Looking for an attractive long blooming plant that will attract butterflies and beneficial insects to your landscape? Look no further, butterfly bush, (buddleia davidii) is your answer.
These blooming machines offer long spiked trusses of flowers in masses which bloom from June through Fall. Various colors from white, pink, red, light lavender to dark purple are available in all sizes with more varieties coming out each and every year.
Tried and true, these plants are pretty easy to take care of. Plant in full sun to a partially shaded location. At least 5-6 hours of sun is ideal for these plants. They like a well-drained soil rich in compost to aid in fertilizing the plant. If you plant in poor soil, amend with soil conditioner (aged pine bark mulch) and compost of any sort at 1/3 ratio mixed with native soil. If the area you are planting retains moisture, consider creating a raised bed area so the roots will not rot from being too wet.
These "summer lilacs" as they are called come in many sizes.
Old time varieties of butterfly bush can reach 6-8' in height by 5-6' wide. Varieties such as Royal Red, Pink Delight and Dark Knight are taller varieties which are as old as the hills. I have seen flowers as long as 12-14" on these plants. They make a statement and are all great varieties.
As plants evolve, newer varieties are released. Smaller 4-5' tall and wide varieties with the same large flowers as the original types such as the "Buzz" series offers varieties such as Ivory-white, Magenta-red, Sky Blue-lavender, Rapsberry-red or Velvet-red and Midnight-dark purple are all great new introductions.
And we cannot forget the "Pugster" series. This smaller plant 2-3' tall and wide offers full size flowers on its compact plant. Colors available are amethyst, blue, pink and white. Quite a nice impressive little plant.
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