Guide to Growing Buddleja (Butterfly Bush)

How To Grow & Plant Buddleia, The Butterfly Bush

Last Updated on January 11, 2022 by Real Men Sow

Buddleia is a fast-growing shrub that can be grown in any garden with sun and well-drained soil. There are many varieties that can be used for borders or pots. The flower heads, also known as the butterfly bush or the butterfly bush, are magnets for many insects and are filled with nectar.

There are many colors available for flowers, including pink, purple, white, and yellow. In late summer, flowers are available continuously for approximately four to six weeks.

Growing Buddleia (Butterfly Bush)

Buddleia is grown in full sun in moist and well-drained soil. To encourage more flowering, deadhead the flowers and then cut back in late spring to keep the shrub from getting too big. This will ensure that flowering happens slightly later in the season. It also means there is plenty of pollen and nectar for butterflies in the late summer.

Buddleja (Butterfly Bush)

Where to Grow Buddleia

Buddleia can grow in any place – often they are seen in brickwork, and they will happily colonise wasteland. In fact, they are considered invasive plants. To get the most out of them as garden plants, you should choose a sunny spot to attract butterflies and encourage nectar-rich blooms. 

Taking Care of Buddleias

Buddleias can become huge if left to their own devices. It flowers on the new season’s growth. Give them a hard pruning in April or May to remove all dead wood and keep their shape. This encourages later flowering which is good news for butterflies like the small tortoiseshell.

Your buddleia will flower more if you give it a high-potash spring feed. However, keep your plants deadheaded to ensure a long-lasting blooming period. This will prevent the unwanted spread of buddleia seedlings.

How to Propagate Buddleia

Many varieties can self-seed freely. You can also propagate from semi-ripe cuttings in summer and hardwood cuttings in autumn.

Unique Varieties to try

‘Summer Beauty’ – A small variety with deep pink flowers, narrow, green-grey foliage. It can be grown in containers or at the border.

‘Santana’ – With variegated leaves, and wine-red blooms from July through September

Buddleia × weyeriana ‘Sungold’ – A rare Buddleia that produces large clusters of golden yellow flowers and has a strong scent.

‘Ile de France’  – Deep purple flowers that bloom from July through September

‘Buzz Sky Blue’  – Compact and easy to grow deep-blue flowers. This is a great choice for containers and small gardens

Buddleia alternifolia  –  different species than the more common Buddleia davidii. Its branches are shorter and arching and bear dense clusters of pink-scented flowers. It has been awarded the prestigious Award of Garden Merit by The Royal Horticultural Society (AGM).

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