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Hi. I have several Budliea plants and I wanted to prune them a bit as most of the flowers are brown. We have lots of butterflies on them at the moment. Do I need to leave pruning them till next year? would the butterflies have laid eggs on them and if so would I be killing them if I prune now?? 


  • CeresCeres Posts: 2,149

    It is okay to dead head the plants now but leave the pruning until early spring.

  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,875

    i don't think butterflies will have laid eggs on them, they're not the food plants of any native caterpillars, they're not native plants

  • Thanks. They get so big but I want to help the butterflies that's why I got the plants ?

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 82,274

    Butterflies don't lay eggs on buddleia bushes - the adult butterflies visit the flowers for their nectar, but they lay their eggs on specific plants which provide the right food for their larvae.

    Here is a list of the plants we need to grow in order to increase the number of butterflies in the UK. 

    It is no surprise that the most commonly seen butterfly is the Large or Cabbage White - their caterpillars feed on brassicas and human beings grow millions of them.  

    If we want more of the other butterflies we have to grow the right plants.

    I dead-head my buddleia through the autumn but I don't cut it back yet - there's still time for more flowers.  I cut it down by about half in November to prevent windrock and frost damage in the winter storms, then prune it properly in March. 

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,875

    As regards helping butterflies, I think too much emphasis is put on pretty flowers for pretty butterflies and not enough on food plants for the larval stage.

    The b.......y things eat plants, some of them want weeds. image

    Send them all my way, I can feed them

  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,875

    I think that about sums up what I said Verdun, wildlife like bees and butterflies.

    Does 'etc' include the very specific food plants for the larval stage of all those butterflies?

    No caterpillars, no butterflies. Basic biology.

    My last word on the subject, I recognise a brick wall when I come up against one.

  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,875


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