Why did all my butterfly bushes die? :(


Joined
May 4, 2015
Messages
2,441
Reaction score
1,457
Location
Mid Michigan
Hardiness Zone
5b
Country
United States
Last spring I planted four... three at my house, one at a neighbor's house. They grew and bloomed all season.

I'm pretty sure all of them are dead though. No signs of life (everything else is just starting to come up fine) and the outer twigs are brittle and snap off. Any ideas why? We didn't have an extremely cold winter and the ones at my house were mulched.

I'm sad. :( The nursery does have a one year guarantee, but I know I didn't keep the receipts.
 
Ad

Advertisements

Joined
Apr 3, 2015
Messages
154
Reaction score
107
Location
Ct
Hardiness Zone
6A
Country
United States
I think I would wait and see for a while longer, ours that has around for many years hasn't started showing any signs of 'spring wake up' yet.
 
Joined
May 4, 2015
Messages
2,441
Reaction score
1,457
Location
Mid Michigan
Hardiness Zone
5b
Country
United States
We are in similar zones...
I'm not giving up on them just yet. But I don't see any green when I scratch the lower stalks near the ground, and was able to snap one off easily there too.

Last year was my first time planting butterfly bushes, maybe this is normal for them! Here's pics of the one at my neighbor's house.
 

Attachments

  • IMG_20170411_090300.jpg
    IMG_20170411_090300.jpg
    298.1 KB · Views: 378
  • IMG_20170411_090310.jpg
    IMG_20170411_090310.jpg
    360.7 KB · Views: 690

MaryMary

Quite Contrary
Joined
May 17, 2016
Messages
2,241
Reaction score
3,249
Location
Southwestern Ohio
Hardiness Zone
6
Country
United States
I don't grow them, so I'm not sure, but google-fu to the rescue!! (y)

The important thing to remember is that these are tough plants. There is almost nothing wrong you can do. ...(snip)... The normal life cycle of this bush is to go dormant in zones 5 and 6. At this point the canes above ground are dead. They can then be pruned to the ground. This is usually sometime after frost.
https://www.mountainvalleygrowers.com/mvv2-94.htm


In northern regions, winter may kill the growths to the ground. As long as the roots survive, new shoots should emerge and produce blooms the same summer, just in time for butterfly season. https://plantcaretoday.com/butterfly-bush-plant-care.html


Maybe the stalks are dead, and yours will come back from the roots? (y)
 
Joined
May 4, 2015
Messages
2,441
Reaction score
1,457
Location
Mid Michigan
Hardiness Zone
5b
Country
United States
Great catch, MaryMary! Thanks!

I googled last year and found what looked to be sound advice not to prune them. Or, only to prune back the larger branches so they didn't break under the weight of snow. Which seems rather redundant advice...

Great. I'll be looking for new growth then. And this winter (if all goes well) I will cut them back after the first killing frost.
 
Ad

Advertisements

Joined
May 4, 2015
Messages
2,441
Reaction score
1,457
Location
Mid Michigan
Hardiness Zone
5b
Country
United States
Thanks Esther, I will see if it comes back up. I've read good things about Joe Pye; if my current bushes don't come back I'm definitely not planting them again!
 
Joined
May 4, 2015
Messages
2,441
Reaction score
1,457
Location
Mid Michigan
Hardiness Zone
5b
Country
United States
Yep! Wise words. I'll see if MaryMary's links are correct and give them a little more time. It's still early spring here
 
Ad

Advertisements


Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments. After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.

Ask a Question

Top