The Q&A Archives: butterfly bush companion plants

Question: Hello, first thank you for your wonderful site. I have just planted 3 white profusion butterfly bushes which, as I understand will get quite large. We are in zone 8a. What are recommended companion plants for the front of these ... something to disguise their somewhat rangy appearance for about halfway up the plant height? Location is edge of understory ... southern exposure full to partial sun.

Answer: Tammy,

I am sorry for this delayed reply to your gardening question. We are transitioning to a new Q&A system and your question was unfortunately lost in the transition. I have discovered it now and hope this reply is not too late to be of help.

The white blooms on those bushes will combine well with almost any color. Dwarf nandina is nice and in the cool season the foliage takes on a nice burgundy color. For summer bloom you might consider a shrub rose like Knock Out. This variety is very dense and disease resistant but will need to be pruned down to about 3 feet each February and sheared back a little in August to keep it from getting too tall. Other options include a miniature dwarf type crape myrtle or just going with a short evergreen shrub like dwarf yaupon. The evergreen shrub (including the nandina mentioned earlier) would provide foliage for winter interest when the Butterfly Bush is dormant or even cut way back.

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