How To Prune Buddleia: Step-by-Step Guide For Beginners

Buddleias, also known as butterfly bushes, are popular flowering shrubs that produce stunning blooms and attract pollinators. However, it is essential to prune them regularly to keep them healthy and in shape. Pruning not only encourages new growth but also prolongs the lifespan of the plant. In this blog post, we will discuss how to prune buddleia properly.

When to prune buddleia
Buddleias should be pruned annually in early spring or late winter before new growth begins. It’s best to avoid pruning during the fall because this can stimulate tender new growth that may not have time to harden off before winter sets in.

Tools required for pruning buddleia
To begin with the process of pruning your butterfly bush, you’ll need a few tools:

1. Bypass pruners – for removing small branches.
2. Lopping shears – for removing larger branches.
3. Hand saw or chainsaw – if you need to remove any huge stems or branches from thickened parts of the shrub.

How much should you cut?
The amount you cut when pruning depends on personal preference and desired outcomes; however, it is recommended that you don’t remove more than one-third of your plant at once when cutting back overgrown plants so they can recover more easily.

Steps for proper Buddleia Pruning

Step 1: Remove dead wood
Start by searching for lifeless twigs and snipping them away using sharp bypass pruners at their base where they join up with living wood.

Step 2: Cut out old flower spikes
As soon as spring arrives, take a pair of scissors and trim back last year’s faded flowers by cutting down just above an outward-facing bud eye or side branch node facing away from its centre point so fresh shoots develop along its stem later on during summer months,

Step 3: Trim out weak stems
Identify thin stalks that lack growth and remove them at the base.

Step 4: Cut out crossing or rubbing branches
Remove any limbs that rub against each other or cross over another branch. Rubbing branches can cause damage to bark, allowing for disease to penetrate more easily.

Step 5: Reduce the height and width of your buddleia plant
Using sharp lopping shears or a hand saw, trim back large stems by cutting down just above an outward-facing bud eye or side branch node on strong wood growing from near its base aiming for a rounded shape.

Fertilizing after pruning?

Once you have finished with pruning, add some organic fertilizer to aid in healthy regrowth of the shrub. This will provide nutrients required for new shoots that develop later in spring/summer when pruned early enough before blooming season!


In conclusion, regular pruning is crucial for maintaining healthy butterfly bushes. By following these steps mentioned above carefully, you’ll keep your Buddleia looking great year after year while promoting more blooms and healthier growth!