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The Magic: How the Butterfly Bush works: Buddleia or Butterfly Bush has been a sensation in American gardens for years, and no wonder. This plant is easy to grow, blooms profusely, and has that magical quality: Butterflies can’t resist it.
Here's why: It’s not just the pretty flowers that attract the butterflies, like any bright flower. Buddleias emit a special honey-scented fragrance that lures butterflies like a moth to a light, and then once there, they find the flowers super-rich in nectar.A butterfly bush in the garden will often be seen with a mass of butterflies on the flowers, especially during hot sunny afternoons. Buddleias attract other insects too, like moths, and the reddish ones strongly attract hummingbirds. So it’s more than a name; it’s actually a botanical phenomenon.
|Common Name||Butterfly Bush|
|Botanical Name||Buddleia davidii|
|Zones||5, 6, 7, 8, 9|
|Light Requirements||Full Sun|
|Mature Height||36-48" tall|
|Estimated Mature Spread||30-36" wide|
|Bloom Time||Late spring to fall|
|Planting Depth||Crown of plant should rest just at or above the soil surface after watering in.|
|Ships As||Potted Plant|
|Planting Time||Spring / Summer|
|Soil Type||Loamy Soil, Drought/Dry Soil|
|Soil Moisture||Dry, Average, Well Draining|
|Advantages||Deer Resistant, Attract Butterflies, Attract Birds, Bee Friendly, Fragrant, Extended Blooms|
|Neonicotinoid-Free||Yes - Learn More|
|Ships to Hawaii, Alaska & Canada||No|
Butterfly bushes are popular and hardy from Zone 5 south to Zone 9. In the colder zones, they die to the ground each year like a perennial plants, but in more southern regions, they are somewhat evergreen. In the warmer states, butterfly bushes often grow to 10 or 12 ft. high, and require pruning to keep them shapely. They're happy in almost any soil and prefer moist ground, but will also do well in dryer spots. They need plenty of sun, but will be fine with some shade in the warmer areas. All this tells you that this plant is a tough one, and should be easy to grow in your garden. A well-grown specimen can be a magnificent "fountain" of flowers, since the stems with heavy flower clusters tend to arch in all directions.
You'll find pink, white, blue, and some very beautiful new bi-colors. Buddleia "Bicolor" created a sensation when it burst on the scene. It is one of the first with bi-colored blooms, often developing long clusters that range from bluish to raspberry to bright orange as you look from the tip to the base of the flower spike.
Some botanists think the basic white butterfly bush has the most potent lure for insects. That's "White Profusion" with it's very heavy flower heads shown on the right.
If you've ever heard about this magical butterfly bush, I think I know why. During the 1990's a very well know perennial nursery, which shall remain nameless, began selling "a butterfly bush with three colors on the same plant." The offer was such a successful bonanza for them, they repeated it over and over in ad after ad. And hundreds of thousands of gardeners bought. Well, what they got was really three small seedlings of three different plants grouped into one pot—one white, one blue and one pink. It all worked well, since butterfly bushes grow so easily and quickly, it really did look like one leafy bush as it grew. But once the "bush" was up and blooming with all the colors, if you looked closely near the ground, you'd see three little trunks, not just one. The effect was definitely one handsome bush with blooms in all three colors, but it was simply three different bushes planted very close together.
The genus Buddleia (or Buddleja to be correct) is a group of several wild species that are cultivated and hybridized for the plants we enjoy. Most are from China, but some have been imported from South America as well. The most popular is B. davidii, which was brought into England's Kew Gardens in the 1880's, and is the parent of all the well-known butterfly bushes. However, according to "The Butterfly Website", some naturalists are still seeking out unknown species of Buddleia on the slopes of the Himalayas.
Some people mistakenly call another famous butterfly attracting plant "butterfly bush", but that's incorrect. "Butterfly weed" is the common name of our famous flame-orange milkweed native wildflower, Asclepias tuberosa. Learn more about butterfly weed »
Shipping begins in late March based on ground temperatures, warmest zones first.
As soon as your order is placed you will receive an order confirmation email that will include your shipping information. We ship perennials and spring-planted bulbs at the proper planting time for your hardiness zone. Perennials and spring-planted bulb orders will arrive separately from seeds. If your order requires more than one shipment, there is no additional shipping charge. See our shipping information page for approximate ship dates and more detailed information. If you need express shipping or have any questions, please call Customer Service toll-free at (877) 309-7333 or contact us by email.
You will receive a second email the day your order ships telling you how it has been sent. Your order is scheduled to arrive at your door, fresh and ready to plant, usually within 3-5 days of leaving our warehouse, depending on your shipping address. We pack our plants to withstand up to 10 days in transit, in the event transit is delayed. We cannot guarantee arrival on a specific day. Please make sure to open your package upon receipt and follow the instructions included.
To determine if a plant is sufficiently cold hardy, the USDA created numbered zones indicating winter low temperatures; the lower the zone number the colder the winter.
Enter your Zip Code to find your USDA Planting Zone
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