Exposure: Sun / Shade
Mature Size (H x W): 5’ x 5’
Blooming Season: June – September
Flower Color: Purple
Region: All areas of Greater Albuquerque
Noted for its ability to handle alkaline soils, the Dwarf Butterfly Bush is a magnet for its namesake garden visitors, including the majestic Monarch. Some gardeners consider these the absolute best plants for attracting butterflies (though Asclepias is a strong contender for that award), as they are known to attract as many as 25 North American butterfly species. Panicles nearly 6” long emit a light fragrance vaguely reminiscent of honey, and produce a nectar that attracts not only butterflies, but hummingbirds!
Like most plants, the Dwarf Butterfly Bush is most susceptible to pests and disease if stressed by drought. Irrigate these plants according to our Watering Guidelines (look to the middle of the range recommended for shrub irrigation frequency). Tolerant of urban pollution, this plant prefers well-drained soils. To best take advantage of the fragrant flowers, locate these in groups along a path or near a window or porch, or in the front of a bed where their petite size can be appreciated. And take heart, these will not require pruning like the standard Butterfly Bush.
In recent years, breeders have produced plants with a variety of flower colors and mature sizes. Look for cultivars including “Nanho Blue,” which has mauve-blue flowers, and “Nanho Purple,” which has a more traditional, distinctively purple flower. Enjoy a cascade of flowers from June to September.
Photo Courtesy of Hunter Ten Broeck with WaterWise Landscapes Inc.