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Winter Gardener’s Calendar

A perfect time to plan! Curl up with your gardening books and the gardening magazines and catalogs you’ve received in the mail. Get out the gardening journal and start dreaming…

General Landscape

  • Clean up when you get a break in the weather. Remove fallen branches and downed evergreen clumps. Rake leaves to prevent stains on concrete and dead patches on lawn. If freezing weather is still in the forecast, leave the mulch in place.
  • If your Christmas tree is still around, set it where the dropping needles will provide mulch, use the branches as additional insulation for perennials, or get together with neighbors to rent a chipper and create wood chips for larger mulch.

Houseplants

  • Perk up tired houseplants by removing dead and dying leaves. Wash under a soft shower in the sink or tub.
  • Spider mites love living in warm dry winter homes. Check for mites by looking for tiny speckles on leaves.
  • Transplant if roots are growing through the drainage holes or over the pot edge. Pick up some new larger trend-setting colored pots to perk up your décor. Or, if you don’t want to move into a larger pot, untangle the roots and cut back by 1/3, scour the pots and replant with new soil.
  • Remember to turn your plants each week as they begin to grow towards the weaker window light.
  • Plant a terrarium or miniature garden. If you can’t play in the dirt outside, bring the fun indoors!
  • Pick up Valentine flowers. We have a fragrant and beautiful assortment of red, pink or white flowers. Come in and choose from cyclamen, miniature roses, orchids, and other colorful flowers that are the perfect “I love you!”

Vegetables:

  • Plant short-term cover crop such as Fava beans when soil becomes workable.
  • February: Start vegetable and herb seeds indoors:
Broccoli
Cabbage
Celery
Chard
Eggplant
Kale
Kohlrabi
Leeks
Lettuce
Onions, bulb
Peppers
Radicchio
Scallion
Spinach
Tomatoes
Turnip

General:

If you just need a breath of aromatic fresh garden air, stop by and smell ours! The humidity is perfect and will instantly transport you to spring. While here, check out the latest trends in gardening colors, containers, new plant varieties and tools. Of course, we also have a wide selection of books to provide ideas. If you have any questions or need suggestions, we’re here to help. We’d love to see you!

Holiday Gardener’s Calendar

Winter is upon us. Depending upon the temperatures, there may still be time to finish remaining chores. If you have any questions about the following procedures or products, please come in and see us. We can help you select the correct dormant oil, fertilizer, selective herbicide and frost protection method. We’re always here to help.

General Landscape

  • Mulch with bark, compost or other local materials to enrich soil, protect plant roots and prevent erosion.
  • Protect plants from frost and wind.

Houseplants

  • Perk up tired houseplants by removing dead and dying leaves. Wash under a soft shower in the sink or tub.
  • Spider mites proliferate in warm dry winter homes. Check for mites by looking for tiny speckles on leaves.
  • Transplant if roots are growing through the drainage holes or over the pot edge. If you don’t want to move into a larger pot, untangle the roots and cut back by 1/3, scour the pots and replant with new soil.
  • Remember to turn your plants each week as they begin to grow towards the weaker window light.
  • For indoor bloom, plant amaryllis, paper white narcissus, hyacinth, crocus and indoor cyclamen.
  • Popular holiday plants such as poinsettias, chrysanthemums and orchids fill the stores. Check them thoroughly for “hitchhikers” before bringing into the home or spray with household plant insecticide or soap.
  • Be creative in your arrangements and combine them with metallic painted twigs, pinecones or seashells.
  • If using a live tree for a “living Christmas tree”, prolong its time indoors by using Wilt-Pruf to reduce the loss of moisture from the needles.

Lawn:

  • Remove leaves, toys, hoses, etc, from lawns to prevent dead spots.
  • Apply winter fertilizer, if not already done. The middle number, phosphorus, aids root growth during the winter.
  • If you have weeds in your lawn, consider using a winter fertilizer with weed control.
  • Mow one time after lawn goes dormant and before freezing. This last mowing should be 2 ½” tall.
  • When temps are freezing, stay off the lawn as much as possible to reduce blade breakage.

