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Cutting back Buddleia

Hi, i have a buddleia at the front of the house which was about 5/6ft when i moved house in 2006 and it never got pruned. Consequently it grew to about 20ft and was starting to attack the guttering. I cut it back to about 5ft in September and I know that I should cut it back further in March time but one side is lots of stems from the ground that I can cut but one side is a thickish trunk with stems only starting about 3-4ft up. I have attached a picture. Please could anyone give any advice what is the best way to tackle this buddleia.


  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 34,053
    HI and welcome to the Forum.
    It's a big old beast eh?
    I'd try to "thin it out a bit" , tricky but try to remove some of those stems altogether to open it up . 
    If you use a bow saw, you could lower the blade over another branch to remove them. 
    Aim to get it down to about 2 or 3ft high, next winter/spring, remove some more of those thick stems , by which time you'll have thinner stems.
    You can't really go wrong, if you want to go a bit drastic ,you could cut the whole thing down to about a foot high and it'd still bounce back.
  • I think that you can be very brave and in March cut it hard back to about 8” above the top of that wall. Years ago my late Pa took a chainsaw to Ma’s beloved buddleia outside the kitchen window which was in a similar state, and both he and the buddleia lived to tell the tale. 

    Obviously you’ll clear all the weeds and undergrowth from around the base ... a feed of rose fertiliser in spring would be good. 

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • That's great, thank you both for your advice :smile:

  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 34,053
    Jess1971 said:
    That's great, thank you both for your advice :smile:

    in a nutshell, cut as hard as you like, they're almost indestructible. 
  • wild edgeswild edges Posts: 9,374
    The cut stems make great bee hotels as they're hollow in the middle so don't just chuck them away. Even if you cut them into short lengths and tuck them into a neglected corner of the garden they make great homes for bugs.
    Tradition is just peer pressure from dead people
  • Saw the whole thing down to where the skinny stems starts, just above the height of the grass. Don't need to wait till March. 
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 52,184
    I keep bundles of the cut stems too. They're very useful for all sorts of things.  :)

    I'd echo the fact that you can pretty much hack where, and when, you want with them @Jess1971. You can always see how it looks next summer and then take further action as well.
    They're also very easy to propagate from pieces you cut off, if you decide that one isn't looking as good as you'd like, and you want to replace it.  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
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