Buddleja care from planting to pruning, prepare a haven for butterflies!

Buddleja with a dragonfly

Buddleja is a shrub that offers magnificent bunches of flowers that attract butterflies.

Basic Buddleja facts

Family – Scrophulariaceae
Type – shrub

Height – 6 to 13 feet (2 to 4 meters)
Exposure – full sun
Soil – ordinary, rather rich

Foliage – deciduous
Flowering – July to October

Planting, care and pruning are practices that will boost blooming and growth for the buddleja.

Planting Buddleja

Preferably in fall or spring if purchased in a container.
For the first few weeks after planting, water often to ensure proper settling in.

Choose a location that is in full sun but stays cool.

Propagation for Buddleja

Seed propagation occurs naturally very easily, but cuttings are true to formBuddleja readily spreads through seed on its own. It even tends to become invasive!

To ensure you get an exact copy of the mother shrub, prepare a cutting from it in the middle of summer (softwood cutting).

Pruning Buddleja

Buddleja with damaged branchesYou’ve got 2 options to prune your buddleja, both cases are at the end of winter:

  • To remodel your buddleja:
    Prune the shoots from the previous year’s growth while ensuring the buddleja has a nice bearing.
  • To frankly rejuvenate your buddleja:
    Cut back as much as you wish, it will grow back even nicer.

Watering Buddleja

Water buddleja only if you want to maximize the bloomingWatering is most important right after planting. In the following years, you’ll be amazed at how long your buddleja can survive during droughts.

However, if your goal is to ensure maximum blooming, don’t let the soil under the shrub stay dry for more than 3-4 days.

Learn more about Buddleja

Landscaping with buddlejaAlso called “butterfly bush“, buddleja blooms in summer for the greatest joy of butterflies!

Forming cute panicles with colors ranging from white and red to pink and purple, this shrub is perfect to plant as a hedge. It also stands out great as a standalone or in a shrub bed.

Not only are the flowers a boon for butterflies: some, like the “large white” butterfly, also lay their eggs on its leaves!

Smart tip about Buddleja

Cut short from November onwards. This will give your shrub even more vigor!

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Image credits (edits Gaspard Lorthiois):
Pixabay: Christophe Ducourret-Gravereau, Davie Bicker, Carola Engels, Gwen M
CC BY 2.0: Martin Pettitt