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Butterfly Bush Deadheading – When And How Should You Do It?

Deadheading – Background Information

Every gardener makes great efforts to attain the full potential of their plants. Overseeing some important, yet simple procedures may become a hurdle in between the blossoming of the plants.

How easy is it to chop the flower head? Ignoring this may lead to less flower blossoming by the plants, ultimately affecting the overall garden’s beauty.

To overcome these worrying possibilities, pruning of physically ill plant parts is the first line of precaution for horticulturists. Likewise, this physical illness in the flowers is treated by removing the dead flowers, which we call as deadheading.

Research suggests that time is of great importance regarding flower deadheading. Hence, horticulturists are careful to see physical illness in flowers, which is followed by deadheading. This not only enhances the flower’s visual attraction but it also helps the plant to flourish.

Likewise in Chinese natives, inhabitants of tropical and subtropical regions, Perennial Butterfly Bushes. Among gardeners, it is common to deadhead the butterfly bushes due to their reply back with an increased amount of stunning white, pink, yellow, purple and orange flowers with a fresh fragrance. They are very dependable and less demanding plants with stunning sights of their flowers. That’s why they are considered as the traders’ and gardeners’ pick.

Although deadheading Butterfly Bushes is common but still a significant number of gardeners, especially home growers are unaware of the plant care after the plants produce flowers.

This article is aimed to answer the common questions related to Butterfly Bush deadheading, which are, when should you do Butterfly Bush deadheading and how should we perform the procedure. Let’s begin:

Deadheading Butterfly Bush – When should you do it?

Generally, the deadheading process is carried out by many horticulturists and plant growers for ornamental purposes. As described earlier, that deadheading Butterfly Bushes not only makes its flowers attractive but also incites the plant to bloom more. This replacement with the newcomers also allows the gardeners to smell the fresh fragrance which new flowers diffuse.

The time perspective to perform deadheading of the flowers differs from plant to plant. While the care it demands may also vary in different plants, but happily, Butterfly Bushes are considered ‘’gem’’ ornaments due to the lesser care and attention they demand.

In contrast, while talking about Butterfly Bush, the general purpose of deadheading is also linked to the environmental protection perspective. The ethical purpose of deadheading the Butterfly Bush is also important, as it minimizes the risks of their invasion by reducing the spreading of seeds.

So, there lies a slight difference in this idea such as ‘’when you deadhead your Butterfly Bush plant’’. The slight difference is also covered below.

When the Plant Blooms – Summers

Deadheading Butterfly Bush – When should you do it

Usually, Butterfly Bushes bloom in the summer season. More precisely, from mid-July till the end of the summers. Deadheading them regularly or thrice in a week will be a good option.

Keeping in mind the protection purpose from their invasion, I would recommend to perform it regardless of the flower’s health. Continue this process until the flowering season ends. It ensures the overall protection purpose.

Fresh flowers take some time to mature and take part in the production of new seeds. So by carrying out deadheading, even intensely may prove beneficial by keeping intact the beauty perspective of the more blooming.

One good thing for the flower admirers is that they can survive for a long time indoors if plucked in a proper time. Simple research and information from experts will help to align the admirers’ desires and protection goals.

Picking up the flowers just before they begin to open and placing them indoors in water will increase their shelf life.

Placing them indoors will keep the plant seeds from getting dispersed in the environment. Because they will not be in reach of several seed vectors such as butterflies, birds, and air, etc.

When the Plant Blooms – Winter and Spring

Some species of Butterfly Bushes are winter or spring bloomers. Scientifically, the flowering depends upon the presence of a suitable environment and according to the flower type.

The process of deadheading Butterfly Bushes will run parallel to the blooming season. The benefits it confers to the plant and the environment will remain the same. You should check and may ask the trader about your plant type.

When the Flowers Begin to Fade

As a part of the natural process of aging flowers lose their freshness and are faded. At this time there is an enormous production of seeds by Butterfly Bushes, which is not of much importance for the owners as compared to flowers.

Sometimes, physical stress is the reason behind this beauty loss, fading, and even death. The Butterfly Bush growers have found certain ways to cope up with these situations.

Deadheading the faded flowers enhances the visual attraction of flowers, hence of the whole garden. You should look for the faded flowers in intervals and mark them for deadheading. It will cause more flowers to bloom, even more quickly than the natural replacement process. Soon after the deadheading of Butterfly Bush, new flowers will bloom. You should wait and look for them to fade again.

Sometimes, fading starts to happen from a single petal following the whole flower. It is the added benefit of Butterfly Bush as an ornamental plant that produces a large number of flowers. So deadheading at the initial stage will not affect the overall plants’ beauty.

When the Growing Season Ends

Deadheading and excessive pruning at the end of the growing season of perennials are beneficial. The perennial plants such as Butterfly Bush respond to long term caring procedures. Comparative research shows that the settling time of perennials is a bit larger than the annuals.