Vegetables:

  • Protect cool season vegetables with row covers, leaf or mulch cover.
  • Mulch beds to enrich and protect from rain/snow erosion.
  • Review gardening notes and plan next year’s garden.
  • Test germination rate of leftover seeds, if wanting to use again.
  • If gardening under lights or in heated greenhouse, start seeds of early spring crops: lettuce, kale, mustard, spinach, and other greens.
  • Harvest carrots, lettuce, greens and over-wintering crops.

Trees and Shrubs

  • Stake young trees and vines if needed. In case of a heavy freeze, use Wilt-Pruf or similar product to reduce transpiration of moisture.
  • Prevent southeast trunk injury, a form of winter freeze damage. Use light-colored tree guards to protect the trunks of young trees for at least two years after planting. After two years, paint the trunks with white latex paint. These two methods prevent the tree trunk from splitting when sunlight warms the bark on side of the trunk.
  • Fertilize shrubs and trees, if not done already, and the ground is not frozen. This allows roots to absorb when temperatures are above 40⁰ and when spring returns. Granules and spikes provide nutrients effectively and easily.
  • Prune out dead and diseased tree branches to prevent from falling on roof or pedestrians.

Fall Gardener’s Calendar

SEPTEMBER

Spray Bonide All-Season Spray on hemlocks to control woolly adelgid.

Spruce up the landscape by planting Fall Pansies, Flowering Cabbage & Kale,  Garden Mums,  Fall-Blooming Perennials as well as Trees and Shrubs.

Test your lawn pH to determine if you need to apply lime this season.  A 5o lb. bag of Lime will raise the pH about a half a point per 1000 square feet of turf.

Pick up your Spring Flowering Bulbs like tulips, daffodils, crocus, hyacinths, snowdrops and more!  An Auger for the drill will also help make planting easier.

Plant cool-season salad greens (arugula, corn salad, lettuce, radishes and spinach) in cold frames.

Apply Superphosphate now to coax stubborn plants into bloom next year.

Aerate, re-seed and apply Fall Lawn Food to the lawn.  Keep grass seed damp; water every day if necessary.  You will also want to check for grubs.  Increased activities of skunks, raccoons and moles as well as brown patches that peel back easily are an indication of grub activity.  Apply granular Sevin to control the grubs as well as chinch bugs and sod webworm.

Treat houseplants with Systemic Granules and Concern Insect Killing Soap now to get rid of any insects before bringing them into the house prior to the first frost.

Clean out garden ponds and pools.  Cover with Pond Netting before the leaves start falling.

OCTOBER

Plant bulbs.  Fertilize with Espoma Bulb-Tone and water in well.

Divide daylilies and spring-blooming perennials, including iris and peonies. Don’t be tempted to prune your spring flowering shrubs like forsythia, azaleas, camellia, holly, lilac, rhododendron, spirea or viburnum or you will destroy next year’s buds.

Rake leaves from the lawn and lower the mower blade.  Check your compost pile.  Now is a good time to add Concern Bio Activator to help break down brown leaves and lawn clippings.

Dig up summer-flowering bulbs, such as dahlias, cannas, tuberous begonias, caladiums and gladiolus after the frost kills the top growth.  Treat them with Bulb Dust, pack them in Peat Moss, and store them in a ventilated area for winter.

Fertilize your trees with Jobes Tree Spikes after the leaves fall. Fertilize azaleas, rhododendron, and evergreens with Holly-Tone and other shrubs with Plant-Tone.  Spray hemlock again with Bonide All-Season Spray Oil.

Set up bird feeders.  Clean out birdbaths, refill and purchase heaters for the winter.

Clean up and destroy diseased rose leaves and debris surrounding shrubs and perennials.  Mound 10-12 inches of dirt around roses to protect from winter damage.  After the ground freezes, cover roses with mulch or straw.

Remove annuals, roots and all, and add to your compost pile, but do not add any diseased material to it.

Cut back perennials unless they feature ornamental seed heads and Fertilize with 5-10-5.  Prune long raspberry and rose canes back to a height of three feet.  Clean up your beds and gardens to avoid harboring insects and diseases over the winter.

