Butterfly bushes can be quite easy to grow, when you know a bit about their requirements and preferences.
They are excellent pollinators for butterflies!
Butterfly bush need full sun. They require a minimum of 6-8 hours of bright sunlight. They also need good drainage. Their roots are sensitive to rotting, and if they spend any amount of time in wet soil, they can get damaged. Most of the time, if you lose a butterfly bush after a winter, it likely wasn’t due to low temperatures, snow or ice – it was because the plant sat in cold, wet soil in the fall or spring.
Some ways to avoid this are:
Plant “high” – instead of positioning the plant even with the ground level like you would other plants, dig a slightly shallower hole and position it so that the base of the plant is a bit higher than the ground. This creates a small hill that encourages water to drain away from the plant rather than settle around it. Plant them in the spring instead of the fall to help them get established before the cold winter climate sets in.
Prune in spring, after the new growth emerges. Many people cut their butterfly bush back in autumn, as part of their fall clean up. But particularly in cold climates, this can leave your butterfly bush more susceptible to damage over winter. Make your cuts just above where big, healthy leaf buds have formed.
Avoid mulching directly around your butterfly bush. It can hold too much moisture, so give your butterfly bush a bit of clearance, and never mulch all the way up to the main stem.
Don’t over water it. Signs of over watering include weak stems, fewer flowers, and die back.
Lo and Behold series: are smaller and more mounded and are perfect for flower gardens. ‘Blue Chip Jr.’ is the earliest to bloom of the series.
The Miss series: these shrubs are of medium height (1.2-1.5 m tall), refined and elegant with intense colors. The flowers of ‘Miss Molly’ are as close to red as you’ll find in a butterfly bush.
Black Night – butterfly bushes are shrubs that are reliably fragrant and easy to grow. Butterflies, hummingbirds and bees swarm to their blooms all summer long. ‘Black Knight’ has deep purple-blue, almost black, flowers in elongated clusters on arching branches that can reach to almost 6-10 feet tall. The blooms come from early summer to first frost. It grows at a fast rate and can be expected to live for 20 years.