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Butterfly Bush | Buddleia

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Butterfly Bush | Buddleia

Post  Megan on 3/20/2011, 8:24 pm

Has anyone grown this? I am interested in trying. Specifically, this guy here:
http://www.mountainvalleygrowers.com/buddavidiblackknight.htm

I am looking for a tall (10-15 ft) beautiful plant with nice, pollinator-attracting flowers, and this seems to fit the bill nicely... but it's either going to need to scrabble hard into the ground, or I'll need to purchase a large planter for it, and I'm not sure how ornery this plant is. Any thoughts would be appreciated. (I took pictures of the area this afternoon, but they still haven't uploaded to Picasa, sigh.)
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Re: Butterfly Bush | Buddleia

Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 3/20/2011, 9:00 pm

It says 8-12 feet high. I would imagine if it's supposedly "rangier" than others, it will also need about 8 foot spacing. Those things can really dominate a landscape. That's great if properly spaced....not so much if crammed in.

And, I also assume you know to cut that thing back as far as you can in late winter to keep the woodiness minimized and enhancing the numbers of blooms?

Other than that, there isn't much else I can provide. I have only seen BB in clients' yards. I don't have a lot of experience taking care of them.
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Re: Butterfly Bush | Buddleia

Post  Megan on 3/20/2011, 9:18 pm

I am hoping for "up", not "out", if possible... any ideas there? 3 to 4 foot diameter wouldn't kill me. Is the habit kind of like a lilac? It would be going in on a fenceline, but there will be nothing else tall anywhere near. I'll post a photo when I can. It would be nice to have something in that corner, but if too big, I'll have to re-think. Thank you for your thoughts.
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Re: Butterfly Bush | Buddleia

Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 3/20/2011, 9:24 pm

It should grow well in a corner, provided you come out far enough away from the actual fence. BB naturally sprawls from what I've seen. And, the only part that worries me is when your link mentioned the part about "rangier." I went, "Oh boy. That thing might really sprawl out."

Lilac does tend to grow more up, but that hasn't been my experience with BB. I will do some searching for you because it definitely makes me want to be sure I'm not just spewing trash here. I haven't read up on BB in quite awhile and my books are still buried from last fall's move.

I'll get back to you, though. Do you have a timeline you are shooting for? (Hopefully, not tomorrow morning at 6am.)
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Re: Butterfly Bush | Buddleia

Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 3/20/2011, 9:31 pm

Here's a quick google pull-up for you, Megan.

Here is the quote that 2nd's my concern..."Plant size is hard to pigeon-hole, since again, we are talking about a large number of cultivars. In general we would classify butterfly bush as a large shrub (10-12’ tall, similar spread)."

And, here is the link from which I found it... http://www.aragriculture.org/horticulture/ornamentals/plant_database/shrubs/butterfly_bush.htm

The pics at the bottom show the symmetry of the bush. If you want something 10 feet high, I would plan on a 10 foot spread, too. You could really play with the pruning of the thing once it gets established, though. You may be able to control it's shape. It's a durable beast. I wonder about the relative weight of the blooms and the lack of woody strength of a stem. It may bend over negating any pruning you do to control the spread. But, I have no clue on that.

Either way, I would sure try and find a way to get that guy into the landscape. They are incredible plants and attractors. And, absolute can't miss with the level of maintanence other than the late winter cutback....and any pending pruning you may decide to do.

They are also outstanding cut flowers in arrangements. And, if you get the right one, so SO fragrant. I wouldn't give up on it if I were you. (I am looking to incorporate one in this house....and will. That I can guarantee.)
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Re: Butterfly Bush | Buddleia

Post  Megan on 3/20/2011, 9:42 pm

Sigh... similar spread is probably a joy-killer for me. You'll understand once I get those pictures posted. (I emailed them from my phone to Picasa HOURS ago and they have yet to show up.) I'd really wanted to try to get a butterfly bush in, though, but sounds like I will need to go with something smaller. Thanks so much for the thoughts.
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Re: Butterfly Bush | Buddleia

Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 3/21/2011, 12:14 am

Any time.
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Re: Butterfly Bush | Buddleia

Post  Glendale-gardener on 3/21/2011, 12:43 am

I had two of those at the last house I lived in! They were beautiful and grew well. I didn't plant them, they were already there when I moved in, but they were well established, about 7 or 8 feet high and they were pretty bushy but I guess the plant bases were only about 3 or 4 feet apart. We ended up taking them out for the main reason that you want them. They were right between our back door and the door to our screened porch and there were so many bees it was ridiculous! We were afraid our kids would be getting constantly stung. After the second sting, we yanked them!
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Re: Butterfly Bush | Buddleia

Post  Furbalsmom on 3/21/2011, 4:19 am

Megan, if you are looking for a beautiful pollinator bush that you almost can't kill, this is the one for you!.

I love butterfly bushes, especially the Black Knight. Those deep dark purple blossoms remind me of lilacs with their shape and they have a really sweet fragrance. It blooms most of the summer. It does bloom on new growth, so yoiu really need to cut it back every year. If you are willing to prune it each year, it would be a wonderful addition to your yard.


Black Knight
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butterfly bush

Post  lpolek on 4/1/2011, 10:09 pm

I have one that has survived for many years with little care and lots of abuse. I just hack off parts that hang over too much, cut it back in late winter, but often forget, and it is always beautiful and healthy. My son took a piece of my bush and planted it next to a shed. He pruned it so that it grows up tall and tight against the shed. So, from my experience, you can make this bush do whatever you need.

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Re: Butterfly Bush | Buddleia

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