Pot hardy spring bulbs (anemone, crocus, daffodil, hyacinth, ranunculus and tulip) and place in a cold frame or cool garage (40 degrees) or sink into the ground and mulch.  Keep evenly moist.

Update garden records, noting successes and failures, gaps in planting, future planting and landscape changes.

Water all landscape plants well and mulch before the winter cold sets in.

Spray evergreens, azaleas, rhododendron, boxwood and rose canes with Wilt Pruf for protection against wind and cold weather.

Summer Gardener’s Calendar

Continue planting trees, shrubs, perennials, annuals, vegetables and herbs. Consider adding some exotic color to your deck or patio with tropical blooming plants. We have a great selection of color this summer.

It’s time for your houseplant’s summer vacation! Take outside to a shady place. Repot if necessary, fertilize and check for pests and diseases. They’ll thrive in their outdoor location all summer. Be sure to bring them back inside in early fall.

Water plants and lawns deeply during periods of dry weather. Annuals, perennials, vegetables, trees and shrubs should be watered with a slow trickling or soaker hose. Pay extra attention to plants in containers and hanging baskets – check them regularly. Remember that clay pots dry out faster than plastic.

Apply a 2-3″ layer of mulch on your garden beds in preparation for summer. Mulch conserves valuable moisture in the soil, helps keep weeds down, maintains even soil temperatures, and gives an attractive finishing touch to your beds and borders.

Spray azaleas, Pieris japonica, laurel and Rhododendron with Bonide All-Season Oil to control lacebug. Spray early in the morning or evening when temperatures are moderate and there is no rain in the forecast.

Warm, humid weather encourages the development of fungal diseases such as Black Spot and Powdery Mildew on roses. Water roses in the early morning and avoid overhead watering if possible. Clean up any fallen leaves and follow a regular fungicide spray program. We recommend the Bayer Rose and Flower All in One for good control of fungus diseases.

Prune evergreens such as pines, cypress, hollies, euonymus and boxwood, to shape as needed. Remove faded flowers of annuals regularly, to encourage more flowers. Annuals will also benefit from regular applications of a water-soluble fertilizer right through summer.

Attract hummingbirds and butterflies to your landscape by planting Butterfly Bush, Bee Balm (Mondarda), Hardy Hibiscus, Lobelia, Scabiosa and Coreopsis.

Late Spring Gardener’s Calendar

Turn over your vegetable garden and add humus, mushroom compost or manure to enrich the soil.  Apply Bonide Fruit Tree Spray as buds swell and again at petal drop to all fruit trees.

Fertilize perennials with Dr. Earth Rose & Flower Fertilizer.

Continue spring cleanup.  Completely remove winter mulch.  Cultivate to remove winter weeds and debris from the planting beds, then edge.  Prepare your annual beds, and mulch landscape beds with shredded mulch, bark chips or gravel.   Apply Preen or Corn Gluten and scratch it in to prevent future weeds, or try the new Preen Mulch Plus which combines mulch and Preen and prevents weeds for up to 6 months.

Plant and transplant trees and shrubs, including roses, ground covers, and perennials (including hardy lilies and lily-of-the-valley).

Seed or sod new lawns.  Reseed bare spots in established lawns.  Keep the area moist until seedlings appear, then mow when the new grass is 3” high.

Put down a second application of Team or Tupersan (newly seeded lawns) for pre-emergent goosegrass control and control of crabgrass the rest of the year.

Transplant cool-season seedlings into the garden.  When the soil temperature reaches 60 degrees, sow warm- and cool-season vegetable and herb seeds.

Dig and divide crowded spring bulbs after they have finished blooming. Enrich the soil with compost, manure or Espoma Bulb-Tone.

Prune forsythia and other spring-flowering trees and shrubs after the flowers fall.

Place gro-thru sets and link stakes over or around peonies, grasses or any other perennials in need of support.

Check arborvitae, cedar, juniper spruce and pine for bagworms.  Hand-pick bags from the host and spray with Ortho Systemic Insecticide.

Begin summer rose care program of deadheading, spraying and watering.

