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

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Saturday - September 24, 2011

From: Atlanta, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Watering, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Drought stressed wooly butterflybush in Atlanta, TX
Answered by: Brigid & Larry Larson

QUESTION:

My butterfly bush is dead looking from the drought. Do you think there is a chance it just went dormant and will return next year. I am still putting water on it. I believe it is a white wooly butterfly bush. We live in Northeast Texas and like most I am concerned about my natives as well as my non-natives surviving.

ANSWER:

Yes, even natives are having a hard time in this drought. 

I think there is a good chance that it has gone dormant and I would hope it will reappear!  When I read the profile for Buddleja marrubiifolia (Woolly butterflybush), it noted that it is drought-tolerant and suitable for xeriscaping, which is good news; but at the same time, in the maintenance comments, it was recommended that you should avoid complete soil dryness, which is awfully hard in the conditions we have this year.

There are some other Mr Smarty Plants answers that may be of assistance to your concerns.  Many discussions hold that Buddleja marrubiifolia (Woolly butterflybush) is only native to far southwest Texas, so it's likely your White wooly butterflybush is a cultivar.  This discussion is about pruning drought stressed butterflybushes and this one about finding the true native version.

 

From the Image Gallery


Woolly butterflybush
Buddleja marrubiifolia

Woolly butterflybush
Buddleja marrubiifolia

Woolly butterflybush
Buddleja marrubiifolia

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