Butterfly Bush Buddleja davidii

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


The plant commonly known as butterfly bush is known for its stunning and fragrant blooms. The flowers are typically arranged in cone-shaped clusters that can come in various hues, including purples, pinks, whites, and blues. Each cluster is made up of tiny, tubular flowers that are a magnet for butterflies and other pollinators, hence the name. The leaves of the butterfly bush are lance-shaped with a slightly serrated edge, showcasing a green to gray-green color and a leathery texture. The plant often has a graceful, arching habit with branches that bear leaves and flowers primarily towards the outer end, creating a somewhat fountain-like appearance. The butterfly bush is deciduous, which means it sheds its leaves annually, and its bark is brown to gray, which peels in thin strips on older stems.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      Summer Lilac, Butterfly Bush, Orange Eye

    • Common names

      Buddleia davidii, Buddleja variabilis, Buddleja shimidzuana, Buddleia shimidzuana, Buddleia variabilis

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      Butterfly bush (Buddleja davidii) is generally not considered poisonous to humans. However, ingesting any part of the plant may cause mild stomach upset in sensitive individuals. There is no significant toxicity associated with this plant, and severe poisoning is unlikely.

    • To pets

      Butterfly bush is not considered highly toxic to pets. However, ingestion can potentially cause gastrointestinal upset, such as vomiting or diarrhea, in some animals. If you suspect your pet has ingested a large quantity, it is advisable to consult a veterinarian.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      6-15 feet (1.8-4.5 meters)

    • Spread

      4-15 feet (1.2-4.5 meters)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area



  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Attracts Pollinators: Buddleja davidii, commonly known as butterfly bush, is highly attractive to butterflies, bees, and other beneficial insects, which can aid in the pollination of gardens and natural areas.
    • Landscape Beautification: With its vibrant and abundant flowers, butterfly bush can add aesthetic value to landscapes and gardens through its range of colors and attractive growth habit.
    • Ease of Care: Butterfly bush is known for being low maintenance, drought-tolerant, and adaptable to various soil conditions, making it a fuss-free option for gardeners.
    • Fast Growth: Butterfly bush can grow rapidly and reach full size quickly, making it suitable for new gardens or areas in need of fast coverage.
    • Privacy Screening: Due to its size and density of growth, butterfly bush can be used to create natural privacy screens in gardens or along property lines.
    • Habitat Creation: Butterfly bush provides shelter and nesting spots for various bird species, thereby enhancing local biodiversity.
    • Erosion Control: The plant's root system can help stabilize soil and control erosion on slopes or in areas prone to soil degradation.

  • medicalMedical Properties

    • Anti-inflammatory: Extracts of Buddleja davidii have been traditionally used to reduce inflammation.
    • Antibacterial: The plant contains compounds that are reported to have antibacterial properties.
    • Antioxidant: Buddleja davidii possesses antioxidant components that may help in protecting cells from oxidative damage.
    • Wound healing: There are claims of its use in traditional medicine for aiding in the healing of wounds.
    • Immunomodulatory effects: Some studies suggest that Buddleja davidii may have immune system regulating properties.
    • Hepatoprotective: There are references to the plant's use in traditional medicine for protecting the liver from damage.

  • windAir-purifying Qualities

    This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.

  • leavesOther Uses

    • Buddleja davidii, commonly known as Butterfly Bush, can be used in furniture making due to its durable wood.
    • The wood of Butterfly Bush can also be utilized in craftwork, especially in making small decorative items, due to its fine grain.
    • The plant's branches can be woven into baskets and other artisanal objects, showcasing its flexibility and strength.
    • In some cultures, the Butterfly Bush is considered a symbol of rebirth and is planted in commemorative spaces for its spiritual significance.
    • The Butterfly Bush is often used as an ornamental plant in gardens to create hedge rows because of its rapid growth and ability to form dense thickets.
    • Its nectar-rich flowers can be used to make a sweet, fragrant syrup that can be used in culinary creations or beverages.
    • The fibrous stems of Butterfly Bush can be processed into paper or natural textiles, offering an eco-friendly alternative to traditional materials.
    • The dense foliage can provide natural soundproofing when planted along highways or in urban areas with high levels of noise pollution.
    • During winter, the dried seed heads of Butterfly Bush can add interesting texture to floral arrangements and wreaths.
    • By cultivating Butterfly Bush near beehives, beekeepers can take advantage of its long blooming period to support honey production.

