How To Train A Butterfly Bush Tree

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I have always loved to see plants “trained” into a small butterfly bush, especially when they are plants we don’t normally see grown as trees.

Plants like a standard lantana tree or coleus tree.

The buddleia or the butterfly bush is another one.

In some states the buddleia is considered an invasive species (BBC) and they are trying to eradicate it.

There are some non-invasive hybrids available but it’s typically considered an invasive plant in the garden.

Here are a few of our favorites:

They attract butterflies hence the name butterfly bushes.

The one in the picture is one of the newer Butterfly bush hybrids specially bred to “behave” and not grow out of bounds.

Question: Should buddleia be cut back in late fall or early spring, and how far? FK., Arkansas

Answer: Buddleia should be cut back in late spring. Examine the plants from time to time in the spring and eventually, you will find new growth starting near the surface of the ground.


When this growth has started, cut off the entire top of the plant leaving the old stems only two or three inches tall. Soon there will be a Buddleia butterfly plant with all new vigorous wood that should bloom heavily.

At the Garden Gate website, they have a nice tutorial with 4 steps and illustrations to walk you through the process of how to train a butterfly bush into a “standard” tree.

It’s lots of fun to explore training these plants into new shapes and trees.

Continue reading and learn more on growing butterfly bush:

Train Budellia Butterfly Bush

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