Buy Butterfly Bush
Butterfly bush is an invasive plant, meaning it crowds out beneficial plants that have naturally grown in your community for centuries. This species originally from Asia readily takes over space where native North American plants would normally thrive. In fact, Buddleja davidii (the scientific name for butterfly bush) has certain traits that make it invasive in most environments.
buy butterfly bush
These insects also require proper host plants so they can reproduce. Their larval offspring have to feed on the leaves of native species like butterfly weed, other milkweeds, joe-pye weed, and oak trees.
Butterfly bush growth appears on new wood, so pruning can wait until the new wood is ready to grow in spring. Be patient with Buddleja since the shrub might not leaf out in the spring until after other perennials.
Please note that the butterfly bush, originally imported from China, has been classified as an invasive species in many U.S. states as its known to crowd out native plants that are essential to wildlife. In warm climates, it can become a noxious weed and spread aggressively, while in cooler climates, it mostly stays contained if gardeners deadhead the flowers.
If you would still like to put a butterfly bush in your garden, there are a few species of non-invasive butterfly bushes native to the southwestern US. Please check with your local cooperative extension for more information.
We are no longer recommending new plantings of the butterfly bush, given its categorization as an invasive in most of North America. Instead, we recommend using plants that better support the native landscape and food web, given our declining pollinator population. See alternative plants that attract butterflies.