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

    • Transformation: Buddleja davidii, commonly known as the butterfly bush, is a symbol of change and transformation due to its ability to attract butterflies, which are often seen as embodying transformation through their lifecycle.
    • Renewal: As the butterfly bush blooms anew each year with vibrant flowers, it symbolizes the idea of renewal and new beginnings.
    • Attraction: With its sweet nectar and colorful flowers that lure butterflies, the butterfly bush can represent allure and magnetism.
    • Rejuvenation: The plant's rapid growth and its use in landscaping for revitalization signify rejuvenation and restoration.
    • Welcoming: As it provides an important food source and habitat for butterflies and other pollinators, the butterfly bush denotes hospitality and a welcoming environment.

Every 1-2 weeks
2500 - 10000 Lux
Every 3-5 years
Spring-Early Summer
  • water dropWater

    The Butterfly Bush, or Buddleja davidii, should be watered deeply once a week, ensuring that the soil is moist but not soggy. During the growing season in spring and summer, you may increase the frequency to twice a week depending on the climate and weather conditions. A general rule is to provide approximately 1 gallon of water per week for young plants and up to 2 gallons for established bushes, adjusting for rainfall. During hot, dry spells, additional watering may be necessary to keep the soil consistently moist. It's critical to avoid overwatering which can lead to root rot.

  • sunLight

    The Butterfly Bush thrives best in full sun conditions, meaning at least 6 to 8 hours of direct sunlight each day. It is ideal to plant Buddleja davidii in a location where it can receive unfiltered sunlight throughout the day. If grown in too much shade, the plant may not produce as many flowers and can become leggy.

  • thermometerTemperature

    The Butterfly Bush is tolerant of a range of temperature conditions and can survive minimum temperatures down to about 20 degrees Fahrenheit. Ideally, Buddleja davidii prefers to be grown in regions with summer temperatures ranging from 60 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit. It can handle variations in temperature quite well but may suffer in prolonged periods below the hardiness zone's recommended lowest temperature.

  • scissorsPruning

    Pruning the Butterfly Bush is essential to encourage new growth and plentiful blooms. It's best to prune Buddleja davidii in late winter or early spring before new growth begins, cutting back to about 1 to 2 feet above ground level. Pruning not only stimulates the growth of new flowering shoots but also helps to maintain the shape and size of the plant. Regular pruning can prevent the plant from becoming too large and unruly.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    Butterfly Bush (Buddleja davidii) thrives in well-draining soil that is rich in organic matter. A blend of two parts loam, one part peat or compost, and one part sand or perlite is ideal. The preferred soil pH is slightly acidic to neutral, ranging from 6.0 to 7.0.

  • plantRepotting

    Butterfly Bush typically does not require frequent repotting as it prefers to be slightly root-bound. It should be repotted every 2-3 years, or when the plant shows signs of being pot-bound, such as roots growing through the drainage holes.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Butterfly Bush is tolerant of a wide range of humidity levels and will do well in average outdoor humidity. It doesn't have specific humidity requirements, making it quite adaptable to different outdoor climates.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Ensure full sun, well-drained soil, minimal watering.

    • Outdoor

      Plant in full sun, well-drained soil, hardy and low maintenance.

    • Hardiness zone

      5-10 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    Buddleja davidii, commonly known as the butterfly bush, begins its life cycle as a seed, often germinating in the spring when conditions are moist and warm. Once germinated, the seedling grows rapidly, developing into a small shrub with lance-shaped leaves. The plant reaches maturity in a few months and blooms in the summer, producing cone-shaped clusters of purple to pink flowers that attract butterflies and other pollinators. After pollination, the flowers produce small capsule-like fruits that contain seeds. These seeds are dispersed by wind, water, or animals, allowing the plant to spread to new areas. During the winter, the butterfly bush may die back, especially in colder climates, but it will typically resprout from its roots in the following spring.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Spring-Early Summer

    • The most popular method of propagating Butterfly Bush (Buddleja davidii) is through semi-hardwood cuttings. This technique is usually performed in late summer, where a section of the stem that has matured partially but is not entirely hardened is selected. Typically, a cutting should be about 4 to 6 inches long and contain several sets of leaves. The bottom leaves are removed, and the cut end is often dipped in rooting hormone to encourage root growth. Afterward, the cutting is placed in a well-draining soil mix and kept moist until roots establish, which can take several weeks. For improved success rates, cuttings can be placed in a propagator or covered with a plastic bag to maintain high humidity.