Garden Plant of the Month for August: Butterfly Bush

There are few plants that attract butterflies like the Butterfly Bush. With its long plumes of flowers in fabulous colours, the Butterfly Bush is a real treasure in the garden. This garden plant also blooms up until early autumn, so keeps the garden looking colourful for longer.

A fantastic display of colour on and around the plant
The Butterfly Bush or Buddleia is an eye-catching deciduous shrub that flowers from July to October. The range of Butterfly Bushes is extensive, with fascinating colours in white, blue, pink or lilac. The size of the flowers range from 10 to 30cm, whilst the height varies from 0.50cm to over 4m! It’s handy to know this before planting in the garden.

One thing that all varieties have in common is that – as the name suggests – they all attract colourful butterflies, which are drawn by the flowers’ honey fragrance. Who doesn’t want butterflies in their garden? It provides the ultimate ‘garden feeling’ for both adults and children. Butterfly Bushes can be planted either in the soil or in pots and containers.

A couple of simple tips will keep the Butterfly Bush healthy and beautiful:

  • It’s important that the plant is placed in the sunshine in partial shade – the Butterfly Bush likes the heat.
  • Place the plant in well-drained, moist soil and water it regularly.
  • Give the plants extra fertiliser in the spring to ensure that they keep flowering profusely for a long time and remain healthy.
  • If wilted flowers are removed, new flowers may form after 3-4 weeks, keeping the plant looking elegant for even longer.
  • Butterfly Bush is generally very hardy if it’s pruned at the right time. If it’s pruned too early in winter, the branches can freeze.

Pruning tips

  • It’s very important to cut back the Butterfly Bush. It helps it to grow well, produce many flowers and remain young and healthy. If the plant cannot be pruned, it can deprive other plants of sunshine. The branches can be quite chunky, so use good pruning shears or a wooden saw.
  • The best period for pruning is the end of February or beginning of March. It’s not a good idea to prune earlier than this because the branches can then freeze.
  • Tall varieties should be pruned back to knee height. The shorter varieties can be cut back even further. Don’t be afraid to prune Butterfly Bush vigorously; the plant will produce new shoots and will then bloom profusely in the spring and summer.

More information about Butterfly Bush and other garden plants can be found at

Published on: 3 August 2016