What are leaves on butterfly bush...

Asked July 2, 2020, 7:41 AM EDT

Turning yellow then brown and dropping off?

Harford County Maryland

5 Responses

You did not mention how old the plants are. Butterfly bush are pretty drought tolerant once established and they like a well drained soil. It is not unusual for some of the older leaves to yellow and drop. Also, temperatures have been high and this may be a factor too.

Check the soil drainage in the area and make sure the soil drains well and mulch is no thicker than several inches and away from the base of the stem. Water during dry periods. At this point all you can do is monitor for additional symptoms.

We wanted to mention that Butterfly bushes are a problematic plant because they have become invasive in wild areas (due to the dispersal of seeds beyond landscaped gardens). With that in mind, you might want to consider replacement with a different type of plant in the future if the plant continues to decline.
https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/butterfly-bush

Marian


Hi this came ft a friends house about 16 years ago. It had not spread (none of my butterfly bushes have) some limbs break on this (large ones too!). I cut it back in fall and it still grows as tree. I do not have mulch around it just some purple flowers, tall
pink phlox and lots of pack o Sandra . It is well drained as I make sure my plants are in soil they like. I don’t use mulch in my flower beds as I have the grown cover.

Hi this came ft a friends house about 16 years ago. It had not spread (none of my butterfly bushes have) some limbs break on this (large ones too!). I cut it back in fall and it still grows as tree. I do not have mulch around it just some purple flowers, tall
pink phlox and lots of pack o Sandra . It is well drained as I make sure my plants are in soil they like. I don’t use mulch in my flower beds as I have the grown cover.

Hi this came ft a friends house about 16 years ago. It had not spread (none of my butterfly bushes have) some limbs break on this (large ones too!). I cut it back in fall and it still grows as tree. I do not have mulch around it just some purple flowers, tall
pink phlox and lots of pack o Sandra . It is well drained as I make sure my plants are in soil they like. I don’t use mulch in my flower beds as I have the grown cover.

Lovely garden.
You can cut them way back (in PA. they die to the ground every year and grow back from the roots.) if you wanted to have more of a shrub structure.

The spreading that they do is often out of site, as the seeds travel with birds and other wildlife.


Christine