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Buddleja davidii
  • RHS Plants for pollinators

butterfly bush

A large, fast-growing, deciduous shrub, to 3m tall, with long, arching shoots and lance-shaped, pointed, green or grey-green leaves up to 25cm long. From summer to autumn it bears dense sprays, 30cm or more long, of small, fragrant flowers in various shades of purple

Other common names
orange eye
summer lilac
Synonyms
Buddleja variabilis

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Size
Ultimate height
2.5–4 metres
Time to ultimate height
5–10 years
Ultimate spread
4–8 metres
Growing conditions
Chalk
Loam
Sand
Moisture
Well–drained
pH
Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring Green Grey Silver
Summer Purple Green Grey Silver
Autumn Purple Green Grey Silver
Winter
Position
  • Full sun
  • Partial shade
Aspect

South–facing or West–facing or East–facing

Exposure
Exposed or Sheltered
Drought resistance
Yes
Hardiness
H6
Botanical details
Family
Scrophulariaceae
Native to the UK
No
Foliage
Deciduous
Habit
Bushy
Genus

Buddleja can be evergreen or deciduous shrubs, occasionally trees or scrambling climbers with simple leaves and panicles of small, tubular fragrant flowers

Name status

Correct

Plant range
China & Japan

How to grow

Cultivation

Grow in well-drained soil in full sun or partial shade. See buddleja cultivation for more detailed advice

Propagation

Propagate semi-ripe cuttings in summer or hardwood cuttings in autumn

Suggested planting locations and garden types
  • City and courtyard gardens
  • Coastal
  • Cottage and informal garden
  • Gravel garden
  • Wildlife gardens
  • Flower borders and beds
Pruning

Pruning group 6

Pests

May be susceptible to aphids, capsid bugs, caterpillars, earwigs, figwort weevils, glasshouse red spider mite, leaf and bud eelworm, and mullein moth

Diseases

May be susceptible to honey fungus, fungal leaf spot, and virus diseases

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