Butterfly Bush & Bluebeard
Butterfly Bushes (Buddleias) and Bluebeards (caryopteris) are the best of the flowering plants for attracting hummingbirds and butterflies. Butterfly Bush grows long wands of fragrant flowers and is available in many varieties offering selection in purples, pinks, white and even a rare yellow. Select a dwarf variety for a smaller space or a variegated leaf variety for extra colour contrast. Bluebeard (also called Blue Mist Spirea) blooms from August to the end of the summer with fragrant blue flower clusters on upright stems.
Plant Butterfly Bushes and Bluebeards in full sun in any well-drained garden soil. Fertilize once in the spring with liquid 20-20-20 or a granular garden fertilizer such as 4-12-8. Both of these plants are fairly drought tolerant, so do not plant in a wet area.
Both Butterfly Bush and Bluebeards are actually woody shrubs, but most gardeners treat them as perennials because they often die back severely in the winter, re-growing again from the base and flowering on new wood in late summer. As several Butterfly Bush varieties grow quite large, plant them in the back of a perennial border.
Winter Care & Pruning
Mulch the crown of these plants heavily with leaves, shredded bark, peat moss or even mounds of topsoil to at least 1 foot deep in late fall. In spring, remove the mulch and trim plants back to 6 inches.