How to Plant and Care for Butterfly Bushes

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Butterfly bushes, also known as Buddleia, are a popular choice for gardens because they attract butterflies and other pollinators. They are relatively easy to care for, but these tips will help them thrive.

dark pink blooming butterfly bush planted in the landscape

How to plant your Butterfly Candy butterfly bushes

Your new Butterfly Candy Buddleia grows compactly, reaching just 2-3 feet tall and wide when mature, so you can plan in the garden, a border, or in a container by following these steps:

  • Choose a spot in your garden (or for your new container garden) that gets full sun. Well-drained garden soil is ideal, but they can thrive in a variety of soil conditions.
  • Dig a hole twice as wide as the plant’s root ball and just as deep.
  • Gently place the plant in the hole and backfill with soil.
  • Water the plant well and apply a layer of mulch around the base to help retain moisture.
light pink butterfly bush blooming planted in a container

How to care for Butterfly Candy butterfly bushes

Once your Butterfly Candy babies are settled in their new home, maintenance is simple:

  • Butterfly bushes need regular watering during the first year after planting, but once established, they are water-wise.
  • Because they are compact buddleia varieties, Butterfly Candy Buddleia requires little pruning. You may decide in future years to prune before the spring bloom, which can encourage more flowers, and it is ok to trim in spring after the bloom to shape the plant.
  • Fertilize your butterfly bushes in the spring with a balanced fertilizer.
white blooming butterfly bush planted in the landscape

Pests and diseases

Butterfly bushes are relatively resistant to pests and diseases, but it is a good habit to routinely tour your landscape to inspect for pest damage. (It’s a great excuse for a walk in the garden!) If you do find evidence of visiting pests, ask your local garden center for treatment and prevention tips.

Harvesting butterfly bushes

Butterfly Candy Buddleia is a magnet for butterflies. The flowers are a source of nectar and pollen for pollinators, but you can also enjoy them in fresh or dried arrangements. To harvest the flowers, cut the stems just below the flower head. You can then arrange the flowers in a vase of water or dry them for later use.

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