so they had fininshed flowering earlier than usual. I thought at 3 for $10 it was worth my effort to try to revive. Until now I haven't researched care for them at all. they made it thru the winter in their pots and are now starting to grow with tiny budding leaves on existing branches.
Now comes the hard part. Through research I found I must cut these back to the ground (now) in early spring. This will encourage the plants growth to be bushy, and I guess it is a vigorous grower.
I wonder how many gardeners have this issue. You see new growth, whether vegetables, flowers, bushes; and you are so excited. You know you should cut it back and you don't. I've been guilty of this in the past with roses. (Note to self: try roses again next year)
So this year I shall take the 'pruner plunge' and go for it with these bushes. I saw these plants while in bloom and they are magnificant I really don't want to hinder their growth. So, I shall follow directions and we'll see what happens. I'll be sure to keep you posted. I'm in zone 6 (Boston) and would LOVE LOVE LOVE feedback on your experiences with butterfly bushes. Hope to hear from you. I will post pictures along the way.
Info regarding BUTTERFLY BUSHES (Buddleia davidii) Nanho Purple (variation non hoensis)
Requires FULL SUN
Blooms mid-summer to early fall
Water wekly during dry spells
Grows 4'-5' tall,
Space 5' apart
"Sweetly fragrant flowers on compact plants attract a profusion of butterflies to your garden. Stunning in perennial shrub plantings or in large groupings. Remove faded flowers for continuous bloom. Prune hard in early spring.
G6870 Pruning Ornamental Shrubs | University of Missouri Extension