June 17, 2018
It seems like every home gardener wants plants for bee friendly gardens. Now don’t despair about the name of today’s plant; besides butterflies, it also attract pollinators AND hummingbirds. Today Southern Gardening is visiting the LSU AgCenter Hammond Research Station with their great butterfly bush collection. Known botanically as Buddleja, the flowers are sweetly fragrant panicles of tiny blooms in various shades of white, blue, purple, pink, red, and even yellow. The flowers are displayed on arching graceful stems. Butterflies, bees and hummingbirds love these flowers. I like this collection because it features small stature selections. Here are a few. Flutterby Petite Tutti Frutti Pink displays seven to eight inch panicles of fuchsia red flowers each having a lighter center. This is great to enjoy grown in a sunny landscape. Little Angel has a dense and compact habit. Long pure white panicles, up to 10 inches, appear during the early spring and summer. Reblooming occurs later in the year extending the flowering season. And Little Nugget has a wide, low habit featuring masses of long wands of magenta-purple flowers displayed over stunning golden foliage. This is truly a garden treasure to behold. Plant butterfly bush in the full sun for best flowering as shade will reduce flowering and the plant will become thin and leggy. Butterfly bush is tolerant of really any soil type as long as it’s well drained. Butterfly bush has a loose growing habit that should never be contained by pruning. I’m horticulturist Gary Bachman and I’ll see you next time on Southern Gardening.