The Buddleja plant is an abundant flowering shrub, native to the southwestern region of South America. It's also known as butterfly bush or summer lilac. The buddleja plant is a popular addition to gardens and landscapes across the world because it attracts butterflies and produces vibrant blooms.
Why buy an Buddleja?
Buddleja comes in all types, and many of these shrubs have some unique traits that are not typical for other shrubs. Most Buddleja plants are extremely compact and retain this compact shape for years. They do not spread much and so are easy to keep small.
Buddleja plants are also capable of producing flowers all season long and even attract pollinators. They attract bees, butterflies and hummingbirds to their blooms. Most of all, Buddleja is a favourite of gardeners because they attract wildlife and provide a focal point in the landscape.
Where to plant Buddleja
Because Buddleja plants are prone to disease and caterpillars, it is important to select a location where they won't face problems. Many varieties and cultivars grow well in soil amended with composted horse manure, bark dust or sand. For those in colder climates, the leaves are sold as cuttings and rootstock can be used in gardens as well.
Many gardeners give bagged rooting mix to friends and family to cultivate their new additions. This root mix contains high organic matter and also includes natural soil, with most bags lasting three or four years. Care should be taken not to leave the rooting mix out too long as it should not be moist in the centre of the root.
How to care for this plant?
Buddleja plants should be divided when they bloom to ensure good propagation. The plants' foliage is fairly vigorous but doesn't require any pruning. It should not be split more than once a year; more often can be harmful to the plant. Cut the Buddleja plants back to within 6 to 12 inches of the trunk at the first sign of new growth or disease or as the plant ages, but no later than September.
Remember to clean up the soil from around your Buddleja plant's base before planting. Choose a good spot for your Buddleja plant Choose a sunny spot with good drainage. Try to provide the best soils possible. Although this plant will grow in any soil, it likes rich soils. It is best to plant the Buddleja on a drainage strip, or on a lawn also make sure the soil is well-drained.
Origin of Buddleja
Buddleja is one of the hundreds of varieties of the same genus, Helianthus. The plant was first described in 1754 by a French botanist, who found it growing at the foot of the mountains in central Chile. One of the features that make the Buddleja attractive to gardeners is its incredibly vigorous growth habit.
The plant is known to reach heights of 4-6 feet with a width of 6-8 inches and can establish a minimum height of 3 feet. It can survive extremely poor conditions due to its ability to proliferate over time. The Buddleja plant's spread is due to its prolific flowering or populating, pattern.
Tips for your Buddleja
The Buddleja plant can grow to 5 to 6 feet tall and spread to as much as 18 inches in width. Buddleja prefers full sun, but the plant can tolerate partial shade as well. As a general rule, do not add mulch around the shrub. Avoid planting the Buddleja near a pollinator, particularly bees, to attract butterflies and generate beautiful flowers.
The best part about growing Buddleja in your garden is that it's an easy-to-maintain plant that doesn't require much water. The Buddleja plant does best in partial sun with annual rainfall between one inch and three inches.