Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Butterfly Bush

bb5

Butterfly Bushes definitely live up to their name. I have a dozen of these bushes scattered through out the backyard and my children and I love watching the butterflies flit from bush to bush.

I think I would enjoy these hardy plants even if they didn’t attract so many butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds. They require very little water, do not mind poor soil, are unfazed by 100 degree heat, and can survive –20 degree winters. Around here they are known as easy keepers!  bb10

The bushes in my backyard, die back to the ground in the winter. I have a microclimate which is a little warmer in the front yard and the bushes there remain green year round. I advise putting several inches of mulch around the plants in the fall if you live in zones 4 – 6, to help them weather the winter.

I have bushes with pink, white, and lavender flowers, though none of the white flowers have opened yet. They remind me of lilacs with all of their little trumpet flowers.  They differ from lilacs, in that they do not have a short flowering season. They will bloom from spring to fall, unless they are under unusual stress (Once the temperatures reach the mid 90’s my Butterfly Bushes stop producing new flowers. They resume once the temperatures drop back to the 80’s).

bb1The flowers start opening from the base and work their way to the tip of the spike.  They do not drop their blooms once they are done flowering, so they must be pruned.  I don’t think there is any agreed upon way to prune Butterfly Bushes, though most gardeners  agree that they are very forgiving and will survive just about any pruning they receive.

In the picture to the left, is a spent flower, flanked by two blooming spikes, with another flower beginning to form lower on the branch.

For more beautiful flowers visit Bloomin’ Tuesday and Tuesday Garden Party.

14 comments:

Darla said...

Oh and the root from soft stem cuttings very easily. I too, love mine.

Zoey said...

I love them, too. Mine has not yet bloomed, but when it does, I will be out everyday checking to what butterflies are on it.

Sandy said...

I love the name of your blog.. "determined".. sounds like me! I have been trying to get my garden off to a good start.. but it rains so much in the afternoons here.. (rainy season in summer).. all the plants get steamed!
SoFlorida is a killer!
Nice blog
Sandy
thewondersofdoing@blogspot.com

perennialgardener said...

I love that shade of purple, the only plant I have has a white bloom. :)

Suzanne said...

They sound like the perfect plant -- one you can ignore and enjoy!

Alea said...

Darla, I am going to go take a soft stem cutting today and try rooting it. Thanks for the tip!

Jean said...

Alea, I lost mine this winter. I do love them and need to find a place where they can thrive. The purple color is lovely. Jean

Athena at Minerva's Garden said...

Thank you for sharing this plant with us! I have three butterfly bushes in my garden, and I've noticed that if you can deadhead them, or cut off any dead flowers, they tend to keep reblooming. I have a 'Pink Delight' one, and a lovely light cool shade of lavender one called 'Lochinch' that I really like.

Ott, A. said...

Beautiful! Have you seen any butterflies land on them yet??
a Latte with Ott, A

Jami@ An Oregon Cottage said...

I've got two of these, but I feel a little guilty about it because they've been declared a noxious weed here in Western Oregon. Mine never reseed, though, so I don't feel toooo guilty about it. :-)

Thanks for sharing at the TGP!

Ann @ makethebestofthings said...

Your bushes are pretty. I have one bush that grows back to twelve feet tall each year after severe pruning. It has gorgeous purple blooms and the butterflies love it. It really is a carefree and reliable plant! I saw one bush in Jacksonville, Oregon that was HUGE and BEAUTIFUL, easily 15 foot tall and almost 4 foot across with many trunks at the base. Truly a statement plant!

zentmrs said...

That's a beautiful plant! I'm always looking for something to attract the butterflies and hummingbirds to my yard. Love to watch them. Thanks for sharing!

Nanna said...

even if nothing grows in my itty bitty garden it's a joy to see the butterflies come around LOL
Helen

Heather said...

I enjoy butterfly bushes... anything to bring in lovelies like the monarch:)

stopping by from TGP.