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Re: buddleia, butterfly bush

In a message dated 06/18/2003 9:04:50 PM Eastern Daylight Time, 
justme@prairieinet.net writes:

> So my question is - finally-  ... should I not have been pruning this
> back yearly? Will the rest of the branches come back to life?
> Always something.... just when you think you figured it out!:)

Well, everybody seems to have a different take on the question, so I'll add 
my two bits.  The house where I grew up in the Florida Panhandle many many 
years ago had a very large Buddleia - purple - anybody's guess as to what kind - 
probably generic.  I'm sure nothing was ever done to it, and that it was there 
for years, so in that climate  they must do well.  
  When I first moved to this house in  1970 I thought I would try one just 
because I remembered the one from my childhood.  It didn't thrive, and died in 
about three years, but I thought it was not in a good place - poor soil and too 
much shade.  About five years ago I was developing a new bed and thought I 
would try again.  I purchased three - 'Black Knight' and 'Pink Perfection' from 
Plant Delights, and a white one from a local nursery.  The white one didn't do 
well, but that was because it was poorly placed and was quickly overgrown 
with other stuff.  The other two did quite well until this year.  The accepted 
practice in this area is to cut them to about 12" in the early spring.  They 
will come back very thick and bushy, and that had worked well for me.  However, 
this spring the pink one not only didn't come back - it appeared totally dead 
and the root heaved out of the ground.  The 'Black Knight' had only a very 
small amount of new growth - most of it appeared dead.  I cut away as much of the 
dead part as I could, and left the single shoot.  As of this week, it has sent 
up several new shoots to about 2 feet, so I'm hopeful that it will recover.  
I had assumed that mine had suffered first from the severe drought of last 
summer, and then the extremely long cold winter.  Now that I hear of others 
having trouble keeping them going, I'm beginning to wonder.  Because of the one I 
knew as a child, I just supposed that if they liked the spot they would go on 
forever.  I'd love to try another one or two - I really like them - but my 
problem now is that after 33 years I don't have much room left to plant things.  
It's always been a matter of finding a place to dig a hole, since we're half 
boulders, but now there is very little sunny space left.  Oh well.  Always 

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