10 Top Butterfly Bush Varieties for your Garden

The butterfly bush is an appealing plant for gardeners who want to bring home more butterflies after establishing a native pollinator garden.

They are relatively easy to grow in hardiness zones 5a to 9a (with a few exceptions) and come in a variety of colors with fragrant blooms that attract butterflies and gardeners alike.

Buddleia spp. obviously attract butterflies from their common name. In addition to butterflies, they attract a bounty of beneficial pollinators to your garden, including many species of bees and hummingbirds and up to 500 species of pollinators.

This helps your garden support nature…while looking amazing in the process!

Buddleia come in many shapes, colors, and sizes, so you should be able to find the perfect buddleia butterfly bush for your garden needs!

Butterfly Bush Varieties- Two Swallowtail Butterflies

With so many varieties, you may wonder what makes one variety better than another your garden situation?

Some are desired for unique colors variations, while some butterfly bush varieties are better suited for certain hardiness zones.

While we can’t categorically say which exact species is best for you, we can offer you a guide to some of the best options out there.

We’ve picked out ten amazing varieties that have proven themselves to be popular with gardeners, as well as butterfly visitors and other precious pollinators

Our goal is to help you discover the ideal butterfly bush variety for your garden.

Check out a few different types of butterfly bushes that are highly rated by gardeners and available for purchase if you click the links below…

We’ve separated your options by size, and we’ll start small…

Dwarf Butterfly Bush Varieties

Dwarf butterfly bush varieties are preferred by many gardeners because they take up less garden space, bloom longer than their big siblings, and often seed less or are sterile, which makes them non-invasive.

Lo & Behold

The ruby chip butterfly bush starts blooming in early spring and continues all season. It’s comes in a variety of eye popping colors to entice butterflies.

Plant Size: Lo & Behold typically grows 2-3 feet at maturity

Plant Hardiness Zones: 5-9

Butterfly Bush Color choices: Lo and Behold comes in a variety of vibrant colors including ‘ruby chip’ , ‘ice chip’, and ‘purple haze’.

Lo & Behold Butterfly Bush on eBay

Buddleia Buzz

The buddleia buzz butterfly bush variety attracts many butterflies and moths including this eastern tiger swallowtail and hummingbird moth
What’s all the BUZZ about?

The buzz series has been a favorite in our northern butterfly garden when the weather has cooperated, but not a hardy perennial for zone 5a.

Plant Size: buddleia buzz grows up to 5 feet at maturity

Plant Hardiness Zones: 5-9

Butterfly Bush Color choice: buddleja buzz comes in a variety of vibrant colors including ‘hot raspberry’ , ‘ivory’, and the deep purple ‘midnight’.

More Photos, info, and where to buy Buddleia Buzz

Get 3 Different Colors of BUZZ here

Sky Blue Butterfly Bush Variety

Miss Pearl Butterfly Bush

This buddleia variety grows more upright stems compared to other varieties and can be described as a lightly fragrant butterfly bush.

Plant Size: buddleia buzz grows 4 to 5 feet at maturity

Plant Hardiness Zones: 5-9

Butterfly Bush Color choice: as you might have guessed by the name, ‘Miss Pearl’ is only available in white.

Find Buddleia Davidii ‘Miss Pearl’ on etsy

Miss Molly

Miss Molly puts out vibrant, fragrant blooms on a plant that is sized perfectly for direct garden planting…or planting in pots!

Plant Size: buddleia buzz grows 4-5 feet

Plant Hardiness Zones: 5-9

Butterfly Bush Color choice: possibly the reddest buddleia of them all?

Find Miss Molly Butterfly Bush of eBay

Find Buddleia ‘Miss Molly’ on amazon

Prince Charming Monarch Butterfly Bush

This prince is a bit shorter than the one we’re used to in fairytales, but Prince charming can still make all your butterfly dreams come true…

Plant Size: buddleia buzz grows 3-4 feet

Plant Hardiness Zones: 5-10

Butterfly Bush Color choice: Cerise Pink

Buy Prince Charming Butterfly Bush on etsy

Find Prince Charming on eBay

Pugster

Pugster is a very beautiful variety of butterfly bush that has very little in common with the similarly-sized dog breed!

