Buddleja

Butterfly Bush

Around midsummer, when the pendulous racemes of flowers weigh down its boughs, it’s hard to decide which is more satisfying: Buddleia’s abundant, often fragrant blossoms, or the myriad butterflies they attract.

<i>Buddleja crispa</i>

One of the softest looking plants in our garden, this exceptional Himalayan native invites a touch every time we stroll by. Displaying white wooly undersides and toothed, wavy-edged margins, the 6 in. long, broadly shaped gray-green leaves are oh so fuzzy! In summer, stout felted branches host densely set lilac panicles of fragrant, orange-throated flowers. With its downy silver visage, Buddleja crispa makes a luminous partner for Phlox ‘David’ in the mixed border.

Blooms July–October.

Size: 4' 0" – 5' 0" high x 4' 0" – 5' 0" wide.

Hardy to zone 6.

<i>Buddleja davidii</i> ‘Summer Beauty’

‘Summer Beauty’ is our favorite pink blooming Butterfly Bush. Headlining large, conical and richly rosy, fragrant trusses that make gorgeous cut flowers, and a tidy, fast growing, yet compact stature of gently curving branches, this Buddleia makes an excellent small specimen.

The handsome pewter-tinged leaves can be blended with the like-hued foliage of Salvia clevelandii. ‘Aromas’ and Lavenders for a restful, silvery garden vista. Include Euphorbia ‘Dean’s Hybrid’s acid-yellow blooms for a more exuberant summer display.

Blooms June–early October.

Size: 6' 0" – 7' 0" high x 4' 0" – 5' 0" wide.

Hardy to zone 5.

<i>Buddleja davidii</i> ‘White Profusion’

A classy mainstay for the border that entices hummingbirds, butterflies and beneficial insects as well as two-legged garden visitors, ‘White Profusion’ lives up to its name. This fast growing ultrahardy shrub spotlights silver-backed green leaves beneath a sparkling blanket of huge, arching snowy white clusters crowded with fragrant yellow-eyed flowers. Deadheading will keep the brilliant blooms coming all summer long, while a hard spring pruning will help maintain a smaller, more manageable size.

Blooms June – August.

Size: 8' 0" high x 5' 10" – 7' 0" wide.

Hardy to zone 5.

Copious, deeply blue trusses and a shorter compact carriage earned this stellar new Butterfly Bush a tie for first place at Longwood Garden’s Buddleja trials. Originally springing up as a chance ‘Lochinch’ seedling in Ellen Hornig’s New York garden and later introduced by Heronswood Nursery, ‘Ellen’s Blue’s gray-green foliage and light stems shape a relatively small, versatile shrub that is easier to slip into your garden than her more hefty cousins. Good-sized and opulent with a sweet fruity aroma, the floriferous performance lulls zesty summertime shades like the orange torches of Kniphofia ‘Gladness’.

Blooms June-early October.

Size: 4' 0" – 5' 0" high x 4' 0" – 5' 0" wide.

Hardy to zone 5.

This uncommon South African Buddleja soothes the garden with a composed evergreen appearance. Offsetting the darker green-gray leaf tops, a downy white felt envelops the new growth, foliar undersides and arching stems. Tiny teeth and a bumpy texture define the long narrow, leatherlike foliage that’s reminiscent of willow leaves, while lavender flowers borne in short racemes embellish them.

Stage amid Molinia ‘Bergfreund’ and Sedum ‘Indian Chief’ for contrasting forms and color.

Blooms July–August.

Size: 6' 0" high x 6' 0" wide.

Hardy to zone 8.

<i>Buddleja</i> x ‘Lochinch’

A descendant of two Chinense species, Buddleja davidii and Buddleja fallowiana, this unrivaled old favorite inherited its parents’ most stellar qualities–large fragrant blooms, white felted stems and a graceful yet robust stature. Deep orange eyes sizzle amid 8 in. long branched panicles of tightset violet-blue flowers. Blanketed in white wool, the stems and new leaves make a cozy counterpoint to the smooth green topsides of older deciduous foliage, which retains frosted fuzzy undersides.

