Butterfly bush varieties & care

Butterfly Bush, biologically known as Buddleia Davidii, is one of those adorable plants that make their way to every gardener’s ‘bucket list’.  It’s famous for its long panicles and brightly colored flowers. The bush sprouts in a range of rich, vibrant colors, blossoms through the entire fall, and of course, intrigues hummingbirds and butterflies by the score. This plant is hard-natured ( USDA plant hardiness zones 5 – 9) and can tolerate extreme intensities of weather. Though it blossoms in the spring season, the glossy green foliage keeps the plant evergreen throughout the year.

Different Varieties of Butterfly Bush

Instead of the typical flowering colors, butterfly bush is commonly found in purple, blue, pink and often white. Some of its hybrids even possess orange and golden shade. A few common varieties are

  • Royal Red

This is found as a small shrub that tops out at approximately 6 feet, though the flower size is small. It’s a good accent or background plant for a perennial border or cutting garden.

  • Dwarf Blue

Also known as Nanho Blue, Dwarf Blue is one of the tidier butterfly bushes. The name ‘Dwarf’ is a bit misrepresenting because it’s the flowers and leaves that are small in size, not the overall spread of the bush. The colored flowers look extraordinary with their little size with long bushes that may get over 12 feet tall.

  • Twilight

This pretty butterfly bush is of dark purple color surrounded by 10 feet tall bushes. Plenty of water and proper drainage is required to garden this.

  • Sungold

A hybrid butterfly bush (Buddleia x weyeriana), Sungold grows a lot of golden pom-pom like flowers. The plant is a dense, well-shaped shrub that could reach around 8 feet.

  • Fountain Butterfly Bush

The flower color in this type of butterfly bush is soft lilac with drooping branches. The flowers present a mesmerizing view like a crystal clear waterfall surrounded by the cooling effect of greenery.

How to Plant Butterfly Bush?

To plant a butterfly bush, you need a place where the soil comes with good drainage and there is plenty of space for the bush to grow. Though butterfly bush does not require fertilizers much, a wet soil and plenty of space could do a lot to its perfect growth. These bushes can grow up to 12 feet in length and 4 to 15 feet in its spread. As they are fast growing plants, you can decorate your patio and outside fences with this vitalizing shrub.

Special Care of Butterfly Bush

As mentioned before, butterfly bush does not require fertilizers for its growth but certainly, need a wet and high-quality soil. It can tolerate intense conditions.  For example, even in frosty cold weather, if the root zone of this plant is covered with 2 to 4-inch layer of mulch, butterfly bush could grow actively.

There is one drawback of butterfly bush that its dried flowers do not shed down themselves. You have to remove them from the bushes to make it look tidy and beautiful. If you are good at deadheading, you can take a better care of your plant. Moreover, at the maturation stage, the plant releases its seeds that cause the weedy tiny plants to grow. So, to make your garden look lively and clean, remove all the dispersed seedlings as soon as possible. Otherwise, your place will get untidy with small, wild butterfly bush plants.

If you cut the bushes from the plant, you should do that along with their roots and top growths as well.  Otherwise, these will re-emerge soon. To make sure your garden brightens up with lovely blossoms of butterfly bushes, be consistent in trimming the dried flowers and rotten bushes on regular basis.

Tips for Butterfly Bushes Care

  • Arrange proper drainage system for the Butterfly bushes you have planted in your garden
  • A larger pot should be provided if you are interested in growing butterfly bushes in a bigger size
  • Even during summers, don’t water butterfly bushes on a regular basis because excessive water will spoil their growth.
  • You can place the bush pot even under the extreme sun. Sunlight is required to provide this plant a fresh and bright color.
  • These bushes can grow seasonal caterpillars on their foliage and flowers, so watch out for it. Caterpillar turns the bushes pale. A proper termite free spray is recommended as soon as you notice your plant turning fade.
  • The sweet honey aroma fragrance of butterfly bushes is an open invitation to butterflies as well as the caterpillars. So, prevent the shrubs from damaging and closely focus on the branches to detect any kind of caterpillars.
  • Your bushes may get attacked by Japanese insects who feed on its flowers nectar and revoke the visit of beneficial insects to the plant. , Spray insecticides to eliminate the presence of such attacking insects to your bushes.

Benefits of Growing Butterfly Bushes

There are a lot of benefits that come with butterfly bushes that overcome all the cons of this plant.

  • Butterfly bushes are hard nature plants and can grow without much water
  • They can bear intensities of weather without fading down
  • Evergreen in nature and give birth to buds till they fall
  • An attractive food for wildlife
  • Produces sweet fragrance and makes its surroundings fresh and lively.

Finally, Butterfly bushes are hard to beat for sheer flower power as they are one of the longest blooming shrubs out there.  Colorful flowers, exotic fragrance,  a whirl of lush green leaves – these sun-loving plants are one of the best selections you could make to turn your premises green and cheerful.

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