Butterfly Bush- Buddleia davidii


General: A large, rounded, arching deciduous flowering shrub. Can grow 10 to 15’ high and wide, thought there are a range of dwarf cultivars. Shrub dies back to the ground north of zone 6.

Leaves: Alternate, simple and lancolate, 4 to 10” long. Gray green to blue green color, but varies depending on cultivar. Leaves appear late in the spring and persist late into the fall. No fall color.

Flower: Spike like flower clusters bloom in showy panicles 6 to 18” in September. Color is usually purple lavender to lilac with an orange yellow throat, but new cultivars bloom pink, white or red. Flowers are mildly fragrant and attractive to bees, hummingbirds and butterflies.

Fruit: Two valved brown seed capsules, 1/3 to ¼” long.

Attributes:  Great when massed in perennial borders to attract pollinators. Can also be utilized as an addition to annual beds and or urns.


Hardiness:  Zones 4-9.

Growing Conditions:  Prefers well drained, moist, fertile soils in full sun.

MaintenanceNothing serious, spider mites occasionally.

Transplanting: Easily transplanted as it has a weed like ability to survive. Easily naturalizes. 

Our Experience

Experience at Great Hill

On Great Hill, we’ve utilized buddleia as both an annual (for use in urns) and as a perennial shrub specimen. Buddleia perform best when pruned low to the ground at the end of the season (if this doesn’t occur naturally in your zone), and is a rapid grower as well as a prolific bloomer. New cultivars give you a wide range of size options as well as bloom and leaf color variability. They are perfectly suited for a naturalized or butterfly garden. Should be used with caution as invasive tendencies can develop if allowed to go to seed.