A long-blooming shrub with dense clusters of fragrant flowers, butterfly bush attracts butterflies and hummingbirds. Often considered a sub-shrub because it dies back to the ground. A great addition to sunny borders and dry open gardens.
- Deciduous (foliage falls off)
- Zone 5
- Zone 6
- Zone 7
- Zone 8
- Zone 9
- Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)
- Dry sites
- Alkaline soil
- Moist, well-drained soil
- Large shrub (more than 8 feet)
- Medium shrub (5-8 feet)
- Mixed border
- Mid summer
- Late summer
6 to 8 feet high and 5 to 8 feet wide
Tree & Plant Care
A butterfly magnet with long season of blooms. Late to leaf out in spring.
Best in well-drained, humus rich soil, Thrives in full sun.
Will die back to ground in winter, prune in early spring to promote vigorous new growth and flowering.
Regular dead-heading will promote new blooms.
Disease, pests and problems
Disease, pest, and problem resistance
Tolerant of heat, humidity, drought, and poor soils as long as they are well-drained.
Native geographic location and habitat
Native to China.
Attracts birds & butterflies
This plant is a nectar source, attracting the monarch, buckeye, black swallowtail, pipevine swallowtail, snout butterfly, great spangled fritillary, pear crescent, red admiral, painted lady, common checkered-skipper, and nymphalid butterflies.
Leaf or needle arrangement, size, shape, and texture
Simple, opposite leaves; lance-shaped, 4 to 6 inches long
Blue-green to silver-gray; no real fall color
Flower arrangement, shape, and size
Small flowers in long, upright terminal clusters.
Flowers on new wood.
Color varies with cultivar from white, pink, purple to deep blue.
Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions
Two-valved brown capsule; not ornamentally important.
Cultivars and their differences
Black Knight (Buddleja davidii 'Black Knight'): Dark purple flowers in terminal spikes in June through September.
Blue Chip (Buddleia 'Blue Chip'): 2 to 3 feet high and wide; small, compact miniature with continuous bluish-purple flowers, excellent for containers. Part of the Lo & Behold® series
Ice Chip (Buddleia 'Ice Chip'): 18 to 24 inches high and 2 to 3 feet wide; low-spreading ground cover with white flowers