With its fragrant spring flowers and lustrous leaves that turn yellow in fall, Carolina allspice qualifies as an all-star choice for urban, suburban, and native landscapes. Site this North American native shrub in a perennial garden or shrub border for multi-seasonal interest. Plant a row of these shrubs near a property line or around a patio and create a living screen. Put a specimen near the front door, patio, or deck to take advantage of the sweet banana-strawberry fragrance that radiates from its springtime flowers.
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.