Colorado Springs News, Sports & Business

PLANT OF THE WEEK: Butterfly Bush

by julie mcintyre Summerland Gardens - Published: August 9, 2013

Common Name: Butterfly bush, summer lilac

Scientific name: Buddleja/Buddleia davidii

Type: Shrub

Height: 4-10 feet

Width: 3-5 feet

Blooms: Mid to late summer

Where to plant: Full sun

Water requirement: Average

Preparing the soil: Average soils, well drained

Hardy: Zones 4 (up to 7,000 feet)

This easy, low-maintenance shrub is worth growing if only for the fragrant flowers that lure butterflies into your yard to feed on the nectar. Arching stems of gray-green leaves with silver undersides produce large panicles of fragrant flowers mid to late summer. Various cultivars are available, and offer purple, pink, white or lavender flowers and dwarf varieties. Stems may die back to the ground in winter, but will regenerate from the roots, growing up to 4-5 feet in a season, keeping it tidy and arching. Deer don't eat it, and hummingbirds are known to visit it as well as the butterflies. Average water, fairly drought resistant once established.

Julie McIntyre, Summerland Gardens

Common name: Hummingbird Mint, Agastache

Scientific name: Agastache rupestris

Type: Perennial

Height: 20-24 inches

Width: 12-20 inches

Blooms: Summer

Where to plant: Full sun to partial shade

Water requirement: Drought tolerant (once established)

Preparing the soil: Average to poor soils, well-drained

Hardy: Zones 4-10 (up to 7,000 feet)

This perennial aromatic native mint is a stalwart performer in the garden, preferring our native well-drained soils with no soil amendments. Silvery leaves have a distinct odor of root beer or licorice, which keeps the deer from eating it and adds an exotic aroma to the garden. Tubular pinkish-orange flowers emerge mid-summer and continue until frost. Prefers deep, infrequent watering which makes it very drought tolerant once established. This can become a large specimen plant, so place it where it can be enjoyed with room to grow. One of the favorite plants of hummingbirds, ignored by deer and rabbits.

Julie McIntyre, Summerland Gardens

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