If you already have Butterfly Bush as a planting, and do not want to remove it, you should prevent the spread out of your garden by removing old flowerheads in the fall prior to seed dispersal. * In zones 5 and colder it is not recommended for fall planting OR pruning. And history is replete with plants touted as non-invasive that turned out to be just the opposite (case in point: multiflora rose). But educating the educators may now need to become my primary mission. You can also plant drifts of tall native perennials. Goldenrod is weed in most places. If you are trying to attract more butterflies to your garden, the first thing you need to understand is that more butterfly bushes do not mean more butterflies. I hate to throw away plants, so I have transplanted a few of these renegades, and they always survive with minimal attention. For wetter soils, try Buttonbush (Cephalanthis occidentalis)—a food source for moths—or New Jersey Tea (Ceanothus americanus). Even my favorite butterfly organization, the North American Butterfly Association (NABA) has contributed to this confusion, which makes me very sad. Pugster® buddleia plants grow best in full sun in USDA zones 5-9 and prefer moist but well drained soils. Box 141Chadds Ford, PA 19317610.388.2700, The Brandywine Conservancy is a program of The Brandywine Conservancy & Museum of Art, By: We all know the Monarch butterfly population is well below normal this year, and this is a big concern to all of us. The Nation’s Founding Fish Returns to America’s Most Historic Small Watershed, Gerald McAdams Kauffman, Director of the University of Delaware Water Resources Center, Market and CSA farming in the time of COVID-19, Deirdre Flemming, Co-owner of Two Gander Farm, The Brandywine Conservancy & Museum of Art. I wish it would multiply - it attracts so many butterflies and bees! Each Butterfly Bush produces over 100,000 seeds, and they are distributed in the wind, so even though you may not see seedlings popping up in your garden, your Butterfly Bush is probably responsible for spreading devastation in natural areas like stream banks and disturbed industrial sites. The ecological impact of buddleia – is it really beneficial to wildlife; The biology of bamboo and how all bamboos can be invasive to some extent; Points of concern regarding bamboo in the built environment and domestic garden; Should contractors, clients, the media and legislators be taking buddleia and especially bamboo more seriously?. The real key to having more butterflies in your garden is to find out which of the more than 700 species of butterflies in North America are common to your region. It forms thick, shrubby thickets that preclude the development of other native species such as willow. Butterfly Bush can be difficult to manage once it has been established. Adorned with an orange eye, the flowers are freely produced from mid summer through early fall and sometimes to first frost. Grow Me Instead (GMI) The Grow Me Instead (Southern Ontario) guide, 3 rd Edition, is now available online!This release marks the most notable update of this popular guide since its initial release in 2010. Buddleja spreads by seed, so if the flowers are deadheaded just as they start to wither, there will be no volunteers. In Detail Buddleja or as it is often spelt Buddleia is often referred to as the Butterfly bush because, as the name suggests of its attractiveness to butterflies. Quite flexible quadrangular branches. It has become increasingly clear that Buddleia davidii can be highly invasive. It is a relatively easy plant to control by cutting, so is in a different category to other invasive plants that are very difficult to control (e.g. Buddleia is a popular garden plant that was introduced into the UK from China in the 1890s and has now become widely naturalised on waste ground, along railway cuttings and in urban areas. Although Butterfly Bush grows easily in our region, it is not native to North America. Obviously this may not be the same for everywhere in the US, and it's better to err on the side of caution, but my coworkers and I have discussed buddleia as an invasive and we all seem to thing that it doesn't seem to be invasive in central NJ at least. Hopefully we can learn from our mistakes in recommending invasive plants. I live in central PA and I have never seen a butterfly bush in the wild, and I get around a fair bit. Yes, butterflies do feed on the nectar of butterfly bushes but that’s where the attraction ends. Butterfly Bush is a deciduous shrub that can grow up to 15 feet high. If a wildlife garden has a wide variety of native plants you’ll begin to discover that the butterflies actually prefer the natives and won’t even bother going to the butterfly bush. So there are no species here that will naturally keep it in check. Or Iowa? ~Debbie Roberts in Butterfly Bushes Do Not Mean More Butterflies, 42 species of butterflies and moths will use Joe Pye as larval host plant in addition to providing abundant nectar for butterflies, native bees, and other pollinators. Butterfly bush Buddleia davidii Yes, they do. The MonarchWatch recommended nectar planting list is kind of a sad and useless joke with no scientific names, no disclaimers about Butterfly Bush, and no specifics about regional differences. I will NOT remove mine. "Once established, they can tolerate heat and humidity, and in some cases, drought. Invasive Concerns. I live in NC. All I can submit to this question is, I live in N. C. There are bees, wasps, all kinds of butterflies,hummingbirds, everyday at my 2 butterfly bushes. While most butterfly bushes commercially available are from China, and there are lesser known non invasive varieties from Chile, Arizona and Texas desserts. Seedlings can be manually removed. Lillia Schmidt, Land Stewardship Intern, and Susan Charkes, Easement Steward, Invasive Species Spotlight: The Truth About Butterfly Bush. Buddleja davidii, commonly called butterfly bush, is a deciduous shrub that is native to thickets on mountain slopes, limestone outcrops, forest clearings and rocky stream banks in China. In reality, how many home gardeners are actually going to spend the time to remove every one of the multitude of flower heads every week or so? Branches left on the ground can root into new shrubs. If you live in an area where Buddleia davidii isn’t a problem, it may just be a matter of time