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Buddleja alternifolia, found wild in Chinese hedgerows, is different to the more familiar Buddleja davidii. Its branches are more slender, arching or weeping almost to the ground, with leaves appearing in early summer. Dense clusters of soft lilac-purple or pink fragrant flowers stud the full length of the previous year's stems. As with Buddleja davidii, its flowers are a magnet for butterflies and other pollinators. It can be trained against a wall or grown as a delightful weeping standard. The Royal Horticultural Society has given it its prestigious Award of Garden Merit (AGM).
Grow Buddleja alternifolia in fertile, well drained soil in full sun. Its stems can become tangled unless trained – prune and organise these after flowering.
Plant type: Deciduous shrub
Flower colour: Lavender
Foliage colour: Mid-green
Feature: Flowers, Scented flowers, Attractive to wildlife
Sun exposure: Full sun
Soil: Well-drained/light, Moist
Skill level: Beginner
Time to take cuttings: November to February
Time to prune: February to March
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