Everything You Need to Know About the Butterfly Bush in Alabama

Scientifically known as the Buddleia davidii, the butterfly bush is an eye-catching plant. Its brightly conical flowers are constantly surrounded by butterflies and hummingbirds.

It has a sweet fragrance and plenty of other features that will make it stand out in your garden or landscape. If you are a gardener living in Alabama and have taken an interest in the butterfly bush, this article will cover whether this plant will grow well in this zone and share tips about caring for the butterfly bush.

Is It Native to Alabama?

Butterfly Bush Alabama

Let’s start with its origin. Even though the butterfly bush is a common plant in most states, Alabama included. It is not a native plant. The butterfly bush is originally from China. It was brought to the US by traders back in the day, and it has evolved to more than one hundred species.

As mentioned above, even though it’s not a native. It is very common here in Alabama. The butterfly bush comprises conical-shaped flowers that can be white, pink, maroon, yellow or blue. It will depend on the species. It grows to around 15 feet, and the leaves are often more than 5 inches long. It’s a unique plant that will always grab your visitor’s attention.

Does Butterfly Bush Do Well in Alabama?

Butterfly Bush Alabama

Obviously, you wouldn’t be looking up butterfly bush if you don’t find it attractive. So, let’s look at whether it can survive in Alabama’s growing zones. In Alabama, the growing zones range from 7a to 9a. The butterfly bush thrives in hardiness zones 5 to 10. That puts Alabama within the ideal climatic zones of the butterfly bush.

The butterfly bush is a cold-hardy plant. It can survive temperatures of up to -15 degrees F, which are experienced in zone 5. Since the lowest hardiness zone in Alabama is 7, whose winter temperatures fall to 0 degrees F, that means the butterfly bush should withstand the harshest winters experienced within this area. It’s also worth noting that the butterfly bush can also withstand summer temperatures of zone 9 and 10. Once again, Alabama meets the hardiness zone requirements for growing the butterfly bush.

How to Grow Butterfly Bush in Alabama?

Butterfly Bush Alabama

Having seen that butterfly bush can thrive in Alabama. If you are interested in growing this plant, we will go through the essential requirements. Before we start, you should know that the butterfly bush is a hardy perennial that doesn’t require a lot of care or maintenance, especially when it matures. It doesn’t matter whether you are new to planting shrubs or have done it for years. You should have an easy time growing the butterfly bush in your landscape.

Light Requirements

This plant loves spending time in the sun. To enjoy its blooms during summer, you will need to provide it with at least half a day of sun exposure. That shouldn’t be a problem for gardeners in Alabama since this part of the country experiences adequate sunlight throughout the year. The only issue you may run into is when you plant it in a spot where the plant is blocked from receiving light.

Soil Requirements

Like other shrubs, the butterfly bush should be planted in fertile and well-drained soil. The soil pH requirements vary depending on the species. You will have to confirm when shopping for butterfly bush seeds. However, this plant isn’t very picky.

Water Requirements

The butterfly bush should be watered thoroughly. You should know that this plant dislikes soil that is always wet. Therefore, please wait till the soil dries before watering it.

These are the main requirements for growing butterfly bush in Alabama. To ensure your plants are healthy, here are more tips on growing and taking care of butterfly bushes.

  1. The best time to plant the butterfly bush is in fall. And it’s not just the butterfly bush but all perennials. During fall, the temperatures are cooler, and that promotes strong root development. Considering that this is a cold-hardy plant and Alabama doesn’t experience extremely low temperatures in winter, come spring, your butterfly bushes will be healthy and green.
  2. Since they can grow extremely big, you should create enough room between these plants, preferably five to ten feet.
  3. It would be best if you were cautious with the use of fertilizer. Too much use can hinder the development of flowers and only accelerate foliage growth. If you are planting this shrub to enhance beauty, you need to balance the blooms and leaves.
  4. Make a habit of pruning during the first few days of spring. That will ensure an abundant production of flowers later on during the season.

Butterfly Bush Alabama: Final Thoughts

Undeniably, the butterfly bush is one of the easiest to grow perennial shrubs. It’s even much easier to grow in Alabama since the climatic conditions here significantly favor its survival.

As we wrap up our article on growing butterfly bush in Alabama, we would like to remind you that it’s not a native. And it has been considered invasive. The butterfly bush produces nectar that can only be consumed by adult butterflies and not their caterpillars.

Even though it attracts butterflies, it doesn’t support their reproduction. This is something you need to evaluate before introducing it to your landscape.

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