Fertilize roses with Bayer All In One Rose and Flower Care or Dr Earth Rose and Flower Fertilizer, azaleas with Espoma Holly-Tone or Dr Earth Azalea/Camelia Fertilizer, and fruit trees with Dr Earth Tomato and Vegetable Fertilizer.

Deadhead bulbs, but leave foliage to mature and yellow before removing.  This will help nourish the bulb for next year’s flowering. Fertilize with Dr Earth Bulb Fertilizer.

Prune new growth on needled evergreens.

Dig and divide early blooming perennials after flowering.

Apply Encap Fast Acting Iron Plus or Bonide Liquid Iron Plus to azaleas, hollies, junipers, laurel, pines, rhododendron and spruce to provide iron for chlorophyll production by foliage.

Fertilize container plants and window boxes weekly with a Master Nursery Bud and Bloom Plant Food, or use Dynamite All Purpose Plant Food for season-long feeding, to promote healthy, vigorous plants all summer.

Pay close attention to the watering needs of these plants as well as hanging baskets, because they tend to dry out quickly on hot summer days.

Check plants for spider mite damage and treat with Bayer 3 in 1 Insect, Disease and Mite Control then alternate every 7-10 days with Bonide All-Season Oil Spray.

The N-P-K of Fertilizer

Once upon a time, Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary grew her garden with silver bells and cockleshells, but nowadays, most gardeners use some other forms of fertilizer that are better formulated than nursery rhymes. But what important components make up a fertilizer, and why are those components important for your plants?

Understanding Fertilizer

Simply put, a fertilizer has nutrients to make a plant grow better. Years ago, farmers used composted manure, ashes and urine. Today, most of us buy our fertilizer, but a trip to the store can be confusing. What do those numbers on the fertilizer bag mean? Should I buy liquid or granular? Which is better, slow or quick release? Let’s investigate…

Without getting too technical, the three numbers show the percentage of available nitrogen (N), phosphate (P) and potassium (K) in a fertilizer blend. By law, it always goes in that order. If you see a fertilizer with 20-5-10, it means the fertilizer contains 20 percent available nitrogen, 5 percent phosphate and 10 percent potassium. Other nutrients and filler make up the difference and are often chosen for specific types of plants, such as roses or flowers, vegetables, trees, etc.

What does that mean to your plants?

  • Nitrogen promotes chlorophyll, producing greener, more quickly growing plants. If your plants aren’t as green as they should be, use a fertilizer with nitrogen. Most lawn fertilizers have a relatively high nitrogen content and cause mowing to be more frequent as lawns “green up” and grass blades grow more quickly.
  • Phosphate improves root growth, flowering ability and bloom size. Use a fertilizer with a larger middle number (phosphate percentage) to encourage root growth during transplanting or to encourage blooms. This is especially important when initially planting so root systems become strongly established.
  • Potassium enables the photosynthesis process and improves plant resistance to cold spells, drought and insect attacks. Many people use a potassium fertilizer when the seasons change to help plants resist the stresses of those transitions.

Liquid or Granular? Fast or Slow?

Fertilizers come in liquid and granular forms. Generally speaking, liquids are highly concentrated and need to be mixed with water before being fed to plants, but they are absorbed more quickly and are easy to apply more evenly. Granular formulas have small beads or grains that must be spread around and watered into the soil, and it can be difficult to spread an even layer over large areas unless a spreader is used. Granular forms need time to dissolve or decompose before they can be absorbed, but they last longer in the soil and can nourish plants for weeks or months.

Similarly, fertilizers come in fast or quick release forms as well as slow release forms. Both can work well in any garden, depending on your fertilizing needs, plant nutritional requirements and condition of your soil.

Read the label carefully for specific instructions and uses. It may seem boring, but reading that label will prevent bad results, as overuse or misuse of fertilizer can kill your plants, upset the balance of your soil and even cause environmental contamination – not the results you planned. Once you know more about fertilizer and how to use it correctly, however, you’ll enjoy the results this extra treat can give to your garden.

