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Pruning buddleja

I moved into a new house last year with a healthy buddleja in the garden. It was about 10-12 feet tall in its prime.

I pruned it back as per this website, and others, and it's growing back very well and as expected.

However, my neighbour has 2 buddleja trees much bigger than mine - they are proper trees, They've done nothing with them at all. Just left them at 25-30 feet tall with all the dead flower heads. Suddenly, both of theirs are in glorious bloom and look fabulous.

So why did I bother pruning mine at all?



  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 27,431

    depends what you want GK. There is no 'have to' about pruning, those that have gone feral don't get pruned.

    Pruning stops them getting too huge, a lot of gardeners don't want too huge. 

    and some naturally develop into better shaped trees than others.

    Once they've had the cut back treatment they never make a tree shape though they may do a very large bush.

    In the sticks near Peterborough
  • Ladybird4Ladybird4 Posts: 37,771

    Definitely keep it pruned. I remove approximately half of the growth made during the year in the Autumn then in Spring I remove all weak and crossing stems and I cut all branches right back to 30cm (1 foot in old money!). My buddleja is now about 2.5 metres tall and beautiful - it is also over 18 years old.

    Cacoethes: An irresistible urge to do something inadvisable
  • mushermusher Posts: 389

    Any ideas why my Buddlejas are growing laterally?.

  • My mother had a Buddleia which she allowed to grow into a 10 foot high tree, but the first 4 feet or so was almost bare of leaves hence no flowers on the lower parts of the plant either.  To get the full impact of the flowers you would need to be a bird or a giant to view them.  We prefer to keep ours to bush size, still pruning once or twice a year to get the maximum of two flowerings.

  • Heres my buddleja. I'm happy with it and I've left the watering can there for scale.


  • This is one of my neighbour's. As I said, they have done no pruning at all. It towers over my shed and it seems that all the dead brown flowerheads have come to life, rather than new flower heads grow. I could be wrong but it seemed like one day it was full of brown flowers and the next they were all white again.


  • That is the same wall in both pictures, by the way.

  • Personally I prefer your bushy Buddleia to your neighbours, as your plant is more manageable and dense and I wouldn't be too happy to have their plant hanging over my property, however if it brings more butterflies into your garden, then that is a positive for you to enjoy Grassy.

  • FrumpaFrumpa Posts: 2

    I bought 7 pleached red Robbins and they are all dying off. The leaves go red, then brown, then drop. Any advice on what I've done wrong or what I can do to revive them please.

    thank you

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