London (change)
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19/10/2012 at 20:06

Moved house last year, lots of plants too big for thier place and too crowded, but a particular problem is the Buddleja, its like a small tree, thick 3' + trunk, huge top heavy crown, overall about 7' tall, I pruned it last year but it still got so heavy that we had to tie it to the concrete fency post as it was in danger of falling over. Can I cut into the main stem to shorten it to about 2', will any new growth come from this or will it die

19/10/2012 at 20:29

i had the same problem,so i got so fed up with it i chopped the trunk to about 2ft off the ground thinking i had killed it,it looked a bit naff for a while then lo and behold it started shooting like crazy and now its bigger than ever in just a year its twice the size so i also dont know what to do this year good luck

19/10/2012 at 20:43

Thank you , I hope mine does just as well as yours


19/10/2012 at 22:09

Buddleias should be pruned in the Spring.

20/10/2012 at 08:47

Chica, Congratulations on being brave - it worked didn't it?

Now,  if I were you I'd reduce the new growth by a half to two-thirds at the moment, to prevent the roots being damaged by wind-rock in the autumn and winter winds.  Then in the spring (late Feb, early March) cut everything back to a bud close to where you cut it back before.  Completely remove any spindly growth.

When it starts to regrow a handful of rose fertiliser scattered around will be good for it. 

20/10/2012 at 13:24

thank you dovefromabove,will do as you say its so nice that there is always someone on this foreham that know things that i dont

20/10/2012 at 13:49

Thank you so much, this forum is a great place to get info.

20/10/2012 at 13:51

Thank you - I've been gardening a long time and it's nice to share it 

30/10/2012 at 14:50

Ours has been damaged by rain and wind and is badly bent down. CAn I prune it now as it looks a mess and is harming other plants ?


30/10/2012 at 14:56
linzbfc wrote (see)

Ours has been damaged by rain and wind and is badly bent down. CAn I prune it now as it looks a mess and is harming other plants ?


Yesterday-on another thread I said prune buddleia now as it has never harmed the ones I have done at this time-another poster-Paul above- says Spring--but it will do no harm in my opinion to cut it back now especially if it is damaging other plants

Buddleias are hard to kill-that is why you see them growing in all sorts of places

30/10/2012 at 17:17

Ernie, You and I must have been gardening for so many years we know that things are not always set in stone. Ideally we prune buddleia in early Spring but if they are out of control and damaged other neighbouring plants, they should still survive a November prune. As you say, we see them growing in all sorts of places like railway embankments and even out of brick walls and gutters. Probably what is worse is being too timid with the pruning. Light pruning just caused a bushy top growth and a bare trunk.

22/12/2012 at 07:46

My dad used to prune his buddleja every year almost down to the ground (about a foot) in early November, and it looked amazing every year. I grew my own from seed this year and planted out in september, they are looking good, but will trim one of them down in March, Monty says to 2 leaf buds from the bottom (in case one gets damaged). 

22/12/2012 at 08:57

I leave the seed heads for the birds, but the plant can get damaged by wind rock in the winter.  I prune on a dry (Ha Ha) mid winters day and a bit more in the spring.  I believe the book would say (as above) prune half to two thirds early winter to stop wind rock, prune back more in early spring. they are very tough, linzbfc you can get away with a great deal if they are a mess.  chica if they come back too strong take cuttings which take well and replant.  As we know fantastic or wildlife and a great plant that needs little attention other than a good prune every year.

22/12/2012 at 09:17
Never be afraid to hard prune a buddleia. You wont kill it. ,it will regrow from the ground level if cut that hard. If mine I would do just that right now but perhaps best to cut it fairly hard now and then again early spring.
22/12/2012 at 10:48

I have  a number of buddlias and I cut some back servere and others a gentle chop,the only thing is if you chop to severe they will die,I have lost a few that way.they are of course great at seeding themselves and from  a seedling they grow quickly or even a stick cutting,for the best effect with out taking over the border is to keep it as a bush.If you have very old lanky ones ,get rid of and start with seedlings or cuttings.They are so lovely giving butterflies,bees and all manner of insects the nectar they need and hurs of watching for you,they come in many diffeent colours ,mine,deep purple,lilac,yellow(double) and I long for a white one.

22/12/2012 at 11:22
Never lost a buddleia yet through hard pruning. Did one for a friend two years go....scared her to death....that was about 20 feet high. cut it down to 3 feet. It flowered profusely and I have only recently pruned it again. But, maybe it depends on how cold it might get to in a cooler place than I am. I agree with flowering rose about getting rid of old lanky stuff and starting again with new stock. Whenever I do this though I look out for newer and better varieties
22/12/2012 at 13:02

I live on the edge of Dardmoor, very high, windy and bleak at times, and have never killed one either, I saw it right down in March, but have taken them right down in October. they dont die.

22/12/2012 at 21:41
Lyn wrote (see)

I live on the edge of Dardmoor, very high, windy and bleak at times, and have never killed one either, I saw it right down in March, but have taken them right down in October. they dont die.

on the edge of Dartmoor myself and never killed one either - yet!

14/07/2013 at 15:03

hi i have never hard pruned my buddleja but i really need to can anyone tell me how much to take off and when its about 7'-8' tall the base is just bare trunk with a very heavy flower filled top any help would be great xx

14/07/2013 at 20:20

Hiya GGW

You can cut as much as you want to.  Replied on other thread.  Wait though until flowering is over.  I rejuvenated a friend's buddleia that was very tall.....over 15 feet with flowers way at the top.  It was by her garden gate so made access difficult.  We both thought it looked ugly and leggy then.  I cut it hard back last summer.....prob late August.  Now it is a bushy, lovely looking 6' plus plant mine are, it is full of glorious flower.  In future, prune in autumn or spring.  Let us know how you get on but don't be afraid of pruning back hard.  ( clean, sharp cuts nothing jagged)

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