How to Make My Butterfly Bush Bloom


The butterfly bush, Buddleia davidii, is a summer flowering shrub known for its bright blooms and rich fragrance that attracts butterflies and bees. Treated more like a perennial than a shrub, the butterfly bush is practically indestructible. It will tolerate drought and varied soil conditions as well as regular and aggressive pruning. However, if sunlight is not adequate or the shrub is left uncared for, blooms may become spindly and infrequent.

Four Steps to Better Blooms

Step 1

Prune the shrub all the way back to the ground in the spring. The butterfly bush produces flowers on new wood and it is beneficial to get rid of old growth.

Step 2

Make sure the butterfly bush receives full sun. If the shrub receives less than six hours of sunlight, transplant it to a more appropriate place.

Step 3

Deadhead old blooms. Once the blossoms are spent, snip them back to the closest set of leaves to encourage new growth.

Step 4

Fertilize your butterfly bush in the spring and fall with an all-purpose fertilizer. Follow the directions on the fertilizer.

Things You'll Need

  • Prunning shears
  • Gloves (optional)
  • All-purpose fertilizer


  • University of Arkansas Department of Agriculture
Keywords: butterfly bush blooms, pruning butterfly bush, summer flowering shrubs, butterfly plants

About this Author

Leah Deitz has been writing alternative health and environmental-related articles for five years. She began her writing career at a small newspaper covering city politics but turned to environmental concerns after beginning her freelance career. When she is not exploring the trails and outdoors of the East Coast, Deitz writes for a number of websites including, and Associated Content.