Color Combinations

It can be tempting to create a rainbow of riotous shades in container gardens, but are they as pretty as you imagine? Too many colors can be distracting and disjointed, giving your containers a haphazard, messy look. Instead, create a unified look in your container plantings by selecting two or three colors, rather than trying to use as many colors as possible. Multiple containers using the two or three color guideline will create a more dramatic effect on your deck or patio as the color masses are more pleasing to the eye.

Choosing Colors by Area Shade

Shaded areas can appear brighter by using light-colored plants. Try light pink, light yellow, lavender, pale blue and white flowers in lower light areas. Also consider foliage and grasses with light variegations or patterns that can seem to glow in dimmer locations.

Containers in the full sun, however, can handle brightly colored flowers, whereas pastels will appear faded and washed out in bright sunlight. Use bold colors in reds, oranges, bright yellows, deep blues and purples in sunny spots, and choose foliage options with rich, deep hues.

Color Theory

Basic color theory can help you create the color effect you may be looking for in your containers. Harmonious colors are next to each other on the color wheel and have a soothing effect. These color combinations include blue and violet, orange and red, and orange and yellow. When combined in a container arrangement, they have a very well coordinated, blended look with understated elegance.

Complementary colors are opposite from each other on the color wheel. These are high in contrast and add drama and excitement to your container garden. Vibrant combinations include yellow and violet, orange and blue or green and red. These are especially good options for any area that needs a bold pop of color.

A monochromatic color scheme is composed of plants of the same color. Create extra interest in a monochromatic container by using a mix of tones or shades of the same color in addition to various textures, shapes and sizes. Take care that the different hues do coordinate, however, or you may end up with a clashing mix that doesn’t look quite right.

Working with White

White flowers are in a class by themselves. They blend well with most colors and can provide a transition between colors that do not normally work well together. White flowers or white-edged foliage can create a beautiful display in containers in the evening when combined with well-placed, soft lighting, ideal for a nighttime garden.

Don’t Forget Pot Color

When working with color combinations, don’t overlook the color of your pots and planters. Use the same color theory guidelines to coordinate between pots and plants, or choose more neutrally-colored planters to ensure the plants are the ultimate showstoppers of every container. With well chosen colors, every container can look amazing.

Sunflowers

Grow one of the oldest American cultivated plants and join the Incas and Aztecs who grew – and revered – sunflowers more than 4,600 years ago.

Types of Sunflowers

While there wasn’t much variety in the sunflowers for ancient civilizations to grow, there certainly is now. ‘Russian Giant’ quickly grows to 12′ tall with a huge medium brown “face” surrounded by bright yellow petals. On the other hand, ‘Choco Sun’ looks similar but only grows to 15″ tall and with a 5″ face.

Don’t think all sunflowers are vertically growing brown and yellow either. ‘Cherry Rose’ has the familiar brown face, however deep red petals with tips of bright yellow-gold surround it. ‘Pastiche’ glows in reds, oranges and buffs. ‘Black Magic’ is completely dark. And ‘Inca Gold’ trails downward!

Kids love planting and watching their sunflower grow, grow and grow, and there are plenty of fun science projects kids can experiment with sunflower seeds. Later, eating the seeds is a healthy snack.

The folks in Kansas chose the sunflower as their state flower. As an American native plant, its diverse uses make it one of the economic forces in the agricultural world. As a crop, its seeds are in human and bird snacks, the oil is used for cooking and the remaining pulp is a popular livestock feed. Sunflowers also make gorgeous cut flowers in summer and fall.

Growing Sunflowers

Many sunflower varieties are available as seeds. Also, many garden centers often offer a selection of well-rooted seedlings or small plants. Tall or short, yellow or red, upright or trailing, the growing requirements are the same.

Start seeds indoors six weeks before the last frost date or sow seeds directly into the garden after all danger of frost has passed. Cover seed with 1/2″ of soil. Improve growth and bloom by working compost into the outdoor bed or pot. If you are growing giant sunflowers, provide a support such as a trellis or stake. Otherwise, they may fall over as they grow when the large heads get heavy with seeds.

