top of page
Butterfly Bush

Butterfly Bush

Buddleja davidii

Family: Scrophulariaceae

Native to China

2-3 ft height at sale, bare root


Sourced from NY


Bloom early summer. Can become invasive. 

  • General Information

    Recommended Spacing (ft)

    5 - 10

    Mature Width (ft)

    3 - 8

    Mature Height (ft)

    3 - 12

    Annual Growth Rate (in)

    > 24

    Sun Preference

    Full Sun

    Soil Type


    Soil Moisture


  • Description

    In warmer climates, butterfly bush (Buddleia davidii) is a deciduous shrub with an arching habit and impressive flowers. In colder regions, it grows more like a perennial, dying back to the root crown each winter and reappearing in spring. With rather coarse leaves and striking flower spikes that attract pollinators, butterfly bush now comes in a wide range of colors, thanks to the magic of cultivar developers, Varieties are available to suit many different gardening preferences— some can grow up to 12 feet tall, while others are relatively small. Some varieties produce large clusters of flowers while others produce flowering spikes. Long, narrow sage green leaves grow along slim, arching stems. The bushes require little attention, so even weekend gardeners can enjoy their lovely blooms and resident butterflies. But some wariness is warranted, as this plant self-seeds so readily that it is considered a noxious weed in some regions.


    Butterfly bush is usually planted from potted nursery starts or planted from seeds in the spring. It is a very fast-growing plant that usually reaches its full mature size within a single growing season.


    The popularity of butterfly bushes is no surprise as they're beautiful, easy to grow, and require minimal day-to-day care. Even major storms have little effect on these hardy shrubs. They thrive in harsh environments, such as polluted urban settings. They're also resistant to insect pests, drought, and stress.


    In colder climates, butterfly bush often dies back to the ground in winter and is treated like a herbaceous perennial. In warm climates, they can be pruned back to keep them under control and stimulate better blooming. Be wary of this plant's tendency to aggressively spread through self-seeding. Removing the spent flower clusters before they can scatter seeds will help control the plant.



    In certain areas of the U.S., butterfly bush is categorized as an invasive plant—defined as a non-native species that is pervasive enough to push out native plants. As a result, many plant experts caution against planting butterfly bush under any circumstance. If you are unsure about this plant's status in your area, check with your local agricultural extension office before adding it to your landscape. And if you do choose to grow butterfly bush, give preference to varieties that are bred to be sterile or seedless.


    [description from]

bottom of page