Everything You Need To Know About Growing Buddleia

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Buddleias are easy-to-maintain shrubs that are drought tolerant and produce a cluster of blooms.

Buddleias are semi-evergreen and deciduous shrubs that are native to Central China with over 140 different varieties.

They naturally grow on limestone outcrops, mountain slopes, banks of rocky waterways, and forest clearings.

Buddleias are also known as butterfly bushes because they attract butterflies in large numbers and summer lilac.

PLANTING BUDDLEIA

Buddleias are best planted in hardiness zone 5 through 10 in well-drained soil with the pH of the soil ranging between 5.5 through 7.0

They are best spaced about three feet apart in most areas and about four feet apart when planted along a walkway or driveway.

They prefer full sun but they can also be planted in partial shade but they will produce fewer blooms.

If your buddleias are going to be sprouted from seed then it is suggested to use a cardboard seed starting container and start them 3 to 4 weeks before the last frost.

When planting them, it is best to make the hole twice the width of the root ball.

Mix some compost in with the soil from the hole before filling it back in. This will give nutrients to the soil and help with water retention.

Uses

Buddleias are often used as borders, walking paths, planted in mass, and potting containers that can be placed on decks and patios.

FERTILIZING AND WATERING

Buddleias require a balanced fertilizer in the spring or in late winter that is slow-release and designed for shrubs and trees or a homemade liquid fertilizer.

When applying fertilizer, it is best to apply it between the base of the plant to the tips of the branches. This area of the plant is known as the drip line.

They are drought-resistant shrubs that will need about one inch of water once every two weeks.

MULCHING

Adding mulch to your buddleias will help the soil retain water and will reduce the amount of time it takes to water them.

The thickness of the bed of mulch is best between 1 to 2 inches thick but the thickness may need to be reduced if you live in a rainy climate or if you are receiving more rain the usual.

The mulch will also help with weed control and will need to be added or replaced yearly when most of it has decomposed.

BLOOMS

Buddleia Bloom

Buddleias produce a large cluster of blooms that appear in late summer and they stick around into the fall.

Their blooms are available in yellow, orange, purple, and white which attract moths, butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds.

If the blooms are allowed to go to seed then they will attract American goldfinches and other birds.

The individual flowers are about half an inch wide on a cluster that is 6 to 18 inches long.

After the blooms have wilted away you can cut the bloom off to encourage more blooms to appear.

This is called deadheading and with this method, the blooms are not allowed to go to seed therefore the shrub will rebloom.

PRUNING

Buddleias are best pruned in late winter or in very early spring to help the shrub maintain its shape.

In the spring, if there is any dead or damaged growth then it should be removed.

Any stems that have wildly grown much higher than the rest of the plant which is known as leggy growth should also be removed.

Some gardeners trim all branches leaving about one foot of the shrub above the ground, this gives the plant a healthy and bushy look.

PROPAGATING

If you want to grow your own buddleia from a seed you can start with a cardboard seed starter to start it in.

Using soil that is well mixed with compost at temperatures of about 75 degrees Fahrenheit, they would germinate in 2 to 3 weeks.

Another option is to use cuttings that should be removed in the spring and only new green growth should be used.

Before removing a cutting from a plant, make sure that there are at least three sets of leaves.

After removing the cutting dip the cut end into water then into root tone and plant the cutting in a container, garden, or landscaping.

After the cutting has been planted it is a good idea to sprinkle some root tone on the soil.

Another option is to use a piece of paper towel, place the cut end on the paper towel, and sprinkle some root tone on the cut end of the cutting.

Then fold the bottom of the paper towel to the top, and wrap the rest of the paper towel around the stem of the cutting.

After planting the cutting give it some water and time. If you see that the cutting is looking wilted then the cutting will not root and you will have to start over.

PESTS

Buddleia has a few pests that feed on the plant which opens the shrub to plant viruses that affect nearby plants.

Therefore, dealing with the issue before the infestation reduces the amount of vegetation or kills the shrub.

DISEASES

Buddleias that are planted close together can develop mold and mildew issues during times of high humidity.

If this is the case then preventive measures may need to be taken.

To prevent this from happening, plant them far enough apart to allow for proper airflow.

