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Propagate Buddleia/Butterfly Bush

Dear all, 

I lived in Bath, Sommerset, for a year but moved back to Holland. I live in the East of Holland now. Whilst living in the UK I enjoyed this forum very much, as gardening is quite new for me, and got great help. I hope I can still ask questions.The climate is slightly colder then in Bath. 

Today I noticed my neighbour cutting his big Buddleia. As I really wanted a Buddleia for the bees and butterflies, I took my changes and asked for the cuttings. The cuttings are big, the biggest wooden stems are 2 fingers thick and easily 2 metres long. 

I have cut some back and put some of them in pots. The bigger stems and the smaller of branches which I took of the stems. And some I will put directly in the garden.
My questions are:

1. Can I do this now, at this time of the year, will it grow enough roots before winter?
2. How soon after I have put it in the garden can I cut it back?
3. Can I wait a day or two before I put some of the cuttings in the earth or pot?
4. I have 3 big cuttings like 2 metres long and 1.5 metres wide, do you think these will grow roots as well when I plant them?

Apologies for my extensive questioning and thanks in advance!

Thanks ever so much! 

Kinds regards,
Hardenberg, the Netherlands


  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 49,058
    Hi Vanessa - cuttings only need to be about 6 to 8 inches in length. Buddleias are very easy from those.  I would normally do them a bit later on, so that they're not too soft, but  most buddleias are quite forgiving so it's worth doing quite a few. Pieces around the thickness of a pencil are ideal. Remove most of the leaves and just leave a little amount at the top. 
    It sounds like you have big branches, so if you cut them down into short lengths, put about 3 of them in a 6 or 7 inch pot of gritty compost, they should root quite easily. They should make roots quite quickly at this time of year without any special attention. Once they have rooted , you can put them into pots of their own and grow them on in  a relatively sheltered spot that isn't too hot and dry.
    It'll be next year before they're substantial enough to plant out.  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • Thanks so much for your answer! 
  • Buddlieas are now being considered for classification as a pernicious weed as they are spreading so rapidly. A shame in one way as the butterflies do love them. I picked a small shoot from a white one growing on some wasteland last year. I pulled off the small shoots, trimmed the heels, removed some of the lower leaves and pushed them into a pot with some old compost in it. They have all taken. It is very hard to kill off buddliea
  • Wow, that is inspiring! What a strong shrub. I noticed in the UK that there were many 'wild buddlieas' growing and I loved that. They grew everywhere indeed. There in the Netherlands they do not let that happen as most of nature is controlled. 
  • WaysideWayside Posts: 807
    edited July 2018
    I've killed a couple that were in mostly shade.  They like the sun.
  • FireFire North LondonPosts: 17,116
  • They like poor soil to grow in, which is why they grow in chimney stacks, cracks in walls and guttering etc. They easily grow 6ft per year which is why they need cutting back very hard every year. They also self seed everywhere.
  • ju1i3ju1i3 Camden Town, LondonPosts: 189
    "Gardeners are being asked by Defra to remove seed heads after flowering to prevent its spread before it becomes "ubiquitous". "

    not to not grow it
  • The problem with that is there is so much of it growing wild on unmaintained land.
  • I am surprised that your neighbour is cutting his Buddleia now, when it will soon be flowering! I have never grown it from a cutting but I grew mine from seed 35 years ago. It takes a little longer to get to flowering size by that method, but it works.
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