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
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.
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.
Deadhead old blooms. Once the blossoms are spent, snip them back to the closest set of leaves to encourage new growth.
Fertilize your butterfly bush in the spring and fall with an all-purpose fertilizer. Follow the directions on the fertilizer.