Grow tall butterfly bush varieties in the back of your flowering border. They will make a nice backdrop to other butterfly favorites such as butterfly weed and echinacea. Also, when you cut back the shrubs in spring, they will be hidden from view by other early-growing perennial flowers. Plant butterfly bushes near windows or doors where you can enjoy the scent all summer and the sight of the butterflies. You can also plant butterfly bushes in a mixed-shrub border with shrubs, such as elderberry, smokebush spirea, and weigela, adding color and interest in summer and fall. Since butterfly bushes are deer resistant, planting them along the forest edge or in a shrub border shouldn't be a problem. In cold winter areas, don't plant butterfly bushes in windy locations, or protect them with a barrier of burlap erected in fall to reduce dieback of the stems.
Use dwarf versions in the middle or front of your garden or even in rock gardens. These won't require such drastic pruning to flower well and they’ll stay a more manageable size. Pair butterfly bushes with Verbena bonariensis, pineapple sage, purple salvia, lantana, swamp milkweed and asters. Some dwarf varieties of butterfly bush can be grown well in containers. In cold climates, these containers need to be protected in winter or brought into a warmer garage or shed.