Butterfly bushes, scientifically known as Buddleia davidii, are beautiful ornamental shrubs that produce spectacular clusters of colorful flowers. They attract a wide range of butterflies and hummingbirds because of their nectar-rich blooms. Propagating butterfly bush is an easy way to spread the beauty and fragrance of this plant in your garden or share it with others. In this blog post, we will guide you through the steps on how to propagate butterfly bush.
1. Choose the Right Time
The best time to propagate butterfly bushes is during early spring when new growth begins to appear. The ideal temperature for propagating butterfly bush cuttings ranges between 60°F and 70°F (15°C-21°C). Avoid taking cuttings when the temperature is too high or too low.
2. Prepare Your Equipment
To propagate your butterfly bush successfully, you need certain equipment such as pruning shears, rooting hormone powder/gel, clean pots filled with potting soil or vermiculite/perlite mixtures for planting, plastic bags (sandwich bags), water spray bottle, and a sharp knife.
Remember always to keep these materials clean by disinfecting them before using them.
3. Take Cuttings
Select healthy stems from the parent plant that are about three inches long without flower buds or flowers present on them.
Using sharp pruning shears make a diagonal cut at least one inch below where there are leaves attached.
Cut directly under a node so that your cutting has both stem tissue above it and below it.
Remove any lower leaves along with any flower spikes if they are still attached leaving only two or three leaves near the top of each stem cutting.
4.Treat with Rooting Hormone Powder/Gel
Dip each cutting’s bottom part into rooting hormone powder/gel solution after removing excess powder on your cutting. Be sure to use a clean container for the rooting hormone solution and mix it according to the instructions provided. Alternatively, you can apply the rooting hormone gel directly onto the stem’s bottom surface with an applicator brush.
5.Plant Your Cuttings
Place each of your cuttings into a pot filled with soil or vermiculite/perlite mixture that has been moistened.
Make sure that there is enough space between them so that they do not touch each other.
Water them lightly after planting, then cover each pot with a plastic bag (sandwich bags) to create high humidity levels around them.
6.Care for Your Cuttings
Put your pots in a well-lit area but avoid direct sunlight as it might dry out or scorch leaves before they get established.
Spray water occasionally over their leaves using a spray bottle while keeping the soil moderately moist until roots have formed, which usually takes about 3-4 weeks.
Check regularly for signs of new growth and remove any dead or diseased foliage promptly.
Once cuttings show good root development, transplant them into larger containers/pots using regular potting soil. Then place those pots outside under partial shade until they are ready to be planted in their permanent locations six weeks post-transplanting.
In conclusion, propagating butterfly bush is relatively easy if you follow these steps carefully. With some hard work and patience, you can enjoy watching beautiful butterflies fluttering around from one nectar-rich Buddleia davidii bloom at home.