Bicolor Butterfly Bush Growing Two Different Types of Bushes???

Asked June 26, 2014, 4:38 PM EDT

I have a bicolor butterfly bush that has been doing well for four years. This year, I noticed that my bush has two different types of leaves...one part of the bush looks like it always has, but growing out of the middle of the bush, straight out of the canes, is a different looking bush. I am confused as to how this could happen to my bush! What is wrong with it???

Broome County New York horticulture

2 Responses

There are several possibilities.
1. The new growth is a sport, which is a mutant that developed from a bud resulting in the difference. THis is how some varieties of plants have been developed.
2. Plants developed from hybrids sometimes loose characteristics, depending on what the develop from. One example I am familiar with are varigated jade plants. If I propagate from a leaf, I get a green leafed plant. If I propagate from a stem cutting, I get a varigated leaf plant. Even on the varigated plant, will sometimes get and all white leaf. Your new growth may be coming from a root which does not have the genetics for bicolor flowers.
You can let it grow to see what kinds of flowers it produces or prune it out.
3. The new growth is actually a different plant which is growing there. Without seeing the plant, can not say for sure. You can contact your local extension office to see if they have someone who could take a closer look or take some detailed picture for them to look at.

Thank you so much for your advice. Upon closer inspection, there IS a different plant growing in the middle of my bush. It has a large "trunk" and is actually quite larger than my butterfly bush. I might just have to dig everything out and start over!! It also looks like one half of my butterfly bush canes are dead wood. Poor thing....