August 12, 2013
Buzz Purple, Miss Molly and Blue Chip Dwarf Butterfly Bushes
We planted just over a hundred shrubs in the backyard this year, and ten of those were dwarf butterfly bushes (Buddelia). Two 'Buzz Purple' (above), two 'Miss Molly', and six 'Lo and Behold Blue Chip'. In addition to being smaller than most butterfly bushes, these types are supposed to have little to no reseeding. They are hardy in zone 5-9.
'Buzz Purple' is the most fragrant of the bunch - you can catch a whiff of its very sweet fragrance several feet away. It's expected to grow 3 to 5 feet, though around here it will probably stay on the smaller side. There are five other colors in the Buzz series from Thompson and Morgan.
I also planted two 'Miss Molly' bushes, which are a Proven Winners variety and are expected to grow 4-5 feet. The flowers are touted as being the closest to true red that you can find on a butterfly bush, especially in hot climates. The buds that form when our temperatures are reaching the 90's open with fuschia colored flowers, while the buds that form in cooler weather form magenta blooms.
I was hoping these flowers would form a color echo of my 'William Shakespeare 2000' English rose, and in hot weather the color of both types of flowers are very close. Not so much in cooler weather.
'Lo and Behold Blue Chip' is the last type of dwarf butterfly bush in my garden. It is supposed to stay less than 3 feet in cooler climates like ours and is sterile. None of these bushes need deadheading to keep blooming, though they'll look tidier with the dead flower clusters removed. I read somewhere that they tend to stop blooming once night temperatures get below 45 degrees, so around here they'll be a strictly midsummer bloomer. That's great because I have fewer plants flowering at that time than at cooler parts of the year.
Up close you can see how the petals on the double flowers curl around each other. It's not something you notice from far away, but I think it's especially pretty. You might ask which of these bushes the butterflies seem to prefer. Honestly I haven't seen many butterflies on any of my tiny shrubs this year - though the bees love them - so I'm looking forward to next year to see what happens then.