before it becomes an invasive plant there too. The other side was written by Lenora Larson, a Kansas Master Gardener: Now the Butterfly Bush is under attack from well-meaning native plant lovers…Native Plant Absolutists gnash their teeth in frustration, but butterflies are not ideologues If their foot’s chemical receptor and the molecule match, the plant’s origin is irrelevant. The foliage is semi-erect to falling. Buddleja × weyeriana 'Honeycomb' (Butterfly Bush) is a deciduous shrub with gracefully arching branches, studded with lance-shaped, gray-green leaves and sweetly scented, globular clusters of creamy-yellow flowers. With nearly 40 new “invasives” and “alternatives” included, this guide remains a fixture for invasive-free gardening across Ontario. I’m sure you’ve all read books about butterfly gardening, and almost every one of them recommends Butterfly Bush (Budleia spp). B. davidii, the most commonly cultivated species in our region, is a native of China. They die back every year to the ground. Appearance Buddleja davidii is a deciduous shrub that is 3-15 ft. (1-5 m) tall with arching stems. Buddleia, often known as the “Butterfly Bush”, is an invasive species which has been spread throughout the rail network in the UK by both wind borne seeds and the low pressure drag created by trains. Very sad about your opinion. Conservation organizations have a duty and responsibility to give the best information to their audiences. Butterfly Bush is a highly invasive plant, learn from our mistakes in recommending invasive plants, Top 10 Trees and Shrubs for Butterfly Gardens, Chinese Lespedeza makes “Most Hated Plants” List, Japanese Barberry: A Threat to Public Health, What makes a plant invasive? Buddleja davidii is a shrub between 1 and 5m in height with widely spreading branches. Why wouldn’t we work to save, restore, or create more habitat for ALL butterflies? I would happily become a big fan and supporter of this otherwise worthy organization if this were to happen. Or any of these other states in the middle of this map? The flowers are very fragrant and attract a number of colorful … Our Regional Director of the Kansas Native Plant Society has a greenhouse and raises hundreds of butterfly bushes to sell at area Master Gardener plant sales. I have worked for almost 30 years teaching people to garden sustainably, conserve natural resources and create welcoming habitat for wildlife in their gardens so that they will attract more birds, butterflies, native bees, and other wildlife to their gardens. But Buddleja davidii, to give its latin name, which originated in China, is viewed by the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) as an invasive non-native species. Lenora lives in Kansas, where Butterfly Bush has not yet become invasive, so it’s no big deal to her, but she at least makes an appropriate disclaimer: Gardeners in at-risk states do not need to deny butterflies their favorite adult beverage. It establishes in sunny, well-drained sites including fields, roadsides, woods edges, and riverbanks, where native shrubs would have grown. It’s sad and shameful that organizations dedicated to the protection of butterflies, especially the Monarch, are spreading information that is ultimately harmful to our wild areas when there are so many better alternatives. Buddleja (orth. Foliage The leaves are opposite, 6-10 in. 135 species of butterflies and moths use Although eye-catching, hardy, and seemingly helpful to butterflies and other pollinators, Butterfly Bush is far from beneficial; in fact it’s actually an invasive species that can impair the health of our local ecosystems. Please note that the butterfly bush, originally imported from China, has been classified as an invasive species in most U.S. regions. ), why would we do something that can be so harmful? Why take a chance when there are so many better choices in native plants that butterflies will flock to that are much healthier for butterflies and also for our fragile ecosystems? Telling People What They Can’t Plant In Their Yards, Oriental Bittersweet on Most Hated Plants List. Favorites of butterflies include Blazing Star (Liatris); Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea); Giant Hyssop (Agastache); Joe-Pye Weed (Eutrochium) species and Milkweed (Asclepias) species. We can all do so much better. Go to Cape May during the peak of Monarch migration, and you won’t find many Monarchs on any butterfly bushes, they are all over the Seaside Goldenrod. Not invasive at all here. Cotoneaster and Rhododendron). No matter how much we want to help the Monarchs and all the other butterflies, native bees, and other wildlife, it is very irresponsible of these organizations to continue to promote a plant that causes so much damage, and not educate their supporters about the many, many better native alternatives to the invasive Butterfly Bush. Goldenrod as a larval host plant, and many species of insects also use parts of this plant for shelter and food. By replacing native larval food source plants butterflybush can have a negative impact on wildlife. Although butterflies will use this plant as a nectar source their larvae cannot survive on it. And they also are not aware that there are MUCH better native alternatives to the invasive butterfly bush. Flowers Flowering occurs from May to August, when dense clusters of tubular flowers develop. These seeds can remain viable for three to five years in soil, and any cut stems can sprout again. I have had one dwarf butterfly bush flowering for the past 3-4 years. Without caterpillars, there will be no adult butterflies. Once you know which butterflies are likely to visit your garden, you can start making of a list of appropriate plants to entice them into making your garden their home. If Butterfly Bush were just a pretty garden shrub, it would be less of a concern. "Buddleia is a very durable plant that tolerates less than ideal conditions," gardening expert Melinda Myers explains. It’s perfect for growing at the front of a border, or in containers. Butterfly bush is considered invasive in many states, as well as England and New Zealand. This is always a potential danger when a species is introduced in an environment in which it is not native, where its food web partners are missing. Butterfly Bush Doesn't Stay In Your Yard. 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