Butterflies on Butterfly Bush

What to know when planting butterfly bush in clay soils.  What is not to like about the long blooming, low care and sun loving butterfly bush?

Butterfly bush attracts hummingbirds and butterflies, blooms continuously till fall and comes in a variety of colors.

Paying attention to the clay soils will serve you well.

Paying attention to how you plant butterfly bush will pay big dividends in the future!



Butterfly bush

Versatile butterfly bush


Butterfly Bush Likes

  • Being planted high in clay soils
  • Do not amend your clay soil
  • This causes drainage problems
  • Mulch away from your butterfly bush
  • Mulching too close creates wet soils
  • Cutting back in late winter/early spring




Colors of butterfly bush

Butterfly bush colors

Do Not Prune or Cut Back Butterfly Bush

  • Until late winter early spring
  • Be patient with your butterfly bush leafing out
  • Do not over water butterfly bush
  • Plant butterfly bush before late summer





Prematurely cutting back your butterfly bush can cause pre-mature damage.  Wait until you see the first buds appear…be patient as they leaf out late.

Pollinating butterflies

Butterflies on butterfly bush

Over watering butterfly bush can cause die back, fewer flowers and weaker stems.

Do not plant butterfly bush after mid-summer as they need ample time to form a strong root system.

What to know when planting butterfly bush in clay soil.






Hummingbird on butterfly bush

Pollinators love butterfly bush


As you can see from the above and to the left images, pollinators love butterfly bush.  Butterfly bush is a prolific bloomer that attracts butterflies and hummingbirds in droves.









Planting butterfly bush


One thing to remember is to never amend the soil when planting butterfly bush.  Amending the soil with compost, top soil or potting soil causes root rot and a shrub that does not adapt to the clay soil.

Plant directly into the native clay soil.

What to know when planting butterfly bush in clay soil.