Author photo

By Jon Hammond
contributing writer 

Beautiful flowers that attract beautiful insects

Tehachapi Gardener's Choice

 

October 14, 2023

Jon Hammond.

The Butterfly Bush is a great shrub for the Tehachapi area, and true to their name, they really do attract butterflies, as well as moths and other nectar feeders. They bloom from midsummer to fall and have a wide variety of blossom colors, including purple, blue, white, pink, red, violet and yellow. Butterfly Bush blossoms are fragrant and they work well as cut flowers, lasting inside for several days before they start to wilt. Some people mistake Butterfly Bush for lilacs because there is a superficial resemblance to the blossoms, and both are sweet-smelling and beautiful.

One drawback to Butterfly Bush in the past has been their size – they can get quite large and sprawling is they are not kept pruned. However, there have recently been dwarf varieties developed that will stay as small as two to four feet in height, depending upon the variety. These little Butterfly Bush plants work well as container flowers on a patio or in a garden area with limited space.

The Mourning Cloak Ranch Botanical Garden on Old Town Road used to grow and sell lots of Butterfly Bush because owner Ed Sampson was an entomologist and butterfly expert who knew how well Butterfly Bush would attract the winged beauties. Some of the Butterfly Bush shrubs growing in Tehachapi today originated at the Mourning Cloak Ranch.

Jon Hammond.

Check out Tehachapi's independent nurseries, Mountain Gardens Nursery & Pet, and JDB Nursery in Cummings Valley, for their selection of Butterfly Bush. Plant these attractive, likeable plants and watch butterflies and moths visit your garden.

Butterfly Bush

Genus: Buddleia davidii.

Perennial Shrub

Starting: Transplanted from a container.

Size: 2 – 10 feet, depending on variety.

Exposure: Full to partial sun.

Watering: Deep watering once a week in summer.

 
 

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