Now is the time to prune buddleja - and you can be really brutal. Cut it right back and you'll encourage loads of fresh growth to explode from the base this spring, and since buddlejas flower on this year's new branches that means lots of flowers.
Best known as the 'butterfly bush' the buddleja is a must-have for wildlife gardens, covered with hundreds of butterflies in late summer, sometimes so densely you'll hardly be able to see the nectar-rich flowers. It makes a fine large shrub, up to 3m tall: look out for the classic lavender-blue 'Lochinch', sultry dark purple Buddleja davidii 'Black Knight', and 'Blue Horizon' in deep sapphire. For smaller gardens, we stock a good selection of dwarf varieties here at your garden centre, including 'Buzz', small enough to grow in a container.
Leave a new plants for a year or two to establish, then start pruning annually in spring. Using sharp secateurs or loppers, cut away every branch to around 30cm above ground level, always pruning to just above a leaf joint. Finish with a scattering of slow-release fertiliser and a nice thick mulch to encourage it to throw out a thicket of new stems and a superb display of flowers later in summer.
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