Star of Summer: Butterfly Bush

Filed under Plants, Misc by Lauren Cook on .

     Few plants brave the hot, dry, humid summers of Southern Illinois better than that of the Butterfly Bush. Blooming profusely all summer long, requiring little water or attention. Not to mention that it is a favorite of butterflies, it is a must for any butterfly garden.

      Deadheading through the summer will help the butterfly bush look happy and healthy all the way up until frost. In the fall, cut your butterfly bush back to a few inches above the ground. It will grow back every year, very quickly.

      Here are some of my favorite varieties of butterfly bush:

 

'Black Knight' Buddleia davidii

 

This butterfly bush reaches 5-6' tall and 4-6' wide. It has dark purple blooms. For a long-blooming summer garden, try planting 'Black Knight' with 'Tardiva' Hydrangea, 'Red Knockout' Rose and 'Stella d'oro' daylily.

 

Lo and Behold 'Blue Chip' Buddleia hybrid

 

A relatively new variety of butterfly bush that has answered the prayers of Buddleia fans by staying at a compact size of 2-3' wide by 1.5-2' tall, making it well qualified for foundation plantings. Also blooming all summer, it prefers to stay on the dry side. Looks great/grows well with ornamental grasses, Black-eyed Susan, crape myrtle and shasta daisies.

 

'Bicolor' Buddleia x weyeriana

 

This bloom is very interesting with the red-yellow-orange-pink flowers. This would make an excellent specimen plant or perhaps be grown in a pot. It will reach 5-6' tall and wide.  Try planting with purple coneflowers, 'Walker's Low' catmint and ornamental grasses.

 

     If you've never grown buddleia before, give it a try. You are bound to be impressed with it's resilience and it's longevity of color. Enjoy summer by watching the butterflies enjoy your feast of flowers.