Posted in Environment, Environmental issues, Gardens, Nature

Learning about trees and shrubs: The Butterfly Bush/Buddleia

Why is the buddleia also called the butterfly bush? Answer? Well, see the above photo of a buddleia in my garden – butterflies love it! I have four of these, two in my back garden, one in my side (the chickens’ territory) and the fourth in my driveway.

This summer, the same as every year, butterflies were drawn to every buddleia I have. If you want to attract these beautiful insects to your garden, this hardy shrub is a must-have.

Butterfly Bush

The type I have is the fragrant and popular buddleia davidii which can have white, mauve or purple flowers. It can grow to 8ft or more if not pruned and ‘bears tiny honey-scented flowers in cone-shaped spikes’ (Dr D G Hessayon, The Tree and Shrub Expert). It flowers between July to September so a very welcome flowering hotspot for butterflies during summer. According to Dr Hessayon, buddleias prefer sunny locations and well-drained soil. Not sure how well-drained my soil is but none of the four shrubs seem to mind and flower each year.

Other varieties include buddleia alternifolia and buddleia globosa.

The buddleia is actually originally from China (and named after an English botanist called Rev Adam Buddle). It’s often found in the wild in Britain, on derelict sites and along railway lines. It could be classed as ‘invasive’ which usually has negative connotations for nature but in this case it looks like the benefits outweigh the drawbacks to this useful and beautiful plant.

The butterflies certainly seem to appreciate it anyway.


Interested in environmental issues, wildlife, spirituality, gardening, self-sufficiency and mini-adventures. There are two blogs, one is and the other, more recent one, is - ☺️

24 thoughts on “Learning about trees and shrubs: The Butterfly Bush/Buddleia

  1. I love the buddleia and I used to have one in my garden at a house I used to live at some years ago.

    I have recently moved and in a house this time after being in a flat before. This is a very small garden and there’s a buddleia in it, that was cut back before I moved in.
    I have just cut it right back down again and as much as I like buddleia, this one has to go as it is just not right for this small garden. Well I say garden. Its a yard, as mainly slabbed with a border on three sides.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Congratulations on your house move. ☺ Buddleias are lovely but can grow quite large. They definitely need cutting back or they can try and take over the garden. A small yard might be better with bedding plants or containers with flowers rather than large shrubs.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. There’s other shrubs in there. But this one that has to go.
        Other shrubs need a prune and I will observe the coming year, to see what happens in it.
        If it goes as I think it will, no flowers, then I shall add daffodils, bluebells and snowdrops and maybe some heathers.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Butterfly bushes take me straight back to my grandma. She had the biggest butterfly bush and she was proud of it. I remember the moths that look like hummingbirds that would be all over it at night.

    Your post brings memories 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I have two of these bushes in the garden by my pool, so I love floating in the pool and watching the butterflies and bees that love these bushes. I saw a hummingbird moth in them this year, is was so neat.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re welcome Clare – they are one plant that benefits from deadheading and are so easy to take care of … a few snips and you’re done. You’ll be twice the butterfly magnet you were before.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. I hope there will be more next year. I didn’t see many until later this year. Today I saw one in my parents’ garden. I thought it was quite late as it’s October now and I don’t usually see any after September.

      Liked by 1 person

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