Chose an outdoor location in full sun. As these plants develop, the flower heads will “track” the sun daily. However, contrary to popular myth, after the face develops, it stops and puts energy into seed production. To see the plant’s face, choose a location where you will see the flower facing eastwardly. At least six hours of sunlight produces beautiful flowers and abundant seeds. Provide regular water or plant seeds in a naturally moist location. They bloom from midsummer into autumn.

Birds love sunflower seeds. Therefore, cover the heads with netting if you plan to harvest. When harvesting, cut 12″ of stem with the head, hang it upside down and allow the head to dry. The seeds will loosen and be easy to rub off once dry. Alternatively, you may leave the flower on the plant to provide bird food through the fall and winter, or give the whole cut head to hungry birds. They’ll thank you for it. Just be sure to save a few seeds for next year’s sunflower garden!

Basil: King of the Herbs

It’s edible, a member of the mint family and ornamental. Grown for over 5,000 years, it flavors foods around the world and is well-known in many household kitchens… Have you guessed yet?

Of course, it’s BASIL!

A flavorful ingredient of foods from Italy to India and Thailand and America, basil adds flavor and flair to any recipe. Add fresh or dried basil just before serving for the most intense flavor. However, the kitchen isn’t the only place it reigns as king… Give it a throne in your garden, too!

Growing Basil

Like other mints, basil is easy to grow. Choose young, bushy, compact plants that show no signs of diseases or pests. Plant in full or partial sun, in well-draining soil and provide adequate moisture. As an annual, it’s also easy to grow from seed, just follow the package instructions.

The most difficult decision about basil is deciding which basil you want to grow and eat. The basil family, Basilicum, has a natural variety of colors, growth shapes and fragrances. Plant breeders complicated the decision by creating over 30 hybrids commonly used today.

For ornamental gardening use, four “shapes” are commonly available. All are deliciously edible.

  • Sweet Green Basil: 2′ tall, with large leaves and white flower spikes. The clove/anise taste is typical of many types of basil. Others in this group include lettuce-leaf, Genovese, Thai (spicy) and the intensely fragrant and flavored Siam queen.
  • Dwarf Basil: Up to 12″ tall, small leaves, white flowers. This group includes well known Spicy Globe and Boxwood basil (perfect edging plants due to rounded growth) and Green Bouquet.
  • Purple-Leafed Basil: Favorite varieties include Dark Opal, Purple Ruffle and Red Rubin, all with “fancy” leaves, very aromatic, with pink to lavender-purple flowers.
  • Scented-Leaf Basils: This group includes varieties of stronger aromas. Lemon basil (gray green leaves, white flowers) is aptly named as are cinnamon basil (dark pink flowers), and anise basil (blue purple flowers).

Basil, especially the purple-leafed, is wonderful in containers. Design as you would with any ornamental. Don’t overlook the value of placing a container near the BBQ and kitchen for easy use while cooking. It’s said that planting basil, especially aromatic varieties, around the patio or deck will deter flies… It certainly can’t hurt!

Enjoying Basil

Used throughout the world with different regional foods, basil truly reigns in many different cultures and cuisines. Although pesto is probably one of the best-known uses here in the United States, basil is great in soups, sauces, pastas or in salads, vegetables and martinis. Remember to harvest before flowering for the best flavor. This also keeps the plant bushy and compact. Simply cut the entire stem just above a pair of leaves to promote new shoots. If you plan to use some leaves as garnish, cut with scissors to reduce bruising. Store unused basil in the refrigerator to retain its flavor and freshness.

Extra basil can easily be dried for future use. Cut the plant at ground level, hang upside down in an airy room and let dry. After it’s fully dry, remove the leaves from stems and store in airtight jars away from direct light.

Benefits of Basil

Did you know using basil is also very good for you? For many reasons basil is called the “holy herb” in other cultures. Research now shows it has strong anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial qualities. Additionally, it is rich in essential nutrients, minerals and vitamins including beta-carotene, vitamins A and K and iron. Need we say more? Add basil to your healthy, delicious diet today!

