pruning of butterfly bush and st. johns wort

Asked December 4, 2015, 1:33 PM EST

By the end of summer my st. johns wort and butterfly bushes get quite leggy, and I'm wondering if it's ok to prune them before winter sets in, or whether that will encourage new growth (at the wrong time). Two winters ago the st. johns wort almost died, and last winter part of the butterfly bush did die off, and I'm wondering if this happened because I didn't prune them and thus left them more vulnerable to cold weather effects.

Harford County Maryland

1 Response

Butterfly bush - Prune in the early spring with the onset of new growth. Can be pruned back to about a foot.

Hypericum species, St. Johnswort - for most varieties of hypericum prune in early spring to remove winter damage, improve density, and keep vigorous. Remove any crowded, weak or dead branches.