What’s not to love? Buddleia is a prolific-blooming perennial shrub prized for its ability to attract butterflies with its sweet nectar. Though it is showy, and seems an ideal choice for butterfly-lovers, there are some unsavory aspects of Butterfly Bush that are worth considering.
For one, most varities of this plant (native to Asia) are very invasive, spreading easily through the yard by seed. If you’re concerned about it popping up all over, remove the blooms right as they are going to seed to prevent them from spreading. Also, check into sterile varieties (some are listed below).
Secondly, though they provide a nectar source for adult pollinators, they do not provide a food source for larvae. So while you may be attracting butterflies to the garden, it will not help support future generations. Therefore, if you simply must have butterfly bush in your yard, it’s best to plant native plants in the vicinity that will indeed help fuel future generations like common milkweed, butterfly weed, joe pie weed, or golden rod. Better yet, let the edges of your property go wild to encourage the native plants that are meant to be there, or if space permits, create a natural meadow for all pollinators to enjoy!
If you love butterfly bush, consider these sterile, low-seed producing varieties:
Buddleia Lo & Behold® ‘Blue Chip’ Buddleia ‘Asian Moon’ Buddleia Lo & Behold®‘Purple Haze’ Buddleia Lo & Behold® ‘Ice Chip’ (formerly ‘White Icing’) Buddleia Lo & Behold® ‘Lilac Chip’ Buddleia ‘Miss Molly’ Buddleia ‘Miss Ruby’ Buddleia Flutterby Grande™ Blueberry Cobbler Nectar Bush Buddleia Flutterby Grande™Peach Cobbler Nectar Bush Buddleia Flutterby Grande™ Sweet Marmalade Nectar Bush Buddleia Flutterby Grande™ Tangerine Dream Nectar Bush Buddleia Flutterby Grande™ Vanilla Nectar Bush Buddleia Flutterby Petite™ Snow White Nectar Bush Buddleia Flutterby™ Pink Nectar Bush