Asian Butterfly Bush Buddleja asiatica

👤 Non-toxic to humans
🐾 Non-toxic to pets
🌸 Blooming
🍪 Not edible
‍🌱 Easy-care
Asian butterfly bush


The Buddleja asiatica, commonly known as the Asian butterfly bush, is a perennial plant that is well-known for its decorative qualities and ability to attract butterflies. The plant bears narrow, lance-shaped leaves that are arranged in opposite pairs along its stems. The foliage often exhibits a soft, grayish-green hue, which lends a somewhat downy appearance to the plant. Its leaves are known for their fine texture, with gently serrated edges adding subtle intricacy to the overall presentation. Come blooming season, the Asian butterfly bush produces clusters of tiny, fragrant flowers. These blossoms typically take on a white or pale pink coloration and are arranged in elongated, tapering clusters that resemble cones or spikes. The flowers are particularly known for their honey-like scent, which becomes more pronounced in the evening, making this plant a favorite not only for butterflies but also for other pollinators and human admirers alike. The overall impression of the Asian butterfly bush is one of delicate grace and wild beauty, apt for informal gardens or as part of a naturalized landscape setting. Its appeal is in its unstructured form, wispy foliage, and the ethereal quality of its floral display, which together create a sense of lightness and movement, as if the plant were poised for the dance of the butterflies it so frequently hosts.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      Dogtail, Asian Butterfly Bush, Butterfly Bush, Woolly Butterfly Bush.

    • Common names

      Buddleja acuminata, Buddleja arfakensis, Buddleja asiatica var. luxurians, Buddleja interrupta, Buddleja neemda, Buddleja paniculata, Buddleja parviflora, Vitex buddleja.

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      Dogtail is not widely recognized as a poisonous plant to humans. There isn't a substantial amount of documented cases or research that suggest typical contact or casual ingestion of Dogtail leads to poisoning in humans. As with any plant, individual allergies or extreme consumption could potentially cause problems, but this is not typical of Dogtail. Eating parts of the plant is not advised due to the general risk of gastrointestinal discomfort or more severe reactions in people with particular sensitivities.

    • To pets

      Dogtail is not commonly known to be toxic to pets. There is limited information on the plant causing significant health issues in animals. However, as with many plants not intended for consumption, eating significant amounts of Dogtail could potentially lead to gastrointestinal upset in pets, such as vomiting or diarrhea. Generally, it's best to prevent pets from ingesting plants not meant for them due to the potential for unforeseen allergic reactions or digestive issues.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      6-12 feet (1.8-3.7 meters)

    • Spread

      4-8 feet (1.2-2.4 meters)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area



  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Attracts Pollinators: Buddleja asiatica, commonly known as Dogtail, is highly attractive to butterflies and bees, helping to support pollinator populations.
    • Landscape Decoration: The Dogtail plant adds aesthetic value to gardens with its lush foliage and clusters of small, fragrant flowers.
    • Erosion Control: Its root system can help stabilize soil and control erosion in hilly or sloped areas.
    • Privacy Screen: With its dense growth habit, Dogtail can be used as a natural privacy screen or hedge in landscapes.
    • Fragrance: Dogtail blossoms emit a pleasing fragrance that can enhance the sensory appeal of a garden or outdoor space.
    • Habitat for Wildlife: It provides nesting sites and materials for various birds and insects, contributing to local biodiversity.
    • Drought Tolerance: Once established, Dogtail can be quite drought-resistant, making it suitable for xeriscaping and low-water landscapes.

  • medicalMedical Properties

    • Antiseptic: Extracts of Buddleja asiatica have been used for their potential antiseptic properties.
    • Anti-inflammatory: The plant may possess anti-inflammatory properties to alleviate various conditions.
    • Antipyretic: Traditionally, Buddleja asiatica may be used to reduce fever.
    • Analgesic: There is a potential use for pain relief within traditional medicine systems.
    • Antirheumatic: Some cultures have used it to treat rheumatic pain and conditions.
    • Wound healing: Topical application for wounds to promote healing has been reported.
    • Antioxidant: Contains compounds that might have antioxidant effects.
    • Antimalarial: There is some ethnobotanical evidence that it has been used to treat malaria.
    Reference: The information provided is derived from traditional and ethnobotanical uses of Buddleja asiatica. Due to the lack of extensive scientific research, these medical properties are not validated by modern clinical studies and should not be taken as a recommendation for treatment.

  • windAir-purifying Qualities

    This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.

