Q: I’ve attached a picture of the damage done to my wife’s favorite butterfly bush by the wind last night. What can / should I do to make both the butterfly bush and my wife happy?
A: The first job is to prune it way back. This won’t make your wife happy but it is something I recommend for all butterfly bushes every year.
Next, scoop out a couple of inches of soil in the area from which the roots have been torn and push the shrub back into place. The roots should be at the same level as they were before the windy conditions. Scoop out more dirt if needed.
Finally, used the scooped-out dirt to cover the roots. Water the root area gently and thoroughly.
Next spring the butterfly bush will have grown new roots and will continue to do so in summer.
Enjoy it and remember to prune again next December.