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The reputation of the butterfly bush precedes it as being undemanding and uncomplicated. You should take a little closer look at its cultivation so that it unfolds its brilliant flowering potential. All important questions about the successful care of buddleia receive a precise and realizable answer here.

The Buddleia owes its name to its attraction to butterflies

Does a butterfly bush need to be watered?

The butterfly bush copes with short-term drought without any problems. However, this stress should be the exception. It is better to pour water on the root disk as soon as the soil has dried well. Only let normal tap water run out of the spout until no more moisture is absorbed.

How do I fertilize the flowering shrub correctly?

The rapid growth and the magnificent blossoms and leaves require a lot of energy from a butterfly bush. By fertilizing the ornamental tree in a balanced way, you support growth and flowering. That is how it goes:

  • Fertilize the bed every 4 weeks from May to September with compost and horn shavings
  • Work in the organic material on the root disc and pour in more
  • Alternatively, apply a complete fertilizer with a long-term effect in May

In the pot, spoil the butterfly bush with a liquid fertilizer for flowering shrubs according to the manufacturer's instructions. At the beginning of September, stop the nutrient supply so that the shoots mature before winter.

When and how is a summer lilac pruned?

The butterfly bush is also popular with beginners because it is extremely easy to cut. Spring is the best time for pruning the late-blooming plant, as it buds on the new wood. Wait for the last ground frosts to trim the branches vigorously. If you cut back a shoot to 20 cm, the ornamental tree will thrive compactly and with many flowers this year.

Are precautions for the winter time useful?

The butterfly bush only gradually develops sufficient winter hardiness for the Central European climate. When young and in the bucket, the flowering shrub is dependent on winter protection. How to overwinter the summer lilac with expertise:

  • Before the onset of winter, pile up leaves, straw and needle brushwood on the root disc
  • After the leaves fall, wrap the branches in a transparent, breathable material
  • With frost some watering on mild days

A frost-free winter quarters is ideally available for potted plants. Alternatively, wrap the pot up tightly and place it on a block of wood in a niche sheltered from the wind.

Is the butterfly bush susceptible to disease?

In a sunny location and lovingly cared for, the butterfly bush knows how to defend itself against pathogens. Under the influence of a rainy, cold summer, the flowering shrub often suffers from downy mildew. A nitrogen-stressed fertilization also calls nematodes onto the scene and narrow-leaved disease, triggered by tombus viruses.


Cultivated in tubs, the care program for butterfly bushes is supplemented with regular repotting. On average, every 1 to 2 years, the vigorous flowering shrub has rooted through the pot, so that it needs a larger container. The best time to do this is in early spring, just before the start of the new growing season.

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