Love Cut Flowers? Try a Butterfly Bush.
I have several butterfly bushes, also knows as buddleia, in my garden beds. I love them because they attract butterflies and bees like no other plant. My main butterfly bush was put in a large island bed early this spring, when it was about 12″ tall. It is now at least 5 feet tall and 4 feet wide and just covered with purple flowers.
Each day, I make my lunch and take it, along with my favorite gardening magazine, Garden Gate, out to a lawn chair. I have my lunch and then read for a while, as I wait for the butterflies and bees to swarm around my lovely Butterfly bush.
One thing I did not realize is how lovely they are as cut flowers. Because they droop so much, I didn’t think they would do well indoors.
How wrong I was! This vase of flowers was cut about three weeks ago, and they STILL look great indoors in the vase. I don’t think I have ever had cut flowers last that long for me!
Since my plant is still flowering, I will have cut flowers right into the fall.
Butterfly bushes are very easy to grow. They produce flower in colors that include blue, pink, red, violet, yellow, and white, and the shrub grows 5 to 10 feet tall and wide, depending on the variety.
To care for your butterfly bush, apply a thin layer of compost each spring, followed by a 2- to 4-inch layer of mulch to retain moisture and control weeds. Be sure to water the plants during the summer if rainfall is less than 1 inch per week. Flowers are produced on new wood, so prune back old growth almost to the ground early each spring before any new growth emerges. And don’t forget to cut some flowers throughout the summer. You will be amazed to see how long they last indoors.
Does your butterfly bush attract a variety of butterflies? I’d love to hear about your experiences with this lovely perennial.