Plantidote of the Day 2010-09-24
Common name: Butterfly bush or summer lilac
Family: Scrophulariaceae (figwort)
Genus: Buddleia (or Buddleja)
Originally from Asia, the butterfly bush is a woody perennial that can be grown in all zones, but is happiest in zones 5 to 10. Overall, it's a low-maintenace plant. It does well in full sun and average soil. Small plants need regular watering, but once they're established butterly bushes are drought tolerant – which is why this one is in my Zone 10 backyard.
Butterfly bush lives up to its name. When it blooms, butterflies, hummingbirds and bees can't leave it alone. The fragrant flowers appear on new growth, though, so it does need to be pruned in the spring. Other than that, it's pretty much a no-brainer.
This plant is about 12 feet tall, but there are dozens of cultivars, so different sizes, shapes and colors are available, including white, pink, blue and deeper purple.
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