Butterfly Bush, Butterfly Hybrid Mix
A hardy butterfly bush that blooms the first year from seed.
Borders, Cut Flowers
Butterfly bush may be grown from seed sown early indoors and transplanted outside after frost.
Sowing Seed Indoors:
- Sow butterfly bush seeds indoors 8-10 weeks before the last spring frost date using a seed starting kit
- Sow seeds shallowly in seed-starting formula, or just barely press in.
- Keep the soil moist at 70-75 degrees F
- Seedlings emerge in 7-21 days
- As soon as seedlings emerge, provide plenty of light on a sunny windowsill or grow seedlings 3-4 inches beneath fluorescent plant lights turned on 16 hours per day, off for 8 hours at night. Raise the lights as the plants grow taller. Incandescent bulbs will not work for this process because they will get too hot. Most plants require a dark period to grow, do not leave lights on for 24 hours.
- Seedlings do not need much fertilizer, feed when they are 3-4 weeks old using a starter solution (half strength of a complete indoor houseplant food) according to manufacturer’s directions.
- If you are growing in small cells, you may need to transplant the seedlings to 3 or 4 inch pots when seedlings have at least 2 pairs of true leaves before transplanting to the garden so they have enough room to develop strong roots
- Before planting in the garden, seedling plants need to be “hardened off”. Accustom young plants to outdoor conditions by moving them to a sheltered place outside for a week. Be sure to protect them from wind and hot sun at first. If frost threatens at night, cover or bring containers indoors, then take them out again in the morning. This hardening off process toughens the plant’s cell structure and reduces transplant shock and scalding.
Planting in the Garden:
- Select a location in full sun with good rich moist organic soil.
- Prepare the bed by turning the soil under to a depth of 6-12, inches removing any debris, and lightly raking as level as possible.
- The addition of organic matter (leaf mold, compost, well-rotted manure) benefits all gardens and is essential in recently constructed neighborhoods.
- Plant on a cloudy day or in late afternoon to reduce transplant shock.
- Dig a hole for each plant large enough to amply accommodate the root ball.
- Unpot the plant and gently loosen the root ball with your hands to encourage good root growth.
- Place the top of the root ball even with the level of the surrounding soil. Fill with soil to the top of the root ball. Press soil down firmly with your hand.
- Use the plant tag as a location marker.
- Thoroughly water and apply a light mulch layer on top of the soil (1-2 inches) to conserve water and reduce weeds.
- Keep weeds under control during the growing season. Weeds compete with plants for water, space and nutrients, so control them by either cultivating often or use a mulch to prevent their germination.
- Mulches also help retain soil moisture and maintain even soil temperatures. For perennials, an organic mulch of aged bark or shredded leaves lends a natural look to the bed and will improve the soil as it breaks down in time. Always keep mulches off a plant’s stems to prevent possible rot.
- Careful watering is essential in getting perennials off to a good start. Water thoroughly at least once a week to help new roots grow down deeply. Soil should be damp at about 1 inch below the soil surface. You can check this by sticking your finger in the soil. Water early in the morning to give all leaves enough time to dry. One inch of rain or watering per week is recommended for most perennial plants. You can check to see if you need to add water by using a rain gauge.
- Until plants become established, some protection from extreme winds and direct, hot sunlight may be necessary. Good air movement is also important.
- After new growth appears, a light fertilizer may be applied. Keep granular fertilizers away from the plant crown and foliage to avoid burn injury. Use low rates of a slow release fertilizer such as Garden-tone, as higher rates may encourage root rots.
- “Deadhead”, remove spent flower heads to encourage continuous flowering and prevent seed development.
- In colder regions, apply another layer of mulch (1-2 inches) after the ground freezes in fall. Evergreen boughs (from Christmas trees) provide additional protection. Remove this mulch in the spring.
- Prune to rejuvenate in spring. Cut plants to the base and they will grow back during the season.
- Butterfly bush combines perfectly with ornamental grasses and flowers that have the same bloom period. Plant throughout your garden and attract butterflies all summer long.
Zone5-9SunFull SunHeight6-8 feetSpread6-8 feetBloom SeasonFallResistant ToDeerOrnamental UseBorders, Cut FlowersPlanting TimeSpringGenusBuddleiaLife CyclePerennial
Butterfly Bush, Butterfly Hybrid Mix is rated out of 5 by 8.Rated 5 out of 5 by gspen from Beautiful!! Will be planting several more I need to plant more of these! I started this from seed last year and it was fairly large by Fall with a few flowers. I transplanted it to better soil in full sun and it came back beautifully this year. It has been blossoming heavily since June. It is taller than my 6-foot fence. The hummingbirds, bumble bees & butterflies love it.Date published: 2015-09-07Rated 1 out of 5 by cathyl from Butterfly bush seeds first packet did not even emerge. burpee sentt me anothe packet. nothing , not even one seed took. they finally gave me a refund. i would not recommend this at allDate published: 2012-05-14Rated 1 out of 5 by Anonymous from Disappointed The Butterfly Bush seeds failed to germinate. I have a warm place to germinate the seeds ans use a heat pad and yet the seeds did not germinate. I guess this short/savings to Butterfly bushes was not to be.Date published: 2012-05-09Rated 5 out of 5 by Anonymous from smallest seeds I have ever seen Just planted these specks. Seriously the smallest seeds I have ever seen. I'll keep you posted on how they come up! Super impressed with burpee so far though!Date published: 2012-02-01Rated 5 out of 5 by Seabee from Hoping for multiple colors Most seeds sprouted. Seeds very small, like specks, difficult to sow. I planted sowed nine containers, removing most to get nine healthy plants. Waiting for the flowers.Date published: 2011-10-25Rated 1 out of 5 by Anonymous from No results at all I bought the growing system along with the seeds- I did EVERYTHING right- Every other seed I planted came up, but NO RESULTS AT ALL from these! Caution- these seeds are NO BIGGER THEN PEPPER! Now I have had butterfly bushes before they are hardy and wonderful had attract TONS OF BUTTERFLY! But I would STRONGLY SUGUST BUYING THE PLANT NOT THE SEEDS! Hope this helps the would be grower!Date published: 2011-05-27Rated 4 out of 5 by Mxstressica from Tons of Butterflies! I grew mine in a large container and had a great display of white blooms. It attracted tons of swallow-tail butterflies all season long. The flower spikes were a little shorter than other varieties I have grown, but lovely just the same. I think the shorter flower spikes may have been due to the partial shade the plant was situated in. Keep it watered in the Summer - they wilt if you don't, but recover pretty quickly once they have had a thorough soak. For some reason mine didn't come back the next year, but it was a pretty ugly winter for a young plant - I would have given it a higher rating otherwise.Date published: 2008-04-07Rated 4 out of 5 by Leigha from Butterfly Bush Seeds Planted the seeds in winter. Had very good luck with how many plants came up. Transplanted the plants in Spring and they have done very well. Had blooms on most of them this summer. Colors vary some but for most part, they are all a shade of purple. Didn't get any white or pink ones at all.Date published: 2006-08-25