Viruses

Plant viruses are caused by pests causing damage to a plant, therefore good pest management is a must.

  • Ringspot virus

VARIETIES

There are over 140 different varieties of buddleias to choose from that are available in almost every color option of blooms for your garden.

ADONIS BLUE BUDDLEIA

Adonis blue buddleias are deciduous shrubs that are known for their bushy compact style and sweetly fragrant blooms.

  • Shrub size – grows to 5 feet tall and 5 feet wide
  • Drought tolerant – yes
  • Blooming colors – blue
  • Foliage – lance-shaped green leaves with smooth edges
  • Deer resistant – yes
  • Also known as – Andonis blue butterfly bush or Andonis blue summer lilac

PEACH COBBLER BUDDLEIA

Peach cobbler buddleia was created by breading Pink delight buddleia and Sungold buddleia.

  • Shrub size – grows to 6 feet tall and 6 feet wide
  • Drought tolerant – yes
  • Blooming colors – peach blooms that fade to a yellowish-orange color
  • Foliage – lance-shaped gray-green leaves with smooth edges
  • Deer resistant – yes
  • Also known as – peach cobbler butterfly bush or peach cobbler summer lilac

NANHO PURPLE BUDDLEIA

  • Shrub size – grows to 5 feet tall and 5 feet wide
  • Drought tolerant – yes
  • Blooming colors – purple
  • Foliage – lance-shaped green leaves with smooth edges
  • Deer resistant – yes
  • Also known as – nanho purple butterfly bush or nanho purple summer lilac

BLUE CHIP BUDDLEIA

Blue chip buddleia is a hybrid variety that is a non-invasive ground cover shrub that will rebloom without deadheading.

  • Shrub size – grows to 2 and a half feet tall and 2 and a half feet wide
  • Drought tolerant – yes
  • Blooming colors – purple
  • Foliage – lance-shaped green leaves with smooth edges
  • Deer resistant – yes
  • Also known as – blue chip butterfly bush or blue chip summer lilac

PURPLE HAZE BUDDLEIA

Purple haze buddleia is a hybrid variety that is a non-invasive ground cover shrub.

  • Shrub size – grows to 3 feet tall and 3 feet wide
  • Drought tolerant – yes
  • Blooming colors – purple
  • Foliage – lance-shaped green leaves with smooth edges
  • Deer resistant – yes
  • Also known as – purple haze butterfly bush or purple haze summer lilac

PINK DELIGHT BUDDLEIA

  • Shrub size – grows to 7 feet tall and 9 feet wide
  • Drought tolerant – yes
  • Blooming colors – pink
  • Foliage – lance-shaped green leaves with smooth edges
  • Deer resistant – yes
  • Also known as – pink delight butterfly bush or pink delight summer lilac

PRINCE CHARMING BUDDLEIA

  • Shrub size – grows to 4 feet tall and 4 feet wide
  • Drought tolerant – yes
  • Blooming colors – reddish pink
  • Foliage – lance-shaped green leaves with smooth edges
  • Deer resistant – yes
  • Also known as – butterfly bush or summer lilac

HONEYCOMB BUDDLEIA

  • Shrub size – grows to 12 feet tall and 8 feet wide
  • Drought tolerant – yes
  • Blooming colors – yellow
  • Foliage – lance-shaped green leaves with smooth edges
  • Deer resistant – yes
  • Also known as – honeycomb butterfly bush or honeycomb summer lilac

ICE CHIPS BUDDLEIA

Ice chips buddleia is a hybrid variety that is a non-invasive ground cover shrub.

  • Shrub size – grows to 1 foot tall and 2 feet wide
  • Drought tolerant – yes
  • Blooming colors – white
  • Foliage – lance-shaped green leaves with smooth edges
  • Deer resistant – yes
  • Also known as – ice chips butterfly bush or ice chips summer lilac

IVORY BUDDLEIA

  • Shrub size – grows to 5 feet tall and 3 feet wide
  • Drought tolerant – yes
  • Blooming colors – white
  • Foliage – lance-shaped green leaves with smooth edges
  • Deer resistant – yes
  • Also known as – ivory butterfly bush or ivory summer lilac

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