  • leavesOther Uses

    • Ornamental purposes: Buddleja asiatica, known as Dogtail, is often used in gardens due to its attractive clusters of small white flowers and its ability to attract butterflies.
    • Hedge or boundary marker: In rural landscapes, Dogtail can be cultivated as a living fence to demarcate property lines.
    • Windbreaks: The plant's dense growth habit allows it to serve as a windbreak, providing protection for more delicate plants and reducing soil erosion.
    • Erosion control: The robust root system of Dogtail helps to stabilize slopes and riverbanks, mitigating the effects of erosion.
    • Source of nectar: Dogtail is a valuable nectar source for bees and other pollinators, which is vital for the pollination of nearby crops and native plant species.
    • Fibre production: In some regions, the bark of Dogtail is used to make a form of fibre for crafting or rudimentary textiles.
    • Livestock feed: The leaves of Dogtail, while not a primary feed, can be consumed by livestock, particularly goats, in times of scarcity.
    • Natural dye: Certain parts of the plant may be used in the production of natural dyes for coloring fabrics or crafts.
    • Soil improvement: Dogtail can be incorporated into compost or used as a green manure, contributing to soil fertility and structure when decomposed.
    • Perfumery: The fragrant flowers of Dogtail can be used in making perfumes or scented sachets for freshening up drawers and closets.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    The Butterfly Bush is not used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    The Butterfly Bush is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Renewal: Buddleja asiatica is known for its rapid growth and ability to rejuvenate after being cut back, symbolizing fresh starts and new beginnings.
    • Attracting blessings: The plant is famous for attracting butterflies, often being called the butterfly bush, representing the idea of drawing in positive energies and blessings.
    • Transformation: Just as it attracts butterflies that signify transformation, Buddleja asiatica symbolizes personal growth and transformation.
    • Adaptability: Due to its resilient nature and ability to thrive in various conditions, the plant symbolizes adaptability and perseverance.
    • Healing: In some cultures, Buddleja asiatica is used for its medicinal properties, thus representing healing and recovery.

Every 1-2 weeks
2500 - 10000 Lux
Every 2-3 years
As needed
  • water dropWater

    The Butterfly Bush (Buddleja asiatica) should be watered deeply to ensure the roots receive sufficient moisture but also allow the soil to dry out slightly between waterings to avoid over-saturation and root rot. On average, watering once a week should be sufficient, but this may vary depending on climate and soil conditions. During hot, dry periods, the frequency may increase to twice a week. For an established plant in the landscape, about 1 to 1.5 gallons of water per week should be adequate, adjusting for rainfall as necessary.

  • sunLight

    The Butterfly Bush prefers full sun to thrive and produce the most flowers, meaning it should receive at least six hours of direct sunlight each day. A spot in the garden that provides unfiltered sunlight throughout the day is ideal for this plant.

  • thermometerTemperature

    The Butterfly Bush is tolerant of a wide range of temperatures but performs best in conditions between 60°F and 90°F. It can survive minimum temperatures down to around 20°F, but growth may be affected if the temperature falls below this. The ideal temperature range allows the Butterfly Bush to grow and bloom optimally.

  • scissorsPruning

    Pruning the Butterfly Bush helps maintain its shape, encourage bushier growth, and improve flowering. Prune in late winter or early spring before new growth begins, removing any dead or damaged branches and reducing the size by about a third. Pruning can be done annually to keep the plant healthy and well-shaped.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    Butterfly Bush thrives in well-draining soil with a pH between 6 and 7. A soil mix containing loam, sand, and compost or well-rotted manure will provide the necessary nutrients and drainage. Ensure good fertility levels and adequate drainage for optimal growth.

  • plantRepotting

    Butterfly Bush typically requires repotting every two to three years, or when it becomes root-bound. It's important to repot in spring before the growing season starts to minimize stress on the plant.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Butterfly Bush fares well in average humidity conditions and does not require any special humidity considerations. Ensure that the plant is placed in an environment with normal ambient humidity suitable for most indoor plants.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Ensure bright, indirect light and well-draining soil.

    • Outdoor

      Full sun, protect from severe frost, well-draining soil.

    • Hardiness zone

      7-10 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    Buddleja asiatica, commonly known as Asian Butterfly Bush, begins its life as a seed that germinates in spring when the conditions of warm temperature and moisture are met. The seedling emerges and develops into a young plant with a rosette of leaves near the ground. As it matures, the Asian Butterfly Bush grows rapidly, forming a woody shrub with elongated branches and dense foliage. It reaches flowering maturity within a few years, typically producing small, fragrant flowers in loose clusters at the branch tips during late winter to early spring. After pollination, mainly by insects attracted to its scent, the plant produces small capsules containing numerous seeds. The life cycle is completed when these seeds are dispersed by wind or animals, finding suitable ground to germinate and begin the next generation.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time


    • The most popular method of propagating Buddleja asiatica, commonly known as Asian butterfly bush, is by softwood cuttings. This is best done in late spring to early summer when the plant's new growth is mature enough yet still tender. Cuttings should be about 4 to 6 inches (10 to 15 centimeters) long, and the lower leaves should be removed. The cut end can be dipped in rooting hormone before planting in a well-draining soil mix. It’s advisable to keep the cuttings moist and in indirect sunlight until roots have developed, which usually takes a few weeks. Once rooted, the cuttings can be transplanted into the garden or into individual pots.