Ask a Question forum: Zone 6B - Butterfly Bush Question

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Harrisburg, PA
Michele1984
Apr 4, 2018 3:27 PM CST
Hi, I just received a Buddleia x davidii 'Bicolor" that I ordered online from Groupon. The pamphlet that came with it is generic and gives no indication of when it's safe to plant. It's wrapped in plastic and the roots are in a bit of soil. Can anyone help me with a planting date or tell me how long I can safely keep it inside? Thanks!
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Name: stone
near Macon Georgia (USA) (Zone 8a)
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stone
Apr 4, 2018 4:14 PM CST
Benjamin Vogt has a few interesting things to say about butterfly bushes....

http://deepmiddle.blogspot.com...

The main thing that most people complain about buddlea, is that they take over in an environment where it rains a lot...

If you search the variety that you bought with the term "invasive", you will see what I mean. PA is mentioned repeatedly as one of those states where it's inadvisable to grow them.

they don't grow at my house at all... too droughty... and I have root knot nematodes...

I'd be very surprised if you couldn't plant it now, if you are still determined to grow it...

Or... just do like I do with a new plant that has been in a greenhouse, and isn't hardened off to the climate... pot it and leave it outside, bring it indoors when frost is predicted... I have lost those hot house plants to late frost... even though they were supposed to be hardy!
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
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DaisyI
Apr 4, 2018 6:40 PM CST
How cold is it getting at night? I wouldn't plant it out until your last frost date. If that date is too far off in the distance, I would pot it up and put it some place shady and cool. Inside temperatures will not be good for it. You could leave it in a pot for most of this growing season while it got well rooted and plant it out halfway through summer.

I had 4 in my California yard (Zone 8b). My biggest problem is that they got monsterous every year so I had to cut them back every spring so I would still have a yard. Interesting enough, of the 4, only 1 ever reproduced itself. Pulling the extra Butterfly bushes along with every other weed that popped up in late winter/early spring was just part of the job. I enjoyed them too much to get rid of them.

In Reno, I have 3 but they are all dwarfs and also die back on their own due to the cold - saves pruning. Smiling
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

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Name: stone
near Macon Georgia (USA) (Zone 8a)
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stone
Apr 5, 2018 7:08 AM CST
DaisyI said:Pulling the extra Butterfly bushes along with every other weed that popped up in late winter/early spring was just part of the job.

did you also pull the ones that came up in the neighbor's yard?
What about the ones that came up in the natural areas?

Those seeds seem to have a fairly wide dispersal...
Name: Carol H. Sandt
Lancaster County, Pennsylvania (Zone 6b)
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csandt
Apr 5, 2018 7:41 AM CST
@Michele1984,

I live about an hour's drive south of you in southwestern Lancaster County, and I have many butterfly bushes in the Buzz series. Buzz series butterfly bushes are sterile (i.e., not invasive because they do not produce seeds). They are wonderful magnets for pollinators.

I don't know whether your Buddleia x davidii 'Bicolor' is sterile or not and therefore whether it is invasive as others have wisely cautioned.

In any case, before planting it outside, it would help to keep the roots from drying out and to get it used to outside temperature gradually before planting. If it were mine, I would put it outside on a porch near the door to my house during the warm part of the day for a week or so and bring it into a cool (not freezing) place at night. Then keep it outside day and night for a few days. Then plant.
Carol H. Sandt

"Life is what happens to us while we are making other plans.'' -- Allen Saunders
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
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DaisyI
Apr 5, 2018 2:30 PM CST
stone said:
did you also pull the ones that came up in the neighbor's yard?
What about the ones that came up in the natural areas?

Those seeds seem to have a fairly wide dispersal...


As the only seedlings I ever saw were only about 50 ft away from the parent tree (all down hill, none up hill) and I never saw any in the neighbors yards or the fields behind me, I suspect their dispersal isn't as far as you think. That can't be said for the California Poppies - I think I infested half the county with them. Smiling
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

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