Deadhead ‘faded’ buddleia flowers now for ‘fresh display’ next month – ‘encourages shoots’

Gardening: Expert demonstrates how to deadhead flowers

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Buddleia, also spelled buddleja, is a British summer classic that is often a feature in cottage gardens. The plant is known for its delicate, sweet scent and brightly coloured flowers that can be purple, blue, pink and white. Buddleia is also known as a butterfly bush because it’s particularly attractive to butterflies.

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Buddleia provides an important nectar source for adult butterflies and moths so it’s important that gardeners who have the plant care for it correctly, which includes pruning it.

The plants are currently in “full bloom”, according to Gardeners’ World lead host Monty Don.

However, the 67-year-old said gardeners should deadhead the plant once the flowers fade to encourage another floral display next month.

He said on the latest episode of the programme: “Buddleia is in full bloom at the moment.

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“But the flowers fade quickly and don’t look so good.

“So if you remove the faded ones, it will encourage side shoots, which will carry a fresh display well into September.”

To deadhead, remove any brown, unattractive flower heads.

This will not only provide new flowers but will improve the plant’s appearance.

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Buddleia is easy to grow, loves sun and needs a good pruning once a year.

The shrub usually flowers from early summer to late summer and likes well-drained soil.

Despite its hardy appearance, some buddleias actually need to be protected from the cold and don’t like wind.

In a windy spot, the plant’s branches can snap and the bush can rock.

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Buddleias with exposed roots or a gap in the soil may be exposed to too much wind.

Less hardy buddleias may need wrapping in the winter months.

Wrap them in fleece during extremely cold weather or bring potted ones into a greenhouse or conservatory, if you have one.

Any plants that have been planted in the last 18 months need to be watered regularly until the plant is more established.

However, do not overwater this plant, it does not like to be soggy.

Mulch around the plant each year to help retain moisture.

Buddleias can be planted from May through to September.

The plant needs cutting back from March through to May.

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