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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.
8 to 20 feet
To 8 feet wide
how to grow Butterfly bush
garden plans for Butterfly bush
more varieties for Butterfly bush
'Adonis Blue' butterfly bush
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
'Black Knight' butterfly bush
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
'Guinevere' butterfly bush
Buddleja davidii 'Guinevere' bears fragrant purple flower spikes on a shrub that grows 10 feet tall and wide. Zones 5-9
Lo 'n Behold butterfly bush
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
'Nanho White' butterfly bush
Buddleja davidii 'Nanho White' is a prolifically flowering variety with sweetly scented white blooms. It grows 5 feet tall and wide. Zones 6-9
'White Profusion' butterfly bush
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