|BUDDLEIA davidii - Butterfly Bush, Summer Lilac|
Loganiaceae; native to China.
Germination: Sow indoors in early spring for fall flowering, or sow outdoors anytime in late spring or summer, up to two months before first fall frost. Cover seeds with 4 times their height in soil and maintain a temperature of 68-70° F during germination, which takes 15-20 days.
Growth: Plant outdoors in sun or light shade in average, well-drained soil. Butterfly Bush blooms the first year if started early, and tolerates heat, humidity, drought, and a wide variety of soil conditions. Mulch in winter to protect the roots. Prune back to 10 inches each spring before new growth to encourage more blooming and a bushier habit.
Appearance and Use: An easy-to-grow source of summer-to-fall color with quick growth, it is ideal as a hedge, screen, or specimen. Buddleia is deciduous and shrub-like, growing up to 14 feet tall. Tapered bloom spikes, up to 12 inches long, arise from summer into fall in shades of white, lilac, pink, red, or yellow, sometimes bi-colored. Butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds love the sweet honey scent of the blooms. Dark green foliage, 8 inches long, is lance-shaped and coarse with a felted underside.
NASA Seeds in Space
"Simply cutting off any deteriorating leaves, stems, or flowers can improve the overall appearance of a plant," Tracy DiSabato-Aust, The Well-Tended Perennial Garden-Planting & Pruning Techniques