Q: I would like to transplant an older butterfly bush. When is the best time of year to do this? I like in Southern California in Sunset Zone 18. Thanks much. Jo Formino
A: Wow, Jo, this is such an honor! You could have asked the Garden Editor at Sunset, but instead you chose me. This proves that the Grumpy Gardener has gone beyond local, beyond regional, and is now truly a national phenomenon!
I would wait until your butterfly bush defoliates and goes dormant in fall before attempting to move it. This will lessen the chance of transplanting shock. Feel free to prune it in fall if it has gotten too big. Butterfly bushes bloom on the new growth, so you won’t be removing flower buds. In fact, pruning this shrub while it’s dormant every year will encourage it to bloom even more.
Olympic Gardening Update!
Be sure and watch tonight as America’s Michael Phelps goes for his 5th gold medal in the 100 meter freestyle hedge trimming event. He’ll attempt to break Johnny Depp’s world record that has stood since the 1990 release of Edward Scissorhands.
Top Olympic Moment Last Night
Synchronized Diving! Believe it or not, synchronized diving is a legitimate sport. You can tell because they don’t make the divers smile like Stepford simpletons on the way down. This event stands in stark contrast to silly synchronized swimming, in which two women in the water are shocked simultaneously with an electric cattle prod as the music plays.
Alternate TV Viewing Opportunity
“Crossing Over With John Edwards” — Watch the brave former Senator from North Carolina battle truth at every turn as he flies from East Coast to West Coast in the middle of the night to hold a baby that isn’t his. Call him the Master of Mendacity or the Prince of Prevarication. If this doesn’t qualify him to be President, then I’m not grumpy.