Buddleia News

29 November 2011
Top tip for Buddleia in winter
If you didn't cut back your Buddleia this autumn, don't panic, you can always cut it back in April before any growth starts, and if you have very young Buddleia it might be a good idea to give it some protection from severe frost this winter.  An effective way to protect your young buddleia from the ravages of winter is simply dump a pile of leaf mulch on top of the cut back crown, this helps protect it from cold snaps and provides 'food' in spring time.
Did you know?
Did you know?
The first Buddleia to be introduced in the UK was Buddleia Globosa from Chile in 1774. The nursery was called "The Vineyard" and was run by Lewis Kennedy (1721 — 1782) and James Lee (1715 — 25 July 1795), "The Vineyard" was situated on the site where the current Olympia stands in Hammersmith, west London.

Did you know?
That one Buddleia davidii can produce three million seeds a year, and one flower can produce an estimated forty thousand seeds.
By Alan Hirt, Hirt's Gardens Inc.
Published: Thursday, June 09, 2011
I have a butterfly bush that I planted two years ago. This year, the bush looks like it is dead, with the exception of some growth at the bottom. I am surprised by its condition because it is in a sheltered area. Is this normal for the bush? Should I trim it back to the new growth? -- Pamela Linger (she also asked the second question)

My father used to tell me that the best time to prune is when you have a pair of pruning shears in your hand. And, in many cases, this is true. Anytime you see a plant with dead, dying or diseased branches, go ahead and prune off the offending branch.
But your question is specifically about butterfly bushes (Buddleia). Butterfly bushes are perennial plants that die back to the ground every winter. They then send out new growth from the roots in the spring. You can prune them either in the late fall or in the early spring before the new growth starts.
It is best to prune them back to about 12 inches from the ground. This will keep them from growing out of control and in the end will enhance the total appearance of the bush.
If you are looking for a smaller butterfly bush, try the new Lo & Behold 'Blue Chip' butterfly bush. It grows only 24 to 36 inches tall and is spectacular.
PETAL TALK: Plant now for late summer garden guests
By Jean Starr Times Correspondent nwitimes.com | Posted: Saturday, June 4, 2011 12:00 am

It's time to plan now for visitors to your late–summer garden. If you haven't planted Buddleia (butterfly bush) because it gets out of hand and flops all over its neighbors, it's time to try again. Old varieties were quite rangy, and it seemed that, no matter what we did, they would encroach on their neighbors and offer only the bare minimum in flowers. I'm pleased to say there are some new Buddleia in town.

One of them is Lo & Behold Blue Chip, one of the shortest of the bunch but no less floriferous. It's bloomed profusely for the past three years with only a couple hours of sun. While its flower panicles are shorter than most, they're fragrant and deeply colored. Another butterfly champion is Buddleia Miss Ruby. I'd at first thought I wouldn't like a pink Buddleia, but the deep raspberry–colored blossoms impart a summery feel that's welcome in early September. Miss Ruby matures to a compact four feet tall, and mixes wonderfully with New England Aster Alma Potschke, which is covered in bright neon rose pink daisy–like flowers in early fall.

Full article: http://www.nwitimes.com/lifestyles/home-and-garden/article_f224c89b-672c-5d9a-9479-f69b77287d60.html

(Posted Saturday 28th May)

Historical Buddleia
Buddleia globosa, also known as 'Orange ball buddleia'  Was originally collected from Chile in 1774 and can be considered the 'original' Buddleia, as we see it mentioned in many early (1800's) gardening texts, well before the introduction of Buddleia davidii in 1896. 
B.globosa grows very well in zones 8-10 and does a little better in slighty chalky soils than some other Buddleia. Another plus is that it doesn't mind growing near costal regions where the salty atmosphere can be a problem for some Buddleia.  As is common to all buddleia it likes a sunny spot with well draining soil, with a little protection from the wind if possible.

B.globosa bears little resemblance to Buddleia davidii having (as the name suggests) roundish yellow/orange flowers that are about 2cm wide, it grows 5 to 15 feet tall and the flowers have a strong sweet scent but seems not to be just as attractive to butterflies as B.davidii.  This may be because the sucrose content of the nectar is relatively low compared to B.davidii and butterflies like high sucrose content nectar.  Having said that, B.globoso makes a nice visual addition to any garden, and is still good news for butterflies.

There is a nice historical reference to Buddleia globosa in "The Magazine of domestic economy" from 1837

"My Buddlea was every spring covered with its golden balls, and grew so quickly that I scarcely knew what to do with it. I am surprised this beautiful shrub is not more common; it is perfectly hardy even as a standard, it will remove well even when it has attained a considerable size; it is very easily raised by layers, and there is an air of grandeur about it, both as to leaves and flowers, that raises it above the common flowering surubs of our gardens."
So if you want something that is visualy historically a little different and a talking point with the neighbours, consider Buddleia globosa.


(Posted Thursday 26th May)

Caring for Buddleia davidii

Buddleia davidii is a medium sized deciduous, semi green shrub which originates from south and south East Asia. The shrub can grow in many countries as long as the temperature does not go below -15C. This plant can be of many important benefits around homes. For butterfly lovers, this plant attracts butterflies and can be great bait for butterflies in your home. In fact, the plant is also called the butterfly bush because of its ability to attract butterflies in large numbers. The plant is able to do this because it is extremely rich in nectar which is a source of food for many insects in addition to butterflies. If you are insect lover kind of a person, it is only logical that you would take great care of this plant to be seeing insects flocking to your place.

 Of course the first thing you will start with is planting the plant if you do not have one at your place. Buddleia davidii should be planted in well draining soils in direct sunlight. However, the sunlight should not be too hot for example the summer heat. At such time, you can shade the plant a lit bit to avoid damages. On the other hand, if you live in extremely cold regions, you should put measure in place to ensure that the plant grows well. You can put 4-6 inch mulch around the plant during such times to protect it from the cold temperatures. However, it is not a must to add mulch around the plant as it can survive on its own as long as the temperature does not go too low as mentioned above. The soil around the plant should be maintained moist especially in the first year. Ensure that the soil does not become water logged as it could easily compromise the growth of the plant. It is always advisable to allow the soil around the plant to dry completely before adding more water. This way, the soil cannot become water logged.

Always ensure that Buddleia davidii plant has enough nutrients. You can add compost manure or fertilizer to the plant from time to time to make sure that it has sufficient nutrients. Compost manure should be preferred over fertilizer because it does not contain any chemicals that may harm the plant. You can be making your own compost manure using foliage and leaves from plants around your house. To ensure that the plant grows well, you can do some pruning at least once a year. Pruning of this plant should be done in the last months of winter which basically means around January or February. This process should reduce the Buddleia davidii plant to the ground. The plant will start growing all over again as soon as the spring season sets in. Unsure that weeding is done according for proper growth. With these important factors and hand, you are assured that Buddleia davidii shrub will grow successfully and will meet you requirement; attracting insects to your place.