Butterfly Bush

What could be more enjoyable than relaxing in your favorite lawn chair or hammock, your sunglasses on and a cool beverage in hand, staring at an enchanting array of colorful butterflies milling around their favorite plant? What could possibly be an easier way to accomplish this vision than by planting a simple butterfly bush?

About Butterfly Bush

Buddleia davidii, the butterfly bush, is a flowering maniac. It pushes its proliferation of perfumed blooms straight through summer and well into fall, providing nourishment to butterflies all season long. Available in a multitude of colors ranging from white to pink to red to purple, there are colorful butterfly bushes to match any garden or landscape color scheme. The fragrant, long, spiked panicles are borne in profusion on long, gracefully arching branches that add drama and elegance to the yard. And it really is a butterfly magnet!

Growing Butterfly Bush

This quick growing, deciduous, woody shrub is winter hardy in zones 5-10. In the northernmost areas of its hardiness range, Buddleia behaves like a herbaceous perennial, dying back to the ground in very cold winters. In the southernmost areas, Buddleia is grown as large shrub and can flourish all year. In either location, however, you should treat this plant as a cut back shrub. Because butterfly bush blooms on new wood, it benefits the plant to be cut back to the ground each spring. This judicious pruning will stimulate lavish new growth and an abundance of flowers. It will also keep some of the larger varieties at a manageable size, particularly in smaller yards, corners or other confined spaces.

Plant your butterfly bush in full sun in just about any type of soil and it will thrive. Don’t worry about fertilizing as over-fertilization can encourage too much leaf growth over flower formation. Deadheading will encourage additional growth and new flower buds to extend the blooming season. Buddleia has a good tolerance for drought once established, but should be carefully watered when young. A good, thick layer of mulch will help maintain soil moisture and keep weeds down to keep the shrub healthy. Just be sure not to use insecticides or pesticides on your butterfly bush or you may be harming the very fluttering fliers you hope to attract.

Not sure which butterfly bush to try? Consider these varieties to choose the perfect color and style to suit your yard.

Recommended Buddleia Varieties by Color

White Butterfly Bushes

  • ‘Nanho Alba’: 6-8’ height, blue-green leaves, mildly fragrant
  • ‘Silver Frost’: 5-6’ height, silver-gray leaves
  • ‘White Ball’: 3-4’ height, silver foliage, compact habit
  • ‘White Bouquet’: 8-10’ height, gray-green leaves, flowers have orange throat
  • ‘White Cloud’: 8-10’ height, gray-green leaves, flowers have yellow eye
  • ‘White Harlequin’: 8-10’ height, variegated leaves

Pink Butterfly Bushes

  • ‘Charming’: 6-10’ height, blue-green leaves, flowers have orange throat
  • ‘Fascination’: 8-12’ height, lilac-pink flowers with cupped petals
  • ‘Pink Delight’: 4-7’ height, gray-green leaves, true pink flowers, fragrant
  • ‘Summer Beauty’: 5-6’ height, silvery leaves, pink-rose flowers
  • ‘Summer Roae’: 8-10’ height, mauve-rose flowers, strong fragrance

Red Butterfly Bushes

  • ‘Burgundy’: 8-10’ height, magenta-red flowers, fragrant
  • ‘Dartmoor’: 8-10’ height, magenta flowers
  • ‘Harlequin’: 6-8’ height, variegated leaves, reddish-purple flowers
  • ‘Royal Red’: 10-12’ height, purple-red flowers, fragrant

Purple / Blue Butterfly Bushes

  • ‘Black Knight’: 8-10’ height, deep violet-dark purple flowers
  • ‘Bonnie’: 8-10’ height, light lavender flowers with orange eye, sweet fragrance
  • ‘Ellen’s Blue’: 5-6’ height, silver leaves, deep blue flowers, orange eye, fragrant
  • ‘Moon Shadow’: 3-4’ height, lilac purple buds open to lavender flowers
  • ‘Nanho Blue’: 6-8’ height, gray-green leaves, mauve-blue flowers, fragrant
  • ‘Orchid Beauty’: 6-8’ height, lavender-blue flowers, fragrant
  • ‘Potter’s Purple’: 6-10’ height, deep purple flowers, mild fragrance