Native to Asia, Africa and the Americas, the Buddleja or Summer Lilac plant belongs to the Buddlejaceae family. As the name Butterfly Bush suggests, these plants are very attractive to butterflies and are a must for every butterfly garden.
Caring for Buddleia is quite easy. With proper sunlight and well-drained soil, the plant will give beautiful blooms which will surely attract a lot of butterflies.
Although the tree loves full sun, it should be protected from direct sun. Plant it a sheltered area where it will receive about 6-7 hours of sunlight.
Flowering season starts mid-summer and continues till winter. The plant has beautiful, deep purple, honey-scented flowers which grow in the shape of spikes. Prune the spent flower cluster to prevent pods from maturing which lead to seeds and young weedy plants in the surrounding areas. Prune the plant in late winter.
Young plants need to be watered regularly. After that, water when the soil feels dry. Container grown Buddleia will need more frequent watering. Make sure to never over-water the plant as it is quite susceptible to waterlogging.
The most preferable soil is a well-drained, loose soil. Heavy and constantly moist soils can be detrimental to the growth of the plant. Add gravel or sand to clayey soils to make them more permeable. The soil can be enriched with organic matter. Add a good amount of compost while planting.
The average height of the plant ranges from 6ft to 12ft. They spread on the ground to about 4ft to 15ft.
The plant is not a big feeder but fertilizing might help with better blooms. Fertilizer with good phosphor content should be used. Make sure to water before fertilizing. Don't over fertilize especially with nitrogen as that will make the plant prone to pests and diseases.
The plant might get infested with leaf bugs, threadworms and aphids. Spray with a soft soap water solution or use neem oil.
It is one of the sought-after plants for butterfly gardening. It's sweet scent and vibrant colours will definitely make your garden more alluring than ever before.