Name: butterfly bush, Buddleia davidii and varieties.
Height: around 3m+ with age. Smaller forms, around 1m, are available.
Foliage: deciduous, dark green and pale underneath.
Climate: cold temperate, warm temperate, arid/semi-arid, sub-tropical and tropical.
Soil: most soils are OK, except for really dry ones.
Position: full sun.
Flowering: cones of flowers in summer. Colour depends on variety.
Feeding: regular feeding with a balanced, controlled-release fertiliser.
Watering: water young plants to help them establish. Older plants will need supplemental watering in dry periods.
Buddleia is an arching deciduous shrub with many branches covered in lance-shaped dark green leaves. The leaf stems and undersides are often covered with a fine white fluff.
The flowers are small but numerous and appear in summer in a long, showy cone arrangement at the end of the growing tips. The flower colour depends on the variety, but can be white, pink or purple—or any shade in between!
There are many new varieties on the market that are denser and more free-flowering than the original, so look out for these.
An incredibly quick grower, the butterfly bush can be used to rapidly fill a blank spot in a garden. The flowers attract butterflies and bees and have a lovely scent.
Plant buddleia out at any time of the year except in extremely dry weather. It will do best in a sunny spot and is tolerant of heavy frosts. Improve the soil by adding compost before planting.
Butterfly bush will tolerate some dryness but will need watering about once a week in really hot and dry weather.
Buddleia flowers on the ends of the growing tips. In colder areas, prune hard in late winter to encourage these new shoots. In warm areas a couple of prunes a year will increase flowering. Butterfly bush responds well to pruning, so as much as a third or half can be taken off.
Butterfly bush is relatively free of diseases and pests. You may get an occasional caterpillar eating the leaves, but these rarely build up into numbers that are a problem.
Sometimes older plants can get a bit straggly. If this happens, give the plant a really hard prune in early spring.
The butterfly bush can be considered an invasive species, as it can crowd out other plants if left unchecked. You should ensure that your buddleia thrives but doesn’t start impacting nearby plants.
You can grow fresh buddleia plants from cuttings taken in late summer.
Salvia: a range of shrubs and perennials that flower for ages and are low maintenance.
Daisies: long-flowering shrubs that are easy to grow.
Oleander: dense evergreen shrub with perfumed flowers in summer.
Lavender: bee and butterfly attracting evergreen shrubs
Check out our huge range of plants now and get your garden growing!
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