Planting, Growing & Caring for the Buddleia (Butterfly Bush)

butterfly on buddleia

Not only do bees and butterflies love butterfly bushes, but we also can’t get enough of them.
Butterfly bushes are not called butterfly bushes for nothing. They are great for bees and butterflies and help bring biodiversity to the garden. Buddleia is a fast-growing plant, reaching 3 to 5 meters by the end of summer. This makes it a good choice if you want to grow large flowering shrubs quickly, especially in new gardens.

Origin of Butterfly Bush

Butterfly bushes originated in China. It bloomed beautifully there, and not much later, European countries facing the Mediterranean Sea also brought it into their place. Each variety has a different flower color and growth habit and different requirements for the soil in which they are planted.

Ideal Location

Buddleia needs sun more than anything else. Its slender leaves are designed to tolerate full sun, and even if it will produce most flowers in full sun, the butterfly bush can also be placed in partial shade. Buddleias do not like overly moist soil, so well permeable soil is ideal. Besides, butterfly bushes are less demanding on the ground, so this shrub will be happy if it is not too wet.

Butterfly Bush

Butterfly Bush

Planting Buddleia

Butterfly bushes can be planted all year round, as long as they are not frozen. Note that butterfly bushes can get very large, so they need plenty of space. It would be a shame if it grew too quickly, overshadowing other carefully selected plants.

Watering

Do you have a potted butterfly bush? Then water it weekly. A butterfly bush planted in the ground does not need extra water. Just make sure that the soil in the pot is not wet. If the butterfly bush leaves start to droop, this might indicate that the soil is arid. It will do fine without extra water, but too extreme is not good.

Fertilization

Buddleia is an easy shrub to grow. It does not require much care. In spring, give it an ornamental fertilizer to help it welcome the new year comfortably. This is especially effective for potted butterfly bushes.

Papillon, Faune, Insecte, Papillons, Lilas, Buddleia

Buddleia

Pruning Butterfly Bushes

If you do not prune your butterfly bush, it will grow enormous. Buddleia can quickly grow to a height of 2.5 to 3 meters. You can leave it this way, but be sure to remove any too heavy branches before they become bent or broken. Butterfly bushes also produce flowers on the tips of young shoots and first-year trees. Pruning will increase the number of young shoots, which will then bloom. Butterflies bushes might become a bit bare inside without pruning, and if so, the flowers will sit higher and higher in the bush.

How Often and When Should You Prune the Butterfly Bush?

Pruning of Buddleia should be done in early spring, around March. Avoid heavy frosts after pruning. Otherwise, the bushes will freeze. If a branch is frozen, it can only be seen after it has grown and bloomed. Unfortunately, nothing will grow on this branch, so it is best to remove it if you see it. Butterfly bushes start flowering around August. If you cut it back periodically after it finishes flowering, the new shoots underneath will bloom again, allowing you to enjoy the flowers of the butterfly bush for longer. It can also be pruned again in fall if it becomes too heavy. This should be done after flowering and not pruned for more than 1/3 of the way up.

Use anvil shears to prune the butterfly bushes. This is the least damaging to the plant. You can also use loppers for thicker branches. In both cases, the scissors must be sharp and clean.

Let us know if these few tips have helped you in growing your buddleia in the comments below!

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