Owing to these characteristics gardeners follow the ways which enhance the overall settling process, which is ultimately responsible for quality growth and increased flowering in the next season.

Deadheading and intensive pruning is the need of Butterfly Bush. You should follow this to obtain more flowers in the next season. It will offer plants to focus on rooting and stabilize themselves in their habitat.

Does the question arise that what is the difference between deadheading for protection purposes and deadheading for ornamental purposes? I know it does. Let me tell you.

Deadheading for ornamental purposes involves the figuring out of left off flowers and taking them off while keeping the healthy flowers intact.

For the protection purpose, as described above, constant trimming of flowers are needed, regardless of the health.

Otherwise, you can trim the faded and old flowers from the plant weekly or as per the condition of the flowers. As described earlier, it produces flowers in a large number, so the gardeners have a lot of room to do so.

Butterfly Deadheading – Procedure


Some plant growers state that there are two problems associated with deadheading the Butterfly bush. These problems are that deadheading may increase the disease susceptibility in the plant and is related to the low shrub quality.

Besides, contradictory statements regarding the harm it causes to the plant, more are in favor of the benefits. Gardeners and Plant beauty enthusiasts usually go with the latter notion.

Generally, the procedure of deadheading for all the flowers is usually the same. The only difference lies, is in the time for doing so. How should you deadhead the Butterfly Bush flowers?

Let’s talk about the second part of our topic. The basic rules or precautions for deadheading in the procedural perspective remains the same for many plants.

Particularly for the case of the Butterfly Bush plant, there are no special instructions forwarded by plant owners or traders.

Below, I will be revising the procedure again and precautions you should take while deadheading the flowers. It will be helpful to know if you are supportive of this unpopular idea that deadheading this plant increases the susceptibility of plant diseases. I will be going to summarize the deadheading procedure in five points.

  1. Mark the flower to be deadheaded

Whatever is the type of your Butterfly Bush, keep checking out for the faded and dead flowers throughout the blooming season.

As this plant produces a large number of flowers, sometimes the dead and faded ones are hidden. Look for these dead and faded flowers in your Butterfly Bush and mark them for deadheading.

  1. Reach to the Deadheading site

Gardeners suggest deadheading the marked flowers by cutting the stem below it. The cut may be placed close to a bunch of leaves below the flower.

The left leaves are beneficial for the plant as they conduct the photosynthetic process and provide food to the plant. Butterfly Bush will shed them in the autumn and replace them during spring. It may slightly vary depending upon the environment.

  1. Select the equipment

There are several equipment options to utilize for the deadheading. Regular gardeners and plant growers love to procure the sophisticated equipment for the deadheading or pruning purposes.

The most famous among these is the gardening scissors. It is not so expensive and buying it for regular garden grooming purposes is not a bad idea.

While gardening knives are also available in the market. Deadheading can also be done with hands by carefully pinching and plucking the flowers from the deadheading site. You can try any of these, but of course, the gardening scissors are a preferable choice.

  1. Disinfect the Equipment

Cleaning the equipment is a good choice for gardeners to save the plants from getting a disease. You can use tap water to wash the equipment before use, but experts love to disinfect the equipment by ethanol before use. You may also wash your hands with the detergent for the added security. Now you are all set to place the cut.

  1. Place the Cut

Deadhead the flower by placing the cut at the pre-selected deadheading site. Make sure that you have deadheaded all the selected flowers. Congrats! You are done!

You may use these flowers as compost as they are a good source of nitrogen. Make sure to dry them before using them as compost. Other uses include placing them indoors as an ornament or in the bouquet.

For the latter purposes, as described earlier, you should quickly place the plucked flowers into the water and preferably do this procedure in the morning.

Our Favorite Pruners For Butterfly Bush:



Chikamasa PS-8PLUS-R

Felco Pruning Shears

Piranha Pruner Shears

Care After Deadheading

After performing this procedure, follow the general regular care of plants. Watering of Butterfly Bush plants at an appropriate level may prove beneficial. Avoid placing them in deeply shaded areas as they love to grow in full sun.

Final thoughts

Butterfly Bushes pleases the beauty enthusiasts and horticulturists by its several beauty attributes. These beauty attributes include, but not limited to their ability to produce a large number of colorful flowers with fragrance.

They also welcome butterflies and birds of paradise, i.e. the hummingbirds, which adds beauty to the scene. Apart from its beauty attributes, it requires less attention and care, as compared to other ornamental plants.

Like many other plants, Butterfly bush plants welcome deadheading and reward back with more blooming and fresher looks. This quality and their potential to cause invasion demand the plant owners or traders to perform the procedure timely according to the instructions given.

The plants actively replace the flowers quickly with new and fresh looks. Besides, the gone fragrance will reappear with the new blooming. In this way, Butterfly Bush plant’s deadheading will pay back you. Last but not least, do remember the phrase regarding deadheading that, Grooming Promotes Blooming.