Buddleias, also known as “the butterfly bush”, are well-known for their magnetic attraction to butterflies. Buddleia bushes are known for their spiked, highly fragrant flowers that bloom in large numbers throughout the summer, and they grow well from buddleia cuttings. These flowers are attractive to many beautiful butterflies, as well as beneficial insects such as our beloved bees that help pollinate our plants.
Buddleia can grow in all kinds of conditions, including in drier areas making it suitable in a flower garden. You can also get dwarf varieties that are great for planting in pots on your patio.
Buddleia can either be propagated from seeds or cuttings. Seed sowing can be tedious and not as efficient as cutting. The seeds don’t always grow to the same size as the plants they were taken from. This is why cuttings are a great way to get them to grow.
How to Take Buddleia Cuttings
There are three types of Buddleia cuts that you can choose from. Softwood cuttings are best taken in spring as they are easier to root and are usually more successful. Semi-hardwood cuttings may also be taken during summer if the growth being cut is still semi-mature. Hardwood cuttings can also be taken when the shrubs have lost their leaves.
Steps on Taking Soft-wood Buddleia Cuttings
From tender new growth, softwood cuttings can be taken in spring and June, so add this to your summer gardening list. When the plants are well hydrated, you can take the cuttings in the morning. Place the cutting in a bag and water it until you’re ready to use.
- Mix the multi-purpose or cutting compost with 30% perlite. You want to make sure that the cutting compost is well-drained so that roots can easily take it.
- Take your cutting from fresh new growth that is 4-5 inches in length and has no flower buds. You may also take the cutting and cut off the top set of leaves. However, this is not necessary.
- To make the cutting about 3-4 inches in length, make a sharp cut under the node (lead joints). Dip the cutting in rooting hormone powder. Use a dibber to make a small opening in the compost and place the cutting in a container.
- You have two options: place several cuttings in a container, or you can plant them individually in cell trays. The latter will make it easier to pot them up.
- Place the cutting in a propagator and water well. (Bottom heat will accelerate rooting). They will usually root within two weeks. A propagator is not necessary. You can simply place a few canes in the pot and cover it with a clear plastic bag. To prevent them from rotting, keep the bags moistened and change the water every day.
- Place the plant in a sunny window or greenhouse that receives plenty of sunlight. However, avoid direct sunlight as it can cause damage to the young leaves. After 2 weeks, check the roots. It may take up to 6 weeks for roots to develop. Once they are established, you can pot them up in small individual pots, taking care not to damage the roots. Over the summer and fall, they will harden off. If they are unable to survive winter, they can be brought into a cold area or sheltered if necessary.
Steps on Taking semi-hardwood and hardwood Buddleia Cuttings
These cuttings are made from more mature wood. Semi-hardwood cuts are made from wood that has begun to harden. Hardwood cuttings can be taken from mature wood in autumn or winter.
When the leaves have fallen for winter, take the hardwood cuttings.
- To make a 6- to 12-inch cutting, first cut under the leaf bud at its bottom and then towards the top. This will create a cutting that is 6-10 in long.
- To promote root growth, dip it in cutting powder. Use a dibber to make a hole with the compost and then insert the cutting into a container. Multiple cuttings can be placed in one pot. Mix 50% compost with 50% grit sand to make compost.
- Place in a greenhouse or cold frame with light but not direct sun. They should be kept hydrated and show signs of root growth in spring.
- After they have established roots in spring, you can pot them up in smaller 9cm pots to continue growing before planting the garden.
Increasing Buddleia Flower Time
Take out flowers when they are worn down and they will grow new flowers. They can bloom 2 to 3 times per season. The plant will not let the faded flowers go to seed. Instead, it will concentrate all its energy on seeding and not flowering.
How to Help Small Birds Overwinter
Last but not least, let the last flower blooms go in the late summer. This attracts small birds to the garden and provides food for them when there is less natural food.