Maturing into an imposing bushy shrub, ‘Lochinch’ can be surrounded by ribbons of ornamental grasses for contrasting shapes and colors, or be under-planted with Stachys ‘Silver Carpet’ for a soft textural echo.

Blooms July–October.

Size: 8' 0" – 9' 0" high x 6' 0" – 7' 0" wide.

Zone 7/8.

Originating at England’s Hever Castle, this fine textured Buddleja is graceful and early to bloom. The gray-green deciduous foliage is small and fuzzy, oblong-shaped and silver on the flip side, inheriting the good looks of its Buddleja alternifolia parent. Laden with dense fragrant sprays that showcase orange-throated mauve flowers, the fast growing arched stems die back in colder climates and can be maintained by a hard pruning just after the first frost in warmer areas.

Blooms July–August.

Size: 7' 10" high x 6' 0" wide.

Zone 6/7.

Hats off to esteemed horticulturist Michael Dirr for this unprecedented breakthrough hybrid with 8 to 10 in. long trusses simultaneously featuring two completely different hues. ‘Bicolor’s happy-looking colorful fusion, includes lavender buds and peachy pink blooms, which attain a canary yellow cast as they mature. Amid a compact, easily managed profile clothed in soft gray-green leaves, the fragrant spectacle arrives during the dog days of summer, luring butterflies and appearing particularly upbeat when matched with Panicum ‘Cloud Nine’ and Lavandula ‘Violet Intrigue’.

Blooms July – early October.

Size: 6' 0" – 8' 0" high x 6' 0" – 8' 0" wide.

Hardy to zone 5.

Unique for its breathtaking sweetly scented spectacle of glorious clear yellow blossoms warmed by orange eyes, this recent Mike Dirr cross between davidii and globosa is deemed the best of the yellow blooming Buddlejas. A handsome, somewhat compact silver-laced foundation unleashes globe-shaped, 4 to 6 in. long terminal panicles, welcoming gardeners, florists and butterflies, while adding ebullient long lasting summer accents to mixed border companions such as Persicaria ‘Blackfield’ and Salvia ‘Tula’.

Blooms mid-June–October.

Size: 5' 0" – 7' 0" high x 4' 0" – 5' 0" wide.

Hardy to zone 5.

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Saturday Strolls & Plant Chats 2018!


Current Staff's Favorite Plant

Current Staff's Favorite Plant

Our featured plant: Achillea 'Hella Glashoff'

Amazing Achilleas, Invigorate your summer plantings!

Amazing Achilleas…. These sturdy, dependable perennials produce small indivdual blooms that populate broad, flat flower heads, lending welcome horizontal elements to any garden bed. Ideal for bouquets, fresh or dried, the long-lasting blossoms range in color from alabaster to soft yellow and gold, as well as terracotta, pink and sassy red. Cut back their flowers in midsummer and enjoy a fall encore! Spicy scented, attractive fern-like green or gray-tinged foliage cloaks their strong straight stems. Slowly spreading and somewhat drought tolerant, Yarrow seem to thrive on neglect. They can handle low soil fertility plus coastal wind and salt spray. Be sure to check out our diverse on-line Achillea selections!

Invigorate your summer plantings.… A few simple maintenance techniques will help plants appear fresh throughout the upcoming dog days of summer. The addition of a chipped bark mulch or well-rotted compost, applied as a top-dressing, not only reduces water requirements, but generally makes it easier for plants to maintain perky looking leaves and vigorous habits. A July or early August trimming of long-blooming perennials, such as Nepetas and most Geraniums ensures myriad flowers that will keep on coming ‘til the first frost. Featured in this newsletter, you’ll find the fabulous plants that caught my eye as Boobah and I took our morning walk through the nursery and adjacent display borders this past week. Hopefully, you’ll have room to ensconce several of them in a well-traveled spot. Happy Digging!

Digging Dog's August 2018 Newsletter Link

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