Water Blog

Butterfly Bushes Bring the Garden to Life

Swallowtail-RQBuddleia davidii (also written as Buddleja) is available in over 100 species.  Fluctuating from a dwarf at 4 to 5 feet tall to a 15 foot cascading version known as Purple Fountain Buddleia. Colors range from white to rose, to pink to lavender to deep purple with various colored eyes.   

Butterfly bushes are known as a sub-shrub meaning it has a woody stem but dies back to the ground every year (like a perennial) and blooms only on new wood.  Each spring as leaves start to show, you can cut it back to 6-12” from the ground.  I use the green to guide me.  You will be shocked at the amount of growth that happens between June and August.  


  • Exposure: although it blooms best in full sun, it can take a little filtered or moving shade. 

  • Water:  varieties need low to moderate water use 

  • Advantages:  provide nectar for birds, bees (honey and native bees), moths, butterflies 

  • Disadvantages:  Monarchs are particularly attracted –make sure you plant Asclepius (milkweed) for the monarchs. 
Learn more about this shrub and more at PlantsForGreeley.com

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