A butterfly bush is an attractive and useful plant for any garden. The flowers are abundant in nectar and just suited for butterflies. But butterfly bushes attract not only butterflies, but other beneficial insects such as lady bugs and hoverflies. Butterfly bushes generally produce large handfuls of tiny flowers in shades of purple, pink, red, white, yellow, and the disputable ‘blue’.
There are many different cultivars, suited to many different environments in the United States. Chances are, you’ll probably be able to find one that would work on your property.
The flowers are aromatic, and they work well as a cut flower as well, bringing some of their beauty indoors.
They can grow 5-10 feet tall, and about the same width, so plan accordingly. Pruning butterfly bushes, which you can do at any time during the year (except I wouldn’t recommend doing it during the hottest days of summer), is simple and can keep the bush smaller and more manageable. When pruning, cut out all diseased and dead wood, cut limbs that cross, and then ‘tone down’ the bush to your desired height and width. It’s not like pruning a fruit-bearing tree, which takes a little more care and knowledge. With the butterfly bush, it’s all about how you want it to look.
The purple flowers alone can come in a range of hues, and would work well as an always-dependable base for your garden.
Butterfly bushes with purple flowers are gorgeous. How about plants with purple leaves! Be sure to check out our article on purple sage, grown for its delightful purple leaves, its warm, summery smell, and its culinary uses.