Pick up know-how for tackling diseases, pests and weeds.
Farm bill, farm marketing, agribusiness webinars, & farm policy.
Find tactics for healthy livestock and sound forages.
Scheduling and methods of irrigation.
Explore our Extension locations around the state.
Commercial row crop production in Arkansas.
Agriculture weed management resources.
Use virtual and real tools to improve critical calculations for farms and ranches.
Learn to ID forages and more.
Explore our research locations around the state.
Get the latest research results from our county agents.
Our programs include aquaculture, diagnostics, and energy conservation.
Keep our food, fiber and fuel supplies safe from disaster.
Private, Commercial & Non-commercial training and education.
Specialty crops including turfgrass, vegetables, fruits, and ornamentals.
Find educational resources and get youth engaged in agriculture.
Gaining garden smarts and sharing skills.
Timely tips for the Arkansas home gardener.
Creating beauty in and around the home.
Maintenance calendar, and best practices.
Coaxing the best produce from asparagus to zucchini.
What’s wrong with my plants? The clinic can help.
Featured trees, vines, shrubs and flowers.
Ask our experts plant, animal, or insect questions.
Enjoying the sweet fruits of your labor.
Herbs, native plants, & reference desk QA.
Growing together from youth to maturity.
Crapemyrtles, hydrangeas, hort glossary, and weed ID databases.
Get beekeeping, honey production, and class information.
Grow a pollinator-friendly garden.
Schedule these timely events on your gardening calendar.
Equipping individuals to lead organizations, communities, and regions.
Home to the Center for Rural Resilience and Workforce Development.
Guiding entrepreneurs from concept to profit.
Position your business to compete for government contracts.
Find trends, opportunities and impacts.
Providing unbiased information to enable educated votes on critical issues.
Increase your knowledge of public issues & get involved.
Research-based connection to government and policy issues.
Support Arkansas local food initiatives.
Read about our efforts.
Preparing for and recovering from disasters.
Licensing for forestry and wildlife professionals.
Preserving water quality and quantity.
Cleaner air for healthier living.
Firewood & bioenergy resources.
Managing a complex forest ecosystem.
Read about nature across Arkansas and the U.S.
Learn to manage wildlife on your land.
Soil quality and its use here in Arkansas.
Learn to ID unwanted plant and animal visitors.
Timely updates from our specialists.
Eating right and staying healthy.
Ensuring safe meals.
Take charge of your well-being.
Cooking with Arkansas foods.
Making the most of your money.
Making sound choices for families and ourselves.
Nurturing our future.
Get tips for food, fitness, finance, and more!
Understanding aging and its effects.
Giving back to the community.
Managing safely when disaster strikes.
Listen to our latest episode!
March 10, 2018
I have a question about the Butterfly bush I planted last year. It was a young small
bush and grew fast and produced lots of blooms. It is starting to show some leaves
now. I haven’t trimmed anything yet. Should I go ahead and cut it close to the ground
or let grow?
Now is a great time to prune your butterfly bush. I would cut it back at least by
half, and if you want it to be even lower, you can prune it more. We have had a late
spring and plants are just getting started growing, so you have time to prune the
summer bloomers without delaying new blooms. They do bloom on the new growth. If you
don’t prune, they tend to get fairly gangly and don’t bloom as well.
February 17, 2018
I have had my butterfly bush for going on 4 years. The second year, two blooms appeared.
It hasn't bloomed since. What can I do to get the butterfly bush to bloom? We trim
it every year the end of February.
Buddleia or butterfly bush blooms on the new growth. Pruning it hard in late February
is the correct practice. The only reason I would think you would have no blooms is
if it doesn't get enough sun. They need at least 6-8 hours per day to bloom well.
If it is in too much shade, you can move it now to a sunnier location.
October 7, 2017
I would appreciate suggestions about encouraging Butterfly Plant and Milkweed to thrive
next spring. I have enjoyed another summer fostering Monarch Butterfly larvae and
seeing them through to emergence from chrysalis. My milkweed is essentially leafless
now, having fed three hatches of larvae. Aphids were not too severe this summer. The
butterfly plant is still blooming, but clearly near the end. Do I cut back the canes
on the milkweed? The same for the butterfly bush? Should I dig them up, or mulch in
place? Do they need to be fed?
Milkweed or Asclepias, will die back to the ground completely with a killing frost.
I have cut back several of mine since they too were leafless, or had finished setting
seeds. For your butterfly bush (Buddleia) wait until late February to give it a haircut.
It can have spotty blooms through early winter. Prune it hard in late February, since
it blooms best on young wood.
