Buddleja 'Summer Beauty''

How to grow buddlejas

Find out all you need to know about growing buddleja, in this detailed Grow Guide.

A table displaying which months are best to sow, plant and harvest.
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Plant
Plant

Do not Plant in January

Do not Plant in February

Do not Plant in March

Do not Plant in April

Do Plant in May

Do Plant in June

Do Plant in July

Do Plant in August

Do Plant in September

Do not Plant in October

Do not Plant in November

Do not Plant in December

Flowers
Flowers

Plant does not flower in January

Plant does not flower in February

Plant does not flower in March

Plant does not flower in April

Plant does not flower in May

Plant does not flower in June

Plant does flower in July

Plant does flower in August

Plant does flower in September

Plant does not flower in October

Plant does not flower in November

Plant does not flower in December

Cut back
Cut back

Do not Cut back in January

Do not Cut back in February

Do Cut back in March

Do Cut back in April

Do Cut back in May

Do not Cut back in June

Do not Cut back in July

Do not Cut back in August

Do not Cut back in September

Do not Cut back in October

Do not Cut back in November

Do not Cut back in December

  • Plant size

    2m height

    1.5m spread

Buddleja is an easy and fast-growing shrub, that will suit any garden where there is sun and well-drained soil.

Advertisement

There are larger and smaller varieties, good for borders and containers. Commonly known as the butterfly bush, the flower heads are full of nectar and are a magnet for many insects.

Flowers come in a wide range of colours including purple, blue, pink and white and even yellow. Flowers appear continuously for around four to six weeks in late summer.

Related content:

Take a look at our handy buddleja Grow Guide, below.


Planting position

Buddlejas will grow in almost any location – they are often seen growing out of brickwork and will happily colonise wasteland – in fact they are classed as invasive plants. However, to get the best out them as garden plants, choose a sunny spot, to encourage nectar-rich flowers and attract clouds of butterflies.

Red admiral butterfly on Buddleja 'Buzz Magenta'
Red admiral butterfly on Buddleja ‘Buzz Magenta’

Planting buddlejas

If you have heavy clay soil, add a handful of grit to your planting hole for added drainage.

Watch Monty Don plant a buddleja in a border


Buddleja propagation

Many varieties of buddleja will self-seed freely, but may not stay true to type. You can also propagate from semi-ripe cuttings in summer and hardwood cuttings in autumn.

Propagating Buddleja by hardwood cuttings
Propagating Buddleja by semi-ripe cuttings

Watch Chris Beardshaw take semi-ripe cuttings


Buddlejas: problem solving

While relatively trouble-free, it’s worth noting that buddleijas are on the invasive plants register and will readily escape onto train tracks, scrub land and into brickwork.


Caring for buddlejas

Buddlejas can get very large, if left to their own devices. They flower on new season’s growth, so give plants a hard prune in April or May, to cut out all the dead wood and maintain a good shape. This also encourages later flowering, which is good for butterflies such as the small tortoiseshell.

A high potash feed in spring will boost the flowering potential of your buddleja, but keep deadheading for a long-lasting flowering period. This will also prevent any unwanted spread of buddleja seedlings.

Advertisement
Pruning Buddleja
Pruning Buddleja

Buddleja varieties to try