Rent Shop Volunteer Join

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Thursday - July 17, 2008

From: Pleasant Hill, MO
Region: Midwest
Topic: Butterfly Gardens
Title: Deadheading flowers on hybrid Black Knight butterfly bush
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I have two Black Knight Butterfly bushes in my landscape. Should I deadhead the flowers on this bush? Also, should I prune this back, if so, when, how much? I live near Kansas City, Missouri.

ANSWER:

Just about any plant is going to benefit from being deadheaded, unless you are planning to take seed. And, taking seed from a highly hybridized plant like Black Knight would be of little use, as the seed would probably not breed true to the hybrid characteristics. Hybrids are nearly all propagated by softwood cuttings. Those who grow this plant recommend deadheading as it will encourage more blooms. And if it begins to get out of bounds, don't be afraid to prune it back so it doesn't try to take over your garden. In Missouri, you would probably be wise to cut your plant back to about 6 inches from the ground in late winter. This should help it to come back more vigorously than ever. Read this article on the culture of the Black Knight from your own Missouri Botanical Garden website.
 

More Butterfly Gardens Questions

Type of non-native parsley for swallowtails from Austin
September 02, 2012 - What is the best type of parsley for Yellow Swallowtails? Lost a caterpillar when it ran out of food from a parsley plant. I can't remember what kind of parsley. It would not feed on Rue, cilantro...
view the full question and answer

Fall seeding of Butterfly Weed in Virginia
July 20, 2007 - Just ordered seeds from you - Butterfly Weed - and I plan to hopefully scatter the seeds early Oct. in an area along a tree line here in No. VA where the sun bakes the soil as it is exposed to hot wes...
view the full question and answer

Best milkweed to plant in Fayette County, TX
September 23, 2014 - What is the best milkweed to plant in central Texas [Fayette County] in black clay soil? this soil does not drain well.
view the full question and answer

Promoting Monarch Habitats in Texas
July 11, 2016 - My parents have a 6 acre pasture in East, TX with native milkweed in it. What are the best times of year to bush hog to promote more milkweeds & do you know of any grants to help manage land for monar...
view the full question and answer

Butterfly gardening in Wood County, TX
February 11, 2009 - What food and host plants should be planted for butterflies in Wood County Texas.
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.