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Would appreciate any advice on pruning what I think is a Buddleia davide, read recently to prune back in early Spring, but think here I have read autumn time. Many thanks


Quite honestly-you can't kill a buddleia-I have pruned in autumn and in the spring-it still comes back

To me it doesn't make much difference-so would do it now


I prune buddleia quite hard in early Spring because they flower on the new season's wood. General rule - prune early flowering shrubs after they have flowered and prune late flowering shrubs in late winter/early spring.

Caz W

My old buddleia gets pruned all the time.  It grows over the garden wall onto the pavement so have to keep it trimmed back.  It never seems to mind and has always had tons of flowers.

flowering rose

if you prune them now they will be fine,they will have bigger flowers in the summer,as some one said they are tough old things buddleias I have three different  colours,but you can kill them if you prune too much but having said that you'll find hundreds of seedlings everywhere,even on the roof tops!.They are better if they are pruned into a small bush not so "bomb site" looking as my husband would say.



I do prune our 2 back a bit in the autumn to prevent wind rocking, but then do the proper pruning the following February. J.


I agree with jo4eyes, I do exactly the same. Mine are in two large pots and really do well. I have had them for about ten years and they flower every year.


I chop mine back quite roughly at this time of year, to save them getting blown about in the autumn and winter winds, and getting their roots loosened by windrock.  Then in the spring, about when I do the roses (late Feb, early March, depending on weather) I tidy them up properly, cutting back to a bud, taking out weak and crossing growth etc. 

But don't be afraid to cut them back hard, using a saw if necessary.  Every few years I  take a saw to mine, cutting  the main trunks back to about knee height.  It really rejuvenates them.

I am late to this October thread but have a query re. buddleia which were pruned last autumn.  They look dead.  The wood is flaking and I can't see any evidence of new growth on them. 

  • Does that mean I really have managed to kill them with pruning? 
  • Or are they slow this year because it has been a hard winter?
  • They are fifteen years old.  Have they reached the end of their natural life?

Have I killed mu buddleia Advice would be very much appreciated.


Ours have been sprouting new shoots for some weeks   Are yours in a very exposed situation?

Has the ground around them been very boggy over the winter?


If they are dead, it won't be anything you've done - it'll be old age coupled with a rotten winter.

I think it must be age and cold.  They are in a comfortable position - sheltered.  Ground isn't boggy either.  If yours are sprouting, then I think mine must be finished.  Have to plant something new!  Thanks for your reply.


Oh dear - but old age comes to all of us 


And every time this happens we have a new planting opportunity   What are you going to replace them with?

Well, I think I might replace one with Californian Blue.  I have wanted that for a long time but haven't had any space for it.  And I might put another Buddleia in because I think i may miss my butterfly plant!


My mother had a ceanothus Californian Blue, and it was frequently visited by little blue butterflies, possbly Holly Blues 


I checked out the buddleias at work today; the one I can see from my window has loads of shoots on it - another has quite a few, the third has just one - they are all the same age - we will wait to see what happens. 


A good technique is to lightly prune back some (or all) branches around the middle of May. This delays flowering until October, which extends the season and gives late food for butterflies. 



That's what I often do Gold1locks. Sometimes I leave branches at the back if it's in a corner or against a fence/wall, so that there's a bit of height variation too. I know they're common but the butterflies don't care about fashion when they have all that free food!

Check out buddleia Harlequin if you intend buying anther buddleia ASP

Oh thank you so much for all this advice. 

Dovefromabove: perhaps there is hope for my buddleia yet. 

Gold1locks and Fairygirl: will try one more chop back in May - fingers crossed.

Verdun: Harlequin does look very pretty.

I've just looked for pruning advice here so thanks for the thread. Just for info. I have been taking off the dead flowers to prolong flowering as much as possible. I know it's been a wonderful summer, but there are still buds which look as though they might open. This was a seedling that had been in a pot for two years - it was finally planted in the ground last (apology for a ) summer, in August. It's fed many beautiful peacock, comma, and tortoiseshell butterflies, not to mention countless honey bees and bumble bees as well as looked and smelled wonderful. I might add that it was planted in an area previously devoid of anything that could be described as interesting for wildlife ( communal 'grassed' and overgrown space).

I'll prune in the spring, then.