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With the butterfly bush, a robust and easy-care flowering shrub will find its way into your garden and on the balcony. All the more puzzling when the magical butterfly magnet does not bloom. There are mainly 2 causes that prevent the failure of the flowering period. Read here what they are and how to react to them correctly.

Frost damage can be to blame if the buddleia does not bloom

Cause #1: Frost damage

The butterfly bush found its way into our gardens from the mountain slopes and embankments of China. In contrast to native shrubs, a Buddleja davidii is hardy to -20 degrees Celsius. If this property is underestimated in a winter-harsh region and protective measures are not taken, the shoots freeze back drastically.

Of course, that is no reason to clear the flowering bush, because there is hope. A butterfly bush always blooms on this year's wood. Therefore, cut off all brown discolored, dead branches. As long as at least 2 eyes stay on a branch, the plant will sprout again and will bear its flower spikes this year.

Cause #2: Improper pruning

Only a professional pruning ensures that your butterfly bush will bloom again this year. If the tree is not pruned for a few years or pruned too hesitantly, you will look in vain for the flowers. The following pruning measures will get the willingness to bloom going again:

  • The best time is a frost-free day between January and March
  • Shorten all shoots to 30 cm or 2 to 3 leaf nodes
  • Thin out the shrub thoroughly

If you cut back a butterfly bush in autumn, it will not be able to withstand the freezing frost and will freeze to death. On the other hand, if you wait until early summer, the buds for this year's flowering will already be in place and will fall victim to the scissors.


Butterfly bushes and common lilacs look confusingly similar to each other. It should not be overlooked that the ornamental shrubs bloom at different times. The real lilac delights us with its blooms from spring to May. In contrast, the flowering period on the butterfly bush does not start until July.

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