Butterfly Bush

Butterfly Bush

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The Butterfly Bush.  (Buddleia davidii). They like full sun or partial shade and lots of water for the first 2 years or so and is a perennial in the southwest. These beautiful plants have long spike-like blooms and will grow in almost any soil.   This plant provides a strong lilac fragrance.  There are many cultivars and we have information on some of the common ones.

Butterfly Bush

The blooms have long spike-like blooms that last 3-4 weeks or longer.  Once blooms expire trim them off for more blooms throughout the long hot summer months. For longer lasting blooms you should do this 3-4 per through-out the growing season.

Butterfly Bush

In places where it freezes it will go dormant during the winter months.  Trim it during the winter season just shear off about 3-4 inches around the Butterfly Bush during winter months and they will sprout out in early spring.

They also attract “butterflies” thus its name! Wow, beautiful blooms with colorful butterflies swirling around during the summer and fall months. You’ll love them.

There are many varieties to choose from the Royal red (Picture Above) to the Sky Blue Variety.  They are easy to grow and can tolerate the southwestern heat.

Butterfly Bush Invasive?

There are some who think these plants should be banned in the U.S. because of their invasive nature.  However, this occurs only in places where the average rainfall is heavy.  This is rarely the case in and around the southwest area. You can read more about this controversy over at “Invasive Bush”?

Where to Plant It?

They can tolerate full sun or partial shade.  It’s best to plant them in the ground they can tolerate poor soil but for a better-looking plant, I would use well-composted soil.

Plant Problems

They are susceptible to powdery mildew and leaf spot.  Both of these diseases are fungal.  Spray with a good fungicide at the earliest possible time.  To avoid fungal diseases do not overwater and keep the butterfly bush away from the lawn sprinkler overspray.

Aphids, mealybugs, and leafminers will attack this plant.  Use a good systemic insecticide to kill these pests. Observe your plant often and act ASAP to help your plants stay healthy.

Butterfly Flying around Butterfly Bush

Butterfly Busy

The Chinese Butterfly Bush Below

Butterfly Bush
Butterfly Bush – Photo Credit Richard Sheil


The Black Knight

The Black Knight
The Black Knight – Photo Credit: Doreen Wynja. Monrovia.com

Beautiful dark purple blooms on this plant.  A hardier plant than other varieties, but may die to ground in cold winter areas and will come up vigorously in spring.

USDA Zones 5-9.  

A deciduous plant that will tolerate poor soil but will do better with good loamy well-drained soil.

Other bushes that attract Butterflies. The lilac flower shrub. 


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