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LifestyleHome and Garden

Mailbag: Leaning butterfly bush

I planted a butterfly bush last spring in my backyard a few feet off the house. The rear of the house faces west. The butterfly bush has grown with a distinctive lean facing the west. I read in your column that you can cut the butterfly bush down to the ground. Would this help in having the bush grow back in a more vertical position? I would very much appreciate any advice you have for me. Thank you. -- Bill

Hi, Bill. Your plant is always going to seek the sun and grow toward it, which could result in an undesirable lean. Regardless, the bush should be cut down now to encourage a nice habit and full plant. If the lean reoccurs, you might consider inserting a stake into the ground near the main
branch and securing it with twine. Cut the bush down every year in late winter, early spring
(NEVER in autumn.) Good luck! -- Jessica
 

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