Butterfly Bush is one of my favorite shrubs! Just as the name implies, Butterfly Bush (Buddleia) is a total magnet for beautiful butterflies! As an added bonus, Hummingbirds love the flowers also! Buddleia, or Butterfly Bush, is a deciduous flowering shrub. It can get quite tall and wide. For that reason, they are amazing shrubs to use as a focal point in the garden or landscape! Butterfly Bush works well with many flowering perennials, especially Purple Coneflowers, Black-Eyed Susans and Daylilies. They also work well when planted with many of the ornamental grasses!
Butterfly Bush is a Butterfly Magnet!
I love them so much that I couldn’t stop at just one! We have several Butterfly Bushes in different colors. My favorites are the Black Knight, Pink Delight, White Bouquet and Royal Red. They are easy care plants, with beautiful long showy blooms. Butterflies flock to them for the nectar from the flowers. I love collecting the different colors and kinds, not only as a centerpiece for flower gardens, but as shrubs against my tree line.
Butterfly Bush has long slender leaves that are green, or some can be gray-green on the top side. The undersides of the leaves have a silvery color, making the plant beautiful before it even blooms! Beware that Butterfly Bushes can reach as much as 6-8 feet tall and 4-5 feet wide. So, when planting, be sure and allow plenty of space.
Care of the Butterfly Bush
Butterfly Bush needs full sun and average well drained soil. Once the bush is established, these amazing workhorses can thrive on neglect and drought. Neglect doesn’t bother them at all! Butterfly Bush normally likes average soil, but they will also benefit from a side dressing of compost or organic fertilizer when new growth starts in the Spring. Just add right around the plant and work into the soil or use as a mulch.
The blooms of the Butterfly Bush are amazing and can be up to 12 inches long. The blooms come in colors of purple, pink, white, blue and yellow. In the photo above, the blooms are just starting to form. The blooms start to appear in late spring and once it has began blooming, it will continue throughout the Fall. You can also encourage the Butterfly Bush to rebloom by clipping off the dead blooms every couple of weeks or so.
Before the new growth starts in early Spring, prune your Butterfly Bush back to about 2 feet tall. Yep! You read that right! You may think you are cutting your plant down, but don’t worry! Once the new growth takes off, the Butterfly Bush will grow to full height. If you decide not to prune, you will have a weak long limbed plant. Plus, Butterfly Bush blooms on new growth NOT existing, or old, growth. So, when late winter gets here – get on in there and don’t be afraid to prune it to about 2 feet tall. There are no special instructions or special place to cut. Just cut to an approximate height of two feet. You will have a healthier sturdier bush that blooms beautifully! I promise it won’t hurt the plant at all!
The Butterfly Bush is usually sold as a potted nursery plant and sometimes as a transplant. They have no disease or pest problems. Another added advantage if you are rural like me is that they are critter resistant too! The Butterfly Bush is a drought tolerant that is easy to care for and is a true workhorse in the garden and landscape. If you are looking for a plant to attract butterflies, this is it! Just plant, sit back and wait for the Butterfly show!
Butterfly Bush (Buddleia) in a nutshell:
- Perennial, shrub
- Drought resistant
- Attracts butterflies, bees and hummingbirds
- Care level: Easy
- Blooms: late Spring to early Fall
- Height: 6-8 feet
- Spacing: 4-5 feet
- Flowers: up to 1 foot in length
- Exposure: full sun
- Soil: average, well drained