Buddleja

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There are a number of different varieties of buddleja which can provide a big splash of summer colour in your garden, some not only very pretty but also delightfully scented. The main reason, however, for planting one of these showy shrubs in your garden in not for its appearance but rather for its butterfly attracting abilities. Though it is not a native plant, buddleia is one of the best plants for attracting native butterflies to your garden.

Growing buddleja:

The first task with buddleja is choosing which variety you should plant in your garden. Which one you should choose depends on how large a space you have, what you wish it to look like and which colours you fancy. Some will be better than others at standing up to a colder winter or less-sheltered conditions, some more delicate and some less.

All buddlejas prefer full sun and a well-drained soil. One thing that no buddleias will tolerate is a heavy, waterlogged soil that retains water in winter. They are very tolerant of rocky and fairly poor soils and are often found on wastelands. If you have a soil that is on the acid side then, most likely, you will have to add lime to bring the acidity down in order for your buddleia to thrive.

Buddleias are usually bought as young plants from a garden centre or plant nursery. They can also fairly easily be propagated from cuttings of new growth taken in spring. Remove spent flower heads from the buddleia after they have bloomed if you do not want it to go to seed. Buddleia will usually self-seed fairly readily if left to their own devices.

If you wish to prolong the flowering season then deadhead flowers as soon as they begin to fade to encourage the plant to keep flowering in continuous production. Buddleia can grow unwieldy if left alone for too long so be sure to make a few more cuts to prune back the bush each year to keep it at the desired size. Be sure to prune buddleias in late spring to allow them to fully recover over the summer when the weather is at its least harsh. Buddleia can fare very badly if pruned too late in the year.

Why grow buddleja in the garden?

The sheer number and variety of buddleja varieties with differences in foliage and flower means that they can deliver a style and colouration to suit most garden schemes. Their loud displays and extravagant appearance can give lushness to a garden-scape and, of course, fill a garden with further displays of beautiful butterflies and bees.

Another good thing about the buddleia is that it can readily grow on poor, stony soil where many other plants do not like to grow, so could be the solution for some people for a problem area in the garden that gets sun but in which the soil is not fantastic.

Buddleia's flowers are lovely for cut blooms and can really please the eye, whichever variety you choose. 

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Quick Facts

Latin Name
Various