Plant Size: dwarf butterfly bush grows up to 3 feet

Plant Hardiness Zones: 5-9

Butterfly Bush Color choice: full-sized flowers on a dwarf butterfly bush variety comes in: blue, frosty-amethyst, pink, white, and periwinkle.

Buy Pugster Potted Plants on amazon

Get Buddleia Pugster Plants on eBay

Get Pugster Butterfly Bushes here


Butterfly Bush Care for Dwarf Varieties

Dwarf Buddleia plants are easy to care for if you follow these plant care tips:

  • Plant in well-drained soil (prone to root rot in wet areas)
  • Cut back spent blooms to promote even more blooms
  • Dwarf varieties can be planted directly or in your container garden
  • Prune plants in fall or early spring to improve growth habit and promote more blooms
  • Deer, rabbit, pest resistant and check out these tips for dealing with those pesky Japanese Beetles

Large Butterfly Bushes

Black Knight

The Black Knight Butterfly Bush is a fast-growing deciduous shrub that towers above other varieties.

This is a popular back border for gardens due to its size and attractive flowers.

This plant can die back to the ground in colder climates, but it grows back very vigorously the following spring.

Plant Size: black knight butterfly bush grows 8 to 10 feet at maturity, and 6 feet wide

Plant Hardiness Zones: 5-9

Butterfly Bush Color choice: long panicles of deep purple flowers

Buy Black Knight Butterfly Bush on etsy

Buy Black Knight Buddleia here

Buddleia X Weyeriana ‘Bicolor’

The first buddleia variety to feature multiple colors on just one flower!

Plant Size: bicolor butterfly bush grows 6-8 feet at maturity

Plant Hardiness Zones: 5-9

Butterfly Bush Colors multicolored blooms from butterscotch yellow to a radiant red raspberry

Find Bicolor Butterfly Bush on etsy

Buy Bicolor Butterfly Bushes

Buddleia X Weyeriana ‘Sungold’

Similar to bicolor above but in a stunning gold color with fragrant flowers.

buddleia weyeriana sungold butterfly bush variety

Plant Size: This buddleia species grows 5-7 feet at maturity

Plant Hardiness Zones: 5-9

Butterfly Bush Color: Sungold

Find Buddleia X Weyeriana ‘Sungold’ here

Buddleia Cascade Series

This butterfly bush series features hanging super-sized panicles that bring home more butterflies and precious pollinators

Plant Size: this buddleia grows up to 6 feet at maturity

Plant Hardiness Zones: 5-10

Butterfly Bush Color choice: fragrant lavender, violent, pink

Get Buddleia Cascade Series on eBay

Find Cascade Series Butterfly Bushes on etsy

Butterfly Bush Care for large varieties

Buddleia plants are easy to care for if you follow these plant care tips:

  • Large butterfly bush varieties are drought tolerant and can survive in dry conditions, but water regularly for best blooms
  • Plant in full sun to increase blooming
  • Plant in well-drained soil (prone to root rot in wet areas)
  • Cut back spent blooms to prevent seeding
  • In areas where butterflies bush is considered invasive (e.g. Pacific northwest) opt for dwarf butterfly bush varieties, or substitute for a different plant
  • Prune plant in fall or early spring to improve upright growth habit and promote more blooms
  • Deer, rabbit, pest resistant and check out these tips for dealing with those pesky Japanese Beetles

Your Favorite Butterfly Bush Variety?

These butterfly bush varieties are nice additions to support more butterflies and pollinators from summer through first frost. Do you have a butterfly bush favorite we forgot to mention? Please list it in a comment below and tell us why you love it so much…Happy Planting!

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3 Comments

  1. I have read that butterfly bushes don’t actually provide much of a food source for butterflies, and that they are considered invasive in several states. Wouldn’t native plants be a better choice?

    1. Hi Connie, they are a good nectar source for many pollinators and for areas where they’re considered invasive (pacific NW) there are sterile cultivars or you can opt for other plants. A well-traveled butterfly garden is made up of thoughtful groupings that include natives, perennials, and annuals.

  2. I go back to 2 of my favorites from a study that was done at Clemson University in the 1990s – ‘White Profusion ‘ and ‘Pink Delight’. Dr. joseph Cullin had his graduate students do the study. Both have long panicles and proved to have more sugar.

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