How To Plant, Grow And Care For A Buddleia Butterfly Bush

If you’re looking for a flowering shrub or bush to transform your outside space this summer, look no further than the beautiful buddleia bush.

Known for their butterfly-attracting qualities, a buddleia bush will bring both beauty and wildlife to any outdoor space. If you’re looking to plant and grow your own buddleia bush, you’ve come to the right place. Join us here at Gardeners Dream as we talk all things ‘butterfly bush’, from how and when to plant them through to top care tips.  


What is a buddleia plant?

Officially named the ‘Buddleia Davidii’ but more casually referred to as a ‘butterfly bush’, the buddleia is a flowering bush which displays floral ‘lance’ shaped clusters. The plant is available in shades of white, yellow, pink, red, blue and purple, and gives off a sweet smell which attracts both birds and pollinators including bees and butterflies.

The buddleia often grows to at least 6 foot, but can grow up to around 10 foot tall and boast an equal width. Being large in size, colourful and fragrant, the buddleia is a great choice for those wanting to attract wildlife while bringing beauty to their garden.


When does a buddleia flower?

The buddleia is a perennial, semi-evergreen plant, meaning once it has flowered, it only loses its foliage for a very short period of the year. The flowers of a buddleia appear in early summer through into autumn, and their fast growing speed makes them the perfect choice for those wanting a quick and easy injection of life and colour.


When to plant buddleia

It’s best to plant Buddleias in late autumn or early spring. Buddleias can withstand a variety of conditions, making them the ideal choice for those looking for a low effort plant. The buddleia requires loose soil that is well-drained, meaning it is best planted in late autumn or early spring before the ground is frosty. A buddleia can, however, withstand a winter; it will simply begin to regrow when the sun returns.

When planting your buddleia, bear in mind the size of the fully grown bush and ensure you leave plenty of space for the plant to grow to its full potential.

How to grow buddleia

As previously mentioned, ensure you have plenty of space and loose, well-drained soil before planting your buddleia. Buddleias will grow well of their own accord so you don’t need fertiliser, but a good compost when planting will be an advantage.

Once you’ve planted your buddleia, water it well and continue to water while the plant grows. However, do not over soak the soil and, once the buddleia plant is fully grown, water it sparingly. A butterfly bush does not need much moisture, and too much water can actually be detrimental to the plant.  


When to prune buddleia

A butterfly bush can grow to over 10 foot and can begin to spread throughout the garden, so trim as and when needed. The buddleia should be fully pruned at least once yearly, ideally in early spring once the chance of frost has passed. March is often ideal, but bear in mind the weather in your location. If there looks to be a chance of extremely cold weather hold off on pruning, as the frost may harm the new growths.

When pruning your butterfly bush, you should cut each branch back close to the ground, leaving stems of around a foot in length. Even if your plants existing branches don’t appear to be damaged, a buddleia can easily become overcrowded, and this high level of pruning is what allows the beautiful new flowers space to grow come summer.

Following this intense spring pruning, you should continue to monitor your buddleia throughout the year. Any old or dead blooms should be deadheaded immediately.



For further inspirations to transform your garden, be sure to explore the full outdoor plants collection at Gardeners Dream, where you can browse a selection of shrubs including buddleia butterfly bushes in a stunning array of shades.  

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