The botanical name of Butterfly bushes is Buddleia davidii and the plants are grown for their long panicles of colorful flowers and their ability to attract butterflies and beneficial insects. The plant bloom in spring and summer, but the naturally attractive shape of the shrub and evergreen foliage keep the bush interesting, even when it is not in bloom. The Butterfly bushes plants tolerate a variety of conditions and are hardy in USDA plant hardiness zones five through nine. Continue reading to find out more about butterfly bush planting and care.



Planting Butterfly Bush

Actually planting a butterfly bush in an optimum location will really minimize the time you will spend on maintenance. Make sure you choose a sunny or partly shaded area where the soil is well-drained. Soil that is constantly wet can easily encourage rot. If the butterfly bushes are planted in good quality garden soil, the plant will rarely need fertilizer. Make sure you give your butterfly bush plenty of room. The butterfly bush plant tag will tell you the mature size of the cultivar you have chosen. Although the plants tolerate severe pruning to maintain a smaller size, you can reduce the time you’ll spend pruning the plant by planting it in a location with plenty of room for the plant to develop its natural size and shape. Butterfly bushes grow from six to twelve feet tall with a spread of four to fifteen feet.

Note: The butterfly bush plant is considered an invasive plant in many regions. Make sure you check with your local extension office prior to planting to ensure that the plant is permitted in your area.



Butterfly Bush Plant Care

The butterfly bush plant care is easy. Just water the plant slowly and deeply during prolonged dry spells so that the soil absorbs the water deep into the root zone. The butterfly bush plants don’t need fertilization unless grown in poor soil. You can fertilize with a two inch (5 cm.) layer of compost over the root zone or scratch in some general-purpose fertilizer if you need to enrich the soil. Cover the root zone with a two to four inch layer of mulch. This is mainly important in cold climates where the roots need winter protection. The most labor-intensive part of caring for this shrub is deadheading. In spring and summer you need to remove the spent flower clusters promptly. The seed pods will develop when the flower clusters are left on the plant. When the pods mature and release their seeds, weedy young plants emerge. The butterfly bush plant seedlings should be removed as soon as possible. The young plants that are cut off at ground level may re-emerge, so remove the roots along with the top growth. Don’t be tempted to transplant the butterfly bush seedlings into other parts of the garden. Butterfly bushes are usually hybrids, and the offspring probably won’t be as attractive as the parent plant.



Butterfly Bushes Problems

 Butterfly bushes problems are root rot and the occasional caterpillar. Planting the butterfly bushes in well-drained soil will help to eliminate the chances of root rot. Some of the symptoms are yellowing leaves, and in severe cases, twig or stem dieback. Growing a plant that attracts butterflies, also attract the presence of caterpillars. Though in most cases the damage is minimal and you will have to stand close to the plant to notice it. It is actually best to leave the caterpillars alone unless their feeding activity does substantial damage to the plant. Japanese beetles most times feed on butterfly bushes. The use of insecticides to control Japanese beetles is usually ineffective, and more likely to destroy the abundance of beneficial insects attracted to the plant than the beetles. You can easily use traps and handpick the insects, and then treat the lawn for grubs, which are the larval form of Japanese beetles.



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