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Jenny M Benson 07-03-2020 04:02 PM

Pruning Buddleia
 
I looked on the internet for advice about pruning buddleia because I
thought a family member had not pruned hers hard enough - she had left
one main stem about 3' high and thinner stems abhout 1'-2'. I said I
*thought* she should take all stems back to the lowest new sprouting and
she said there hadn't been any when she pruned, but there is now.

However, this is what I read at the first site to come up:

"...cut all of the branches back to the ground in early spring ..." then
"...stems should be at least a foot tall. Stop pruning once your stems
are about a foot in length..."

Unless there is a crucial difference between a "stem" and a "branch"
this seems to be totally contradictory, but what, then, is the
difference? If a "piece of growth" is cut back to the ground where is
there a stem which is to be left at a foot long?

Please can someone yay or nay to cutting all the existing "lengths of
wood" back to the lowest buds.
--
Jenny M Benson
Wrexham, UK

Martin Brown[_2_] 07-03-2020 04:52 PM

Pruning Buddleia
 
On 07/03/2020 16:02, Jenny M Benson wrote:
I looked on the internet for advice about pruning buddleia because I
thought a family member had not pruned hers hard enough - she had left
one main stem about 3' high and thinner stems abhout 1'-2'.* I said I
*thought* she should take all stems back to the lowest new sprouting and
she said there hadn't been any when she pruned, but there is now.

However, this is what I read at the first site to come up:

"...cut all of the branches back to the ground in early spring ..." then
"...stems should be at least a foot tall.* Stop pruning once your stems
are about a foot in length..."

Unless there is a crucial difference between a "stem" and a "branch"
this seems to be totally contradictory, but what, then, is the
difference?* If a "piece of growth" is cut back to the ground where is
there a stem which is to be left at a foot long?

Please can someone yay or nay to cutting all the existing "lengths of
wood" back to the lowest buds.


It doesn't really matter what you do. They are almost impossible to kill
no matter how aggressively you prune them or what tools you use. You
might lose some flowers by pruning too late but they are prolific.

The local nursery cuts theirs off at ground level with a chainsaw and
they still grow back to large healthy bushes in a single season.

It matters more with things where you are growing them for their
ornamental winter stems in which case removing the oldest third and any
crossing branches is a reasonable working scheme.

--
Regards,
Martin Brown

Nick Maclaren[_5_] 07-03-2020 05:35 PM

Pruning Buddleia
 
In article ,
Jenny M Benson wrote:

Please can someone yay or nay to cutting all the existing "lengths of
wood" back to the lowest buds.


Assuming it is one of the common buddleias, I agree with the other
people - BUT .... Many plants (and I think buddleias are among them)
do not sprout well from very old wood. So I recommend cutting back
to just above the lowest buds on most plants. You don't want to cut
back RIGHT to ground level, either, as they shoot from stems and not
roots - but you can be pretty ruthless.

That's being cautious. Other people may have cut buddleias down right
to ground level and had them shoot - I don't know if that works, and
whether it works on some ages of plant and not others. E.g. you can
kill a seedling or old oak or ash by doing that, but ones older than
a year or two and not yet old will sprout from the stump (coppicing).

That differs from things like bay, which DOES shoot from the roots.
Renovating an old one is done by removing the stem entirely, and it
can be almost impossible to remove :-)


Regards,
Nick Maclaren.

Chris Green 07-03-2020 06:32 PM

Pruning Buddleia
 
Chris Hogg wrote:
On Sat, 7 Mar 2020 16:02:46 +0000, Jenny M Benson
wrote:

I looked on the internet for advice about pruning buddleia because I
thought a family member had not pruned hers hard enough - she had left
one main stem about 3' high and thinner stems abhout 1'-2'. I said I
*thought* she should take all stems back to the lowest new sprouting and
she said there hadn't been any when she pruned, but there is now.

However, this is what I read at the first site to come up:

"...cut all of the branches back to the ground in early spring ..." then
"...stems should be at least a foot tall. Stop pruning once your stems
are about a foot in length..."

Unless there is a crucial difference between a "stem" and a "branch"
this seems to be totally contradictory, but what, then, is the
difference? If a "piece of growth" is cut back to the ground where is
there a stem which is to be left at a foot long?

Please can someone yay or nay to cutting all the existing "lengths of
wood" back to the lowest buds.


In my experience it doesn't matter very much. Just cut it back to a
couple of feet, give or take a foot, and it will be fine. I don't
think you need to be very particular with buddleia. I certainly wasn't
when I grew them and they regrew and flowered OK.

Exactly! They are indestructible.

--
Chris Green
·

Jenny M Benson 07-03-2020 07:09 PM

Pruning Buddleia
 
On 07/03/2020 16:52, Martin Brown wrote:
It matters more with things where you are growing them for their
ornamental winter stems in which case removing the oldest third and any
crossing branches is a reasonable working scheme.


I wish the people who are paid to do the "gardening" (1) here - Housing
Association property - knew that. They turned up about a month or 2 ago
and chain-sawed along a row of 3 dogwoods which I was gifted last year,
reducing them to a uniform 18". At the same time, *yet again* they gave
the same treatment to my dog rose - despite having been told at least 3
times not to touch it. It now looks *terrible* and I think the only
solution is to take it back to ground level - as someone did before I
came along - and see if it resurrects for a second time.

(1) I hesitate to use the word because they obviously haven't a clue
about how to do real gardening.

--
Jenny M Benson
Wrexham, UK

Jenny M Benson 07-03-2020 07:11 PM

Pruning Buddleia
 
On 07/03/2020 16:23, Chris Hogg wrote:
In my experience it doesn't matter very much. Just cut it back to a
couple of feet, give or take a foot, and it will be fine.


Many thanks to all who responded. Will pass on the advice.

--
Jenny M Benson
Wrexham, UK


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