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Butterfly bush

Buddleja selections

Butterfly bush

Drenching the air with a fruity scent, butterfly bush's flower spikes are an irresistible lure to butterflies and hummingbirds all summer long. The plants have an arching habit that's appealing especially as a background in informal flower borders. In warmer climates, butterfly bushes soon grow into trees and develop rugged trunks that peel.

To nurture butterfly bush through cold Northern winters, spread mulch up to 6 inches deep around the trunk. Plants will die down, but resprout in late spring. Prune to the ground to encourage new growth and a more fountainlike shape. Avoid fertilizing butterfly bush; extra-fertile soil fosters leafy growth rather than flower spikes. Remove spent flower spikes to encourage new shoots and flower buds.

Note: Butterfly bush can be an invasive pest in some areas; check local restrictions before planting it.

Plant Type:
Plant Height:
5-15 feet tall
Plant Width:
To 8 feet wide
Flower Color:
White, Pink/Rose, Blue/Violet/Lavender, Red, Yellow/Gold, Gray/Silver Leaves, Variegated Leaves
Bloom Time:
Landscape Uses:
Beds & Borders,Slopes
Special Features:
Flowers,Attractive Foliage,Fragrant,Cut Flowers,Attracts Birds,Attracts Hummingbirds,Attracts Butterflies,Drought Tolerant,Deer Resistant,Easy to Grow
Top Varieties

Buddleja davidii 'Adonis Blue' is a dwarf selection with big clusters of dark purple blooms all summer long. It grows 5 feet tall and wide. Zones 5-9
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Buddleia davidii 'Black Knight' bears flowers of the deepest purple-black all season. It grows 10 feet tall and 15 feet wide. Zones 6-9
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Buddleja davidii 'Guinevere' bears fragrant purple flower spikes on a shrub that grows 10 feet tall and wide. Zones 5-9
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Buddleja 'Blue Chip' is a newer selection that bears tons of lavender-purple flowers all summer on a compact plant that grows 2 feet tall and wide. Zones 5-9
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Buddleja davidii 'Nanho White' is a prolifically flowering variety with sweetly scented white blooms. It grows 5 feet tall and wide. Zones 6-9
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Buddleja davidii 'White Profusion' is a standout for its extra-large, 16 inch-long flower spikes. It grows 10 feet high and 15 feet wide. Zones 6-9
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