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Buddleia davidii Shrubs - Buddleja davidii. Butterfly Bushes.  

The botanical name sometimes causes confusion, as both Buddleia and Buddleja are used. However, its common name of Butterfly bush, is universal. 

 Deciduous shrub, flowering from early summer, drought tolerant, attracts butterflies and bees.

Buddlejas have a bad reputation, for they are often seen growing on rubbish sites, out of crack in walls and basically anywhere that stays still long enough for a Buddleja seed to settle - and grow. Add to this the fact that many garden-grown Buddlejas are not looked after properly, and it is not difficult to see why the group of plants have this totally undeserved reputation.

Forget for the moment, that Buddleia davidii types have an important role in attracting many insects top the garden. Buddlejas also have a place in any shrub border - or alone as a specimen plant, or even as a large container plant.

Peacock Butterfly on Buddleja The Buddleia is a very versatile plant, and other than a regular Pruning your Buddleja session each spring, it requires little attention, but perhaps a bit of room.

Most Buddleias start flowering from mid-June dependent upon the season (and correct pruning!) and if regularly dead-headed, will keep flowering well into the autumn.

When correctly pruned, they will reach to 6ft (2m) each year - depending upon variety. - with long arching canes and large flowers ranging from white, through to pink, red and deepest blue. The spread of the shrub is similar to the height, so room should be allowed for this spread.


Buddlejas make good container plants - a large pot and and plenty of room. They will normally only reach half of their shrub border size, so will be quite a spectacular patio plant, and because of their growth habit, there will be plenty of room at the base of the plant, to plant other colourful plants in the container.

A good choice of variety would be Buddleia Lochinch, which has white to silver foliage and powder blue flowers, or maybe Buddleia davidii Harlequin - a well variegated variety with deep red/purple flowers..
They are quite drought tolerant, so admirably suited to container planting.
(Buddleja Lochinch is not a true davidii type, but has all of the characteristics so it is mentioned here. Purists (snobs) may look away!)


Buddleias are happiest in sunny position with well drained soil. But, will live virtually anywhere as long as soil is not waterlogged.

Butterfly Trees They can easily be propagated with semi-ripe cuttings in Mid-summer, or hardwood cuttings in late autumn or winter.

Pests include capsid Bugs and caterpillars - The young of Butterflies! Red Spider mite may also be a problem in hot dry summers.


Butterfly bushes or the Butterfly Tree, flowers in summer - a good time for butterflies (and humans). The large flowers on the ends of the arching stems, are made up of many hundreds of individual small trumpet like flowers. These individual trumpets hold the sought after nectar which attract butterflies and bees. It is only insects which have a long proboscis - tongue, that can have access to the nectar.

 Comma Butterfly on Butterfly Bush

Regularly remove the faded flower to prolong the flowering season with a succession of new flowers.


L-r = Buddleja White Bouquet/Profusion: B. Lochinch; B d. Royal Red: Buddleia davidii Empire Blue.

Also good are >>>

Buddleja davidii Black Knight - deepest purple of the butterfly trees
Buddleja davidii Pink Profusion - huge deep pink blooms.

See also Buddleja globosa


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