In season: Butterfly Bush

There are few plants that attract butterflies like the Butterfly Bush

garden with levender plant in white pots and blue stool
(Image credit: TBC)

The Butterfly Bush with its long plumes of flowers and fabulous colours is a real treasure for the summer garden. It blooms up until early autumn keeping the garden looking vibrant for longer.

butteryfly bush with lavender plant in purple and pink colours

(Image credit: TBC)

The Butterfly Bush or Buddleia is an eye-catching deciduous shrub that flowers from July to October. The range of Butterfly Bushes is extensive, with fascinating colours in white, blue, pink or lilac. The size of the flowers range from 10 to 30cm, whilst the height varies from 0.50cm to over 4m.

One thing that all varieties have in common is that - as the name suggests - they all attract colourful butterflies, which are drawn by the flowers' honey fragrance. Butterfly Bushes can be planted either in the soil or in pots and containers.

butterfly bush in garden with purple flowers

(Image credit: TBC)

A couple of simple tips will keep the Butterfly Bush healthy and beautiful:
It's important that the plant is placed in the sunshine in partial shade - the Butterfly Bush likes the heat.
Place the plant in well-drained, moist soil and water it regularly.
Give the plants extra fertiliser in the spring to ensure that they keep flowering profusely for a long time and remain healthy.
If wilted flowers are removed, new flowers may form after 3-4 weeks, keeping the plant looking elegant for even longer.
Butterfly Bush is generally very hardy if it's pruned at the right time. If it's pruned too early in winter, the branches can freeze.

Pruning tips
It's very important to cut back the Butterfly Bush. It helps it to grow well, produce many flowers and remain young and healthy. If the plant cannot be pruned, it can deprive other plants of sunshine. The branches can be quite chunky, so use good pruning shears or a wooden saw.
The best period for pruning is the end of February or beginning of March. It's not a good idea to prune earlier than this because the branches can then freeze.
Tall varieties should be pruned back to knee height. The shorter varieties can be cut back even further. Don't be afraid to prune Butterfly Bush vigorously; the plant will produce new shoots and will then bloom profusely in the spring and summer.

Check out for more detail on planting. The website asks growers and horticultural specialists from the floriculture sector to select a garden plant every month with the aim of inspiring and enthusing.


Tamara was Ideal Home's Digital Editor before joining the Woman & Home team in 2022. She has spent the last 15 years working with the style teams at Country Homes & Interiors and Ideal Home, both now at Future PLC. It’s with these award wining interiors teams that she's honed her skills and passion for shopping, styling and writing. Tamara is always ahead of the curve when it comes to interiors trends – and is great at seeking out designer dupes on the high street.