Butterfly bushes are stunning flowering shrubs that can brighten any corner of your garden, regardless of where you place them. These perennials are low-growing and display clusters of red, purple, pink, or white flowers that bloom between spring and fall. You can encourage flower production by dead-heading blooms and use them in compositions to decorate your house.
As you might infer from their name, these plants attract plenty of beneficial pollinators (including butterflies), making them the ideal companion plants to species that need some help reproducing. Plus, they contribute to making your garden more lives, which is never a bad idea.
Butterfly Bushes Are Easy to Grow
Under the right conditions, these plants are relatively easy to grow. They are not too picky about the soil conditions (even if they prefer well-drained substrates) and tolerate droughts, making them suitable even for the warmer parts of the country.
Avoid overwatering these plants are you might cause severe damage to their root system (and even kill them). Pick a spot that receives at least four to five hours of direct sunlight to get the best blooms from your plants. Most gardeners recommend giving butterfly bushes at least six hours of the direct sun: you’ll get the brightest colors and lengthen their blooming season.
But what about fertilizer? Should you worry about feeding these plants, or are they so low-maintenance that they don’t need that either? You’ll find everything you need to know on the topic in this “Butterfly Bush Fertilizer” essential guide.
Should You Fertilize your Butterfly Bush?
Usually, butterfly bushes do well even without fertilizer. Indeed, under ideal conditions, these shrubs are fast-growing. If you don’t have time for regular pruning sessions to keep your plant under control (and maintain an attractive shape), you should consider skipping feeding them.
However, the truth is that adding a suitable product to your plants’ diet once per year in the spring will encourage more blooms and contribute to making your shrubs denser and lush. If your substrate is poor in nutrients, adding fertilizer once per year will help your shrubs to thrive. To improve the soil conditions, consider adding organic compost: it is an organic solution that won’t damage your plants. Plus, it will also improve water retention!
Don’t forget that butterfly bushes are not heavy feeders, so avoid overdoing it with fertilizer. As with many things in life, too much of a good thing can do more damage than good. Fertilizer is no exception.
Over fertilization might cause your plants to become leggy and stop producing flowers. It can also weaken their growth and make them more susceptible to attacks from pests and diseases. Feeding your plants once per year will be more than enough for your butterfly bushes. Don’t forget to follow the instructions you find on the product’s label to avoid making mistakes.
What’s The Best Butterfly Bush Fertilizer?
If you want to encourage flower production and get a denser shrub, you must purchase a suitable fertilizer. The best way to give your plants extra nutrition is to add a layer of compost as mulch.
As we mentioned in the previous section doing so will improve the nutrient content in the soil and retain moisture for longer, which can come in handy if you live in a hot region where summers get extreme. Spread a three-inches layer around your plant: it will also contribute to keeping weeds at bay!
But if you don’t mind purchasing a fertilizer, we recommend a slow-release product. Choose one with balanced nutrition to avoid getting lush bushes without flowers. Keep in mind that too much nitrogen might result in a dense shrub and halt bloom production.
Sprinkle a granular fertilizer around the base of your butterfly bushes during the spring, and don’t forget to water your plants thoroughly after application to encourage absorption. Do so in the spring as new growth begins to appear. But avoid repeating it! Also, ensure the product you apply doesn’t get in touch with your bush’s leaves: it might burn them!
Butterfly Bush Fertilizer: The Bottom Line
Butterfly bushes are attractive plants that can add an elegant touch to your garden: you can use them as container plants or even plant them as hedges. The best thing about them is that they don’t require much maintenance.
Fertilizer isn’t necessary: adding organic material around these plants’ bases will be more than enough. But consider getting a balanced fertilizer if your soil is poor in nutrients. Follow the recommendations we included in this essential guide to avoiding making mistakes.
Related Article: Is Butterfly Bush Native to California?