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Buddlea pruning disaster

jennydieseljennydiesel Posts: 12
edited May 2021 in Plants
I very proudly grew some Buddlea from seed last year and planted them out in the summer and they grew very well. They were looking good and sprouting new leaves in February, but having watched the pruning Masterclass I pruned them down drastically as recommended. They now look very sad and I think are dying. What did I do wrong? Or was it just bad luck as we had really cold weather soon after?


  • AnniDAnniD South West UKPosts: 11,018
    It may be that being so young they hadn't really established and the pruning really knocked them for six. Have said that, they are usually tough shrubs so they may well recover. 
    This cold Spring is really slowing things down so it may be a few weeks before they show signs of good recovery. 
    A photo or two may help with more advice. 
    Welcome to the forum by the way  :)
  • LynLyn DevonPosts: 21,144
    Did the pruning Masterclass advise you to prune hard in the first year? 
    I prefer to leave shrubs to get established for a couple of years before pruning.
    With  the new buddlias I would just have nipped the tops out. 
    I would set some more seeds now again, just in case. 

    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • InglezinhoInglezinho Posts: 567
    edited May 2021
    Buddleias should not be pruned AT ALL in the first year, thereafter only moderately and progressively 50%, 60%, 70% etc. Sorry, but you've b****ed it. However, remember Robert the Bruce: Try, try, try again. But this time get a semi-mature plant and try to find one the choice ones, dark purple or red, utterly beautiful and so much easier and quicker than seed. The problem with seed is: not only is it slow and accident-prone, you could get anything. Good luck!
    Everyone likes butterflies. Nobody likes caterpillars.
  • LynLyn DevonPosts: 21,144
    It’s ok to say go and buy one, that doesn’t work for me,  I like to grow everything myself,  as did the OP,  they’re fine grown from seeds, loads here all from seed. 
    I don't know what the pruning masterclass is but they need some lessons themselves. 
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • WilderbeastWilderbeast East YorkshirePosts: 1,410
    Mine were hard pruned this year and had just got going when we had the late really cold snap (hard frosts for about 9days in a row), they were hammered and looked very sad. Yesterday I noticed a couple of tiny shoots on each so fingers crossed they will come back. I'd leave it be and give it time 
  • jennydieseljennydiesel Posts: 12
    Thank you for all your comments. The Materclass is with David Hurrion, he is really good and I have learnt a lot from doing his masterclasses. It would be good to ask him, but I think Lyn is right, I should probably not have pruned them hard in their first year. 
    They’re tough critters and once we get milder weather with some rain they will romp away.
  • ElferElfer Posts: 329
    Problem with a lot of so called "how to" video clips I have seen is that the advice and info is very minimal, I guess that's in order to keep the clip short. Always best to compliment it by reading up on the topic too.
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