Buddleia davidii—A Butterfly Magnet

September 13, 2008 heavenlygardens

The Buddleia davidii, more commonly known as the butterfly bush, is extremely popular with western gardeners. It’s a hardy plant that grows with weed-like determination. Its flowers grow

The 18-inch blossom in the center and beginning to turn brown.

The 18-inch blossom in the center and beginning to turn brown.

much like lilacs and bloom in a deep purple (Black Knight), white, violet, or pink.

This summer, one of the pink butterfly bushes in our yard produced a flower that measured almost 18 inches long. I was dumbfounded for I didn’t know that they could be that large.

While the common lilac is one of my favorites, I like the butterfly bush for several reasons:

1. It produces flowers all season and into fall.
(Prune the dead flower heads to encourage more flowers.)

2. They have a sweet scent. (Although I still prefer the common lilac’s scent.)

3. They grow quickly, they grow tall, and they spread rapidly, so if you have a lot of ground you want to cover, you may want to plant some butterfly bushes.

4. They attract butterflies, all types of butterflies.

5. They attract hummingbirds.

Drawbacks
1. They attract bees, lots of bees.

2. They not only grow with weed-like determination, once you’ve planted one butterfly bush, renegade bushes spring up in the oddest locations.
(We have two pink butterfly bushes in our back yard. Two more popped up in our front yard early this spring. Oddly, they have dark purple flowers, so I think they may be renegades from our neighbor’s yard.)

3. They need to be trimmed regularly to keep them well shaped and at a manageable height.

The leaves on the Buddleia vary in color and size from a true green to a teal green. Some leaves are long and narrow. Others are long and wide. The branches may break under a heavy snowfall, however, this shrub usually grows back with even more determination.

If you decide you want to plant a butterfly bush in your yard, select a sunny spot that you can view from your house, so you can enjoy the show.

To Your Gardening Abundance!

Cara

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Entry Filed under: Gardening, landscape and tagged: , , , , ,

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