Plant a Buddleia for a Great Display
of Blooms and More
Attracting butterflies to your garden is a snap when you plant
one of these profusely blooming large shrubs. Buddleia davidii,
commonly known as Butterfly Bush is a deciduous, woody shrub preferring
full sun. It has a very open habit, blending well with informal,
naturalistic landscapes. In northern Illinois, butterfly bush may
dieback to the ground in harsh winters. Established plants should
re-sprout from roots.
Buddleia davidii blooms in mid summer and grows to 10 feet
tall. The fragrant, plume-like flower clusters rise above the foliage
for a wonderful display of white to lavender to deep purple blooms.
Literally hundreds of butterflies will light on the blooms, feeding
on the sweet nectar. Select a named cultivar for best color and
plant form. The pale green to silvery foliage offers a contrast
in the landscape when placed against evergreens as a backdrop.
A hardier and larger species, Buddleia alternifolia can
be a real traffic stopper when in full bloom. The stems and foliage
form a 12-foot tall fountain that literally explodes with 2-foot
long sprays of lavender-pink blooms. This species performs best
when it is given ample room in the open so it can develop its own
natural, graceful form.
Plant butterfly bushes in full sun for best results. They will
also perform well in light dappled shade. They tolerate many soils,
even poor dry gravels. Butterfly bush can be trained to be single-
or multiple-trunked, making the pendulous form even more striking.
Butterfly bush needs less than average water, about 1/2 inch per
week during the growing season. They bloom on current season growth,
so wait till the new leaves begin to grow, then remove the winterkilled
portions of the stems. This may mean cutting them back to the ground,
but established plants will make a remarkable come back.
||lilac with orange eye
||white with yellow eye
||deep blue, smaller growth habit
||white, smaller growth habit
June - July 2002:
from Setting Seeds
Plant a Buddleia for a Great Display | June
The Other 'Bulbs'