Q: I went to prune my butterfly bushes this past weekend in late February but they have new green leaves. Should I prune them or not?
A: Prune them. Butterfly bush makes blooms on the tips of new branches. If you don’t prune your shrub each winter it will grow tall, lanky and unattractive.
Cut the bush down to twelve inches tall now, even if you remove green leaves. Use a lopper to get down in the center of the clump and remove rotten wood. In this way you’ll get lots of vigorous new growth in April.
During the summer, make a habit of shortening by half one limb per month. The loss won’t be noticeable but the new branch tips produced will bring forth bright new flowers as others fade.