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Its expansive growth sometimes makes it necessary to prescribe a change of location for the butterfly bush. These instructions explain what you should pay attention to when transplanting so that the flowering shrubs grow back quickly.

The smaller the butterfly bush, the easier it is to transplant

When is the best time?

In order to transplant a butterfly bush without much stress, please wait for the leaf-free period. The months of October and November are a wise choice of dates, as at this time the ground is still warmed up by the autumn sun.

Alternatively, we recommend a frost-free day in early spring, once the ground has thoroughly thawed. In this case, overwinter the buddleia at the previous location as usual so that it is not weakened by frost damage when you move it.

Step-by-step instructions

Since a lot of root volume is lost when transplanting, cut back the butterfly bush by a third beforehand. This way you keep the balance between underground and aboveground parts of the plant. Then proceed as follows:

  • Tie the bush with a rope into a loose tuft
  • Cut out the root ball with a sharp spade
  • The radius is at least three quarters of the growth height after pruning
  • Use the digging fork to loosen the root ball and lift it out of the ground

The more soil left on the root ball, the more beneficial it is for later growth. Before you move the butterfly bush, a planting pit with 1.5 times the diameter of the root mass should already be prepared at the new location. Transport the excavated shrub quickly to the new location. There you transplant the wood as deep as before. Mash the earth and untie the rope from the branches.

Care after transfer

In the period that follows, water a butterfly bush plentifully and regularly without causing waterlogging. If you transplant the flowering shrubs in autumn, spread a thick layer of mulch made of leaves and brushwood over the root disc as winter protection. By enriching the excavation from the pit with compost and horn shavings (€32.93) before transplanting, you support rooting at the new location.


Proper transplanting and pruning go hand in hand with the butterfly bush. The clippings are far too good to be disposed of in the compost. Instead, clever home gardeners use 10 to 20 cm long head shoots as cuttings to propagate their most beautiful flowering shrub in this way.

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