- Position: full or partial shade
- Soil: well-drained soil
- Flowering period: July to September
- Foliage: deciduous
- Hardiness: fully hardy
Buddleja davidii is the perfect shrub for a summer border. Its arching branches are covered with showy conical panicles from June to August which are attractive to butterflies. Buddleja davidii comes in white, pink, dark purple, red-purple, lavender-blue. It will do best in a sunny position, in well-drained soil.
Tall butterfly bushes
For deep purple fragrant flowers choose Buddleja d. ‘Black Knight. It’s a vigorous, fast-growing variety with grey lance-shaped leaves. Buddleja d. ‘Royal Red’ produces handsome long spikes of purple-red flowers. Also popular is Buddleja d. ‘White Profusion’. This buddleja brings striking clusters of snow-white flowers to the garden. Buddleja d. ‘Pink Delight’ offers panicles of pink flowers with lovely, small orange eyes. All of these varieties can reach a height of 3,5m and a spread of 3m.
Buddleja d. ‘White Profusion’ Buddleja d. ‘Lilac Chip’
Dwarf butterfly bushes
If you are short of space try compact butterfly bushes such as Butterfly ‘Free Petite’ which is low-growing and comes in shades that range from purple-pink, lavender-blue and white. It stays compact and attains a height of 70cm and a spread of 60cm. Ideal for growing in a pot.
Pruning buddleja davidii. Butterfly bush flowers on the current season’s growth and need to be pruned every year. In March cut back the previous year’s flowering stems to two or three buds. If the bush is overcrowded, also remove some of the older branches.
New growth Buddleja davidii New bud Buddleja davidii
Deadhead the butterfly bush as the flowers fade to encourage new flowers. Cut back the faded brown flower heads to a leaf. After a couple of weeks, new flower buds will appear.
Butterfly bush looks good with a range of partners such as Echinacea , Lavandula, Ruta graveolens, Stachys, Hibiscus and Ornamental grasses.