Butterfly Bush (Buddleia davidii)

Butterfly Bush Plant Features

As fragrant as it is beautiful, buddleia, commonly called butterfly bush, is must-have plant for your garden. Available in standard varieties that grow 6 feet tall and dwarfs that top out at 18 inches, you'll find a butterfly bush that's perfect for any sunny spot in your landscape. The long flower spikes of colorful, nectar-rich blooms appear all summer long and will attract hordes of butterflies and other pollinators. Butterfly bush is also drought tolerant and relatively disease free.

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Butterfly Bush Growing Instructions

Plant butterfly bush in a sunny spot where it will receive at least 6 hours of direct sun a day. The plants aren't fussy about soil type, but do best in a rich, well-drained location. Fertilize in the spring with an application of granular, slow-release fertilizer. Use standard varieties of butterfly bush in the back of the border where their height will show to best effect and plant dwarf varieties along a garden path or in containers. Although butterfly bush is attractive to adult butterflies, it has no food value for native caterpillars so be sure to include other species to support them.

In the northern part of its range butterfly bush will often die back to the ground. Be patient in the spring because these plants are slow to break dormancy. After a severe winter you may need to replant. Also, in some locations, butterfly bush can become invasive so look for newer sterile seedless varieties. 

Butterflies love to feast on butterfly bush flowers, but don't try it yourself. It's not an edible plant.
  • Water

    Medium water needs

  • Light

    Outside: Sun

  • Colors






  • Special Features

    Attracts butterflies

    Attracts hummingbirds

    Super-easy to grow

Complement your Butterfly Bush

Butterfly Weed
Create a butterfly banquet by planting butterfly weed near butterfly bush.

The complementary height and bloom color of coneflowers makes them the perfect mate for butterfly bush.

Rose, Knock Out
Roses and butterfly bushes are a marriage made in Heaven. They both bloom almost nonstop all summer long. Plant them together for a great show.

Our favorite varieties

Flutterby Petite Blue Heaven Butterfly Bush

Flutterby Petite Blue Heaven Butterfly Bush

Buddleia 'Flutterby Petite Blue Heaven'

The gray foliage and blue-purple flowers of ‘Flutterby Petite Blue Heaven’ butterfly bush are a stunning combination. Plus, this butterfly favorite grows only 30 inches tall, making it ideal for containers. Zones 5-9

Nanho Blue Butterfly Bush

Nanho Blue Butterfly Bush

Buddleia 'Nanho Blue'

‘Nanho Blue’ butterfly bush produces trusses of fragrant, nectar-rich blue-purple flowers all summer long. It’s a super productive variety that can grow 5 feet tall. Zones 5-9

Nanho Purple Butterfly Bush

Nanho Purple Butterfly Bush

Buddleia davidii 'Nanho Purple'

Nanho Purple is a dwarf variety that offers fragrant lavender-purple flowers all summer. It grows 5 feet tall and 4 feet wide. Zones 5-9

Pink Delight Butterfly Bush

Pink Delight Butterfly Bush

Buddleia davidii 'Pink Delight'

Pink delight is a delightful variety that shows off clusters of fragrant pink flowers all summer and into autumn. The blooms contrast nicely with the gray-green foliage. It grows 8 feet tall and wide. Zones 5-9

Miss Molly Butterfly Bush

Miss Molly Butterfly Bush

Buddleia 'Miss Molly'

Miss Molly shows off wonderfully intense purple-red flowers all summer long. It grows a little smaller than many old-fashioned varieties, making it a good pick for smaller yards. Miss Molly butterfly bush grows 5 feet tall and wide.

Black Knight Butterfly Bush

Black Knight Butterfly Bush

Buddleia davidii 'Black Knight'

A classic variety, Black Knight butterfly bush is known for its dark purple flowers that appear throughout the summer. It grows up to 8 feet tall and wide. Zones 5-9

Cranrazz Butterfly Bush

Cranrazz Butterfly Bush

Buddleia Cranrazz

A newer variety, Cranrazz butterfly bush offers deep, magenta-purple fragrant flowers in large clusters all summer and autumn. It grows 6 feet tall and wide. Zones 5-9