By Dr. Robert Moon
Imagine it is a clear Saturday morning and you have just set down in your comfortable back yard chaise to drink your coffee and look out over your backyard. You have been looking forward to this relaxing time all week because you like to watch the butterflies and hummingbirds fluttering and flying around your beautiful, blooming butterfly plants. The butterflies are lazily moving around the plant and the hummingbirds are having in-flight disagreements on who will get to the flower first!
If this isn’t your back yard, it could be! Over the past few weeks, I have been exploring Buddleia or butterfly plants. These plants are great for attracting butterflies, hummingbirds and other beneficial plant pollinators for the garden. The large, beautiful, colorful spiked flowers bloom throughout the summer. These plants come in a variety of colors and sizes. Colors can be either light or dark red, purple, pink and orange. There are dwarf varieties that grow only 2 feet in height and regular varieties that can grow up to 6 feet. These plants are drought tolerant once established and require very low maintenance. Flowers begin in late May and plants bloom throughout the summer. Butterfly plants can grow in a wide range of soils from heavy clay to rocky or sandy soils. They grow in full sun and they are deciduous during the winter.
My favorite varieties include: Bi-color, Rainbow, Black Knight, Buzz Purple, Buzz Magenta, Springhill Black, Miss Molly, Buzz Tutti Frutti, Buzz Midnight, Miss Ruby Purple Emperor and Royal Red or select the one in the store that catches your eye.
To make this scene happen in your back yard, take your kids or grand kids and make them part of the adventure to purchase and plant these wonderful bushes. It will give all of you years of enjoyment to see the butterflies and hummingbirds that will gather around this perennial accent plant.