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Buddleja alternifolia

Weeping butterfly bush

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Key information

Plant type

Deciduous shrub

Flower colour



Flowers, Scented flowers, Attractive to wildlife



Skill level


Buddleja alternifolia

Plant details

This buddleia, found wild in Chinese hedgerows, is different from the more familiar varieties. The branches are more slender, arching or weeping almost to the ground, with leaves in early summer. Soft lilac-purple or pink fragrant flowers in dense clusters stud the full length of the previous year's stems. These can become tangled unless trained, and plants benefit from thinning and organising after flowering. Plants also make excellent weeping standards. As its common name suggests, while in flower, this plant attracts dozens of butterflies. Buddleia is best grown in fertile, well drained soil and requires full sun. The Royal Horticultural Society has given it the prestigious Award of Garden Merit.

Family: Buddlejaceae

Genus: Buddleja

Species: alternifolia

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

Hardiness: Hardy

Skill level: Beginner

Height: 400cm

Spread: 400cm

Time to take cuttings: November to February

Time to prune: February to March

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