Buddleia Buddleja Butterfly Bush
Buddleia Buddleja All You Wanted to Know about the Butterfly Bush
Where is it commonly found?
The Buddleia or Buddleja is a genus that has over 100 cultivars and species. As the common name suggests, it is a plant that attracts butterflies. This is why you see many butterfly gardeners planting these shrubs in their garden. It is believed that the shrub has come from Chile. But, now it has its roots in Asia, and China in particular. Over 100 species of this shrub is prevalent in Asia, Americas and Africa. Buddleia name came from an amateur botanist from Essex, England, Reverend Adam Buddle, when he brought the first butterfly bush to England in 1774. The generic name was conferred posthumously honouring Adam Buddle after 15 years of his death. The seeds of Buddleia davidii came from China and this is the most common variety of butterfly bush plant very familiar to gardeners now.
How to grow?
Buddleia is very easy to grow and can grow in any kind of soil. The shrub can grow in full sun and in shady areas. The more shade the plant receives, the fewer flowers are produced. It is best to plant the butterfly bush in areas where you get full sunlight for at least 6 hours a day. There is no doubt that the Buddleia needs a well drained soil to grow. The soil must be moist and fertile for the shrub to bloom. You need to add well aged compost on top of the soil before plating the shrub. This will help in retaining the moisture in the soil and also improve the quality of the soil. Buddleia can adapt well to acidic or alkaline soil.
Planting the shrub
It is ideal to plant Buddleia during spring or fall. The plant must be spaced about 5 to 10 feet apart from one another. You should loosen up the soil to a depth of 15 inches and then add two to four inches of homemade compost to this loosen the soil. Dig a hole in this soil twice the size of the pot of the plant. Remove the plant from the container and place it into the dug hole. Firm the plant into the soil by filling the soil into the hole. Finally, water the plant.
Caring tips / Pruning /Popular Varieties
Adding a two to three inch layer of compost every spring followed by two to three inches of mulch will help the plant to grow effectively. Mulch will help in retaining the moisture and also control weeds. Any old wood has to be pruned off to enable the flowers to grow on new wood. It is ideal to prune off all the old wood almost to the ground during the onset of spring. This will encourage new wood growth. Popular buddleias are Buddleia Black knight (photo right), Buddleia Pink Profusion (top photo) Buddleja Golden Glow and Buddleja Royal Red.