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Dwarf butterfly bush delivers big burst of color

Garden Gems: Dwarf butterfly bush, such as Buzz Lavender from the Buzz Series, stay relatively compact, but still offer big blooms.
Garden Gems: Dwarf butterfly bush, such as Buzz Lavender from the Buzz Series, stay relatively compact, but still offer big blooms.

This is one part in a weekly series featuring the UC Davis Arboretum’s “Garden Gems” series – 45 can’t-fail, easy-care, low-water plants well adapted to our region and that add sparkle to drought-tolerant landscapes.

Dwarf butterfly bush

Buddleia davidii “Buzz Series”

Size: Reaches 5 to 6 feet tall at maturity.

Bloom season: Comes in a variety of colors including purple, lavender, sky blue and white; from late spring into fall.

Exposure: Needs full sun for best bloom.

Pruning needs: Prune to increase branching in early season; cut back hard in winter.

Water needs: Medium to low; once established, water every other week or once a month.

Snapshot: Part of the “Buzz Series” of hybrids, this new form of butterfly bush gets only one-third the size of older varieties but still provides large and showy clusters of flowers. Like its name implies, this colorful shrub is a magnet for a large variety of butterflies. Buddleia easily propagates itself; this popular shrub is considered a noxious weed in Oregon and Washington. To keep it from spreading, remove spent flowerheads before they form seeds.

For more on “Garden Gems,” click on arboretum.ucdavis.edu.

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