Plant of the Month – July

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Butterfly Bush
Buddleja davidii
  • Violet-purple flower spikes provide spectacular summer color and attract butterflies and hummingbirds into the garden.

    Violet-purple flower spikes provide spectacular summer color and attract butterflies and hummingbirds into the garden.

    Plant Form: Deciduous shrub

  • Water Use: Low, Moderate
  • Mature Size: 6-8 ft. tall x 4-6 ft. wide
  • Exposure: Full Sun, Part Sun
  • Bloom Time: Summer (June – August), Fall (September – November)
  • Native to: Asia
  • Hardiness: Cold hardy to -20°F

 

Butterfly Bush is valued for its showy flowers in summer and fall, when most other shrubs are done blooming. Fragrant purple flowers grow in spikes from July to October on long, arching stems of this tough, bushy, fast-growing shrub. This prolific nectar plant attracts hordes of adult butterflies, but gardeners hoping to provide habitat for these winged jewels also need to install host plants that their larvae rely on to grow into new butterflies, such as milkweeds (butterfly larvae cannot survive on Butterfly Bush). While Butterfly Bush can be invasive in wetter parts of North America, it does not appear to spread in desert areas. Prune back hard in late winter or spring to stimulate vigorous new growth, maintain better shape, and produce superior flowering. Use as a background planting, specimen, or in containers in butterfly and hummingbird gardens, and in cottage or Mediterranean gardens. New compact cultivars are available for smaller gardens and borders.

Check out our  “Garden Tasks” for July