We have two of these shrubs situated in a semi shaded area. When we purchased the house two years ago, they both leafed out completely and had light pink blossoms ( though not many) in late spring. Butterflies seemed to be attracted to the shrub. The branches grow long and in all directions, so I trimmed it last fall in an attempt to control the spread over our walkways. Now there is no growth other than some bottom branches which appear to be new. Could you please identify the plant and tell me how to care for it? Thank you.
I believe this plant is butterfly bush (Buddleia davidii) judging from its leaf shape, structure of the bush and your description of the flowers. It can die back during the winter which may explain the dead wood.
Butterfly bush prefers full sun, rich soil and consistent moisture during the growing season. In the spring add some compost around the base of the bush to give it a boost. As you get flowers cut off any that are dead to help promote continuous flowering through the season.
At the end of the season cut the bush right back – the flowers bloom on new wood so you don’t need to worry about cutting off any of the buds.
You may also want to have a look any previously answered questions about butterfly bush: