People in the nursery trade have high hopes for a new miniature butterfly bush that Proven Winners is introducing this spring.
“I think it will be a major landscape item this spring,” says Tina Anton, manager of annuals and perennials at Down to Earth nursery in Pomona. “It’s one of the plants I’m featuring.”
Unlike regular butterfly bushes, which reach a height of 6 to 10 feet by the end of the summer, this new one called ‘Blue Chip’ tops out at 2 to 3 feet. It’s perfect for small gardens and containers.
“It’s a true dwarf, so you can use it as an underplanting under flowering trees, such as dogwoods, or in a landscape way,” Anton says. “It blooms from summer all the way to frost.”
Proven Winners sent me a couple of these plants to try last year and they bloomed and bloomed and bloomed — very impressive for a first-year plant. But I must say the two of them looked a little small and lonely. I think planting them en masse may be the way to go.
‘Blue Chip,’ which has fragrant lavender-blue flowers and dark green foliage, is the first in the new Lo & Behold series of miniature buddleias from Proven Winners.
Known botanically as Buddleia x ‘Blue Chip,’ this butterfly bush has the same familiar characteristics of arching branches and long upright panicle-shaped flowers that bob in the wind. Like other buddleias, this one is deer resistant, cold hardy and drought tolerant. Unlike the others, it doesn’t need to be deadheaded.
Buddleias like absolutely full sun. As their name suggests, butterflies love them; so do hummingbirds and bees.
Prune them in late winter, after new foliage begins to appear on the lower branches.