Buddleia (Butterfly Bush) Review and Comparison
When Ball Ornamentals introduced the Flutterby™ series of buddleia a new set of possibilities emerged as to where these plants can be used. This series of Buddleia not only offers the attraction of butterflies and hummingbirds, but also offers sizes which can be utilized in just about any part of the landscape. Three of Ball’s introductions include Buddleia Flutterby™, Buddleia Flutterby™ Petite and Buddleia Flutterby™ Flow. A hardiness zone of 5-9 makes buddleia a good choice for many Midwestern locations. A closer look into each of these varieties will give a good comparison of each plant and suggestions on how to use them in the landscape.
Buddleia Flutterby™ is a compact growing series that features a dense growth habit and continuous blooming from early summer until frost. Plants are non-invasive, drought tolerant and heat tolerant. Flutterby™ Pink is sterile to near sterile. Best grown in full sun and can be trimmed heavy to control growth. Use Flutterby in a mass planting for dramatic color or as an accent plant in the landscape.
Flutterby™ Pink grows 3-4’ tall and 4-5’ wide. This buddleia is loaded with beautiful pink color and has panicles up to 1.5’ long and 4” wide. It has an upright habit and is an easy plant to grow.
Flutterby™ Lavender is a dark, two-toned lavender bloomer complimented by gray-green foliage. This buddleia tends to start out being more flat then eventually growing into a mounded shape. It grows 4-5’ tall and 4-5’ wide. It blooms summer through autumn.
Flutterby™ Peace grows 3-4’ tall by 4-5’ wide. It has light purple flowers that bloom all summer. Peace has a very tight mounding habit and is more compact with denser branching than Flutterby™ Lavender.
Buddleia Flutterby™ Petite:
With the introduction of the petite series comes a welcoming addition of a compact buddleia. This series consists of dwarf upright plants that are perfect for smaller gardens and make a great “thriller” for container gardening. Petites bloom from early summer to frost and are low maintenance, non-invasive. They require little to no pruning and are heat and drought tolerant.
Flutterby™ Petite Blue Heaven grows 2-2.5’ tall and wide. It has a dense growth habit with beautiful purple/blue blooms and gorgeous fuzzy silver foliage. It blooms from summer until frost.
Flutterby™ Petite Pink is a very compact grower reaching 1-2’ tall and wide. It has attractive pink flowers that bloom from early summer until frost. Great candidate for container gardening.
Flutterby™ Petite Tutti Fruitti grows 2-2.5’ tall and wide and shows off with bright fuschia-pink flowers. A special feature of Tutti Fruitti is its scented foliage. It is a great plant for use in smaller areas of the garden and like the other petites it blooms early summer to frost.
Buddleia Flutterby™ Flow
This is the first series of butterfly bush to be introduced as spreading groundcover. Its spreading habit is great for hanging baskets and containers. It has a lot of blooms from early summer to frost. It is low growing and low maintenance, requiring little to no pruning. It is claimed to be non-invasive and is heat and drought tolerant.
Flutterby™ Flow Lavender has flowers that cover the plant from early summer until frost. It grows less than 18 inches tall. Just like other buddleia it is easy to grow and requires little to no pruning.
Flutterby™ Flow Mauve Pink grows a bit taller and wider than its counterpart reaching 18-24” tall and 24-30” wide. It has pinkish mauve (hence the name) flowers that continually bloom from early summer to frost. It is touted to be a great groundcover because of its spreading habit.
It’s great to see some smaller butterfly bush on the market that can be used in different applications and smaller spaces in the landscape.