June 1, 2017
My butterfly bush is already over six feet tall this season. I had no idea they would
grow so large, and this is only the second season I have grown it. Can I move it
now to a spot where it would have more room to grow, or is this the wrong time of
the year? If I can’t move it, can I at least prune it back some? I was told I needed
to prune it before it began growing but it never really stopped this year and it was
fully leafed out in February when I thought I was supposed to prune, so I did nothing.
Now it is a monster. Help!
This is definitely not the best time to be transplanting existing shrubs. The transplant
season is best when the plants are dormant – November through February. If at all
possible, wait until fall to move the plant to a new location. Buddleias should be
pruned hard every year before new growth begins–usually in late February. Even when
we have a mild winter or early spring like we did this year and the plants are fully
leafed out, they still need to be pruned hard in late February. I prune mine back
to within a few inches of the ground each season because I want them no larger than
three to four feet tall. These plants bloom on the new growth, so pruning them now
won’t hurt the plant, but you will lose some flowers. It should recover and bloom
again later this season, since it does bloom on the current season growth but next
year prune in late February after the bulk of winter weather is over.
June 1, 2016
I am enjoying the butterfly bushes that I planted last year and the butterflies are
also. Tell me please, what I do with the pods after the blooms are gone, do I cut
them off or leave them on the bush? They seem to be full of seeds. However, I tried
earlier in the spring to plant some that I have harvested last fall, and it did not
Butterfly bushes, or buddleia, do germinate from seed, but I would recommend dead-heading
the spent blooms to increase the number of new flowers set. If you want to propagate
this bush, an easy method is via layering one of the lower limbs, or it also roots
readily from cuttings. Many of the newer varieties are seedless, so you don’t have
to deadhead to keep them flowering.
I have had a Black Knight Buddleia for a little over a year. It has become "leggy"
- leaves dropping - and fewer blooms. It gets sufficient water. I know it blooms on
new growth, but how much of the shrub should be pruned?
Buddleia or butterfly bush does bloom on the new growth, and should be pruned annually
in late February, before new growth kicks in. This year, we had such an early spring
and non-existent winter, that many of the butterfly bushes never went dormant, and
never stopped blooming. Many people thought they missed their pruning opportunity
and either didn’t prune, or didn’t prune enough. That has resulted in leggy plants
and fewer blooms. The same thing has happened on some roses as well. For now, deadhead
and lightly prune, give it a light application of fertilizer and it can continue to
flower through late fall. Even if we don’t have a winter, prune it back by at least
half if not more, next February. The plant should then fill out and give you greater
We have beautiful "Wine and Roses" weigela shrubs, about 3 yrs. old, and their showy
blossoms were absolutely gorgeous this spring. My husband did a little conservative
trimming, and they bloomed again a little bit in late summer. They are getting tall,
and I think I want to keep them at a manageable height. When is the best time to prune
back the branches and how should we do it? Is it too late now? I have the same issue
with several butterfly bushes. Is it too late to prune back now, and how is the best
way to trim/prune?
For pruning questions, keep in mind what season the plants bloom--or at least supposed
to bloom. We often get errant flowers on a few spring blooming plants in the fall,
but their main flush of flowers is in the spring. Spring blooming plants set flower
buds in the late summer to fall period. Pruning should be done as soon after flowering
in the spring as possible. This allows them ample time to recover and set plenty of
flowers for the next year. For the weigela, it is a cane producing plant that makes
a living fountain in the landscape. To keep it free flowing, prune immediately after
bloom in the spring by removing up to one third of the older canes at the base. Pruning
it now would remove next spring’s blooms. On the butterfly bush, it blooms on the
new season growth during the growing season. It should be pruned hard before new growth
begins in late February to early March. Depending on what size plant you want, you
can take it back by one half or almost to the ground each season.
Can I cut back the forsythia after it blooms? And isn't it time to cut back the Rose
of Sharon bushes, crepe myrtles and butterfly bushes?
Forsythia should be pruned after bloom. Remove one third of the old canes down at
the soil line to encourage new growth. There is still time to prune Rose-of-Sharon,
crape myrtle and butterfly bush, as all of these plants bloom on the current season
growth. Try to do it soon since new growth is beginning.
All links to external sites open in a new window. You may return to the University
of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture web site by closing this window when you
are finished. We do not guarantee the accuracy of the information, or the accessibility
for people with disabilities listed at any external site.
Links to commercial sites are provided for information and convenience only. Inclusion
of sites does not imply University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture's approval
of their product or service to the exclusion of others that may be similar, nor does
it guarantee or warrant the standard of the products or service offered.
The mention of any commercial product in this web site does not imply its endorsement
by the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture over other products not
named, nor does the omission imply that they are not satisfactory.