I bought myself a present this week: two “Blue Chip” Buddleias, or butterfly bushes. I have been planting these in other people’s gardens, and I decided it was time for me to have one or two of my own.
Blue Chip, a recent Proven Winners introduction, changes the buddleia playing field, in my opinion. This plant is compact – to 3 feet max, never needs deadheading, and is supposedly not invasive, as its more burly cousins tend to be. It can be grown in a container, as a hedge or as a stand alone garden accent. And you don’t have to get out a ladder to tame it if you forget to cut it back one year, because it never reaches that gangly stage.
The flowers are a purple-blue and it blooms from mid-summer to frost. I set my newly-purchased plants outside still in their nursery pots, and hummingbirds and other pollinators found them almost immediately. That’s the main reason I bought these, so mission accomplished on that front! This buddleia is hardy to Zone 5, so it should make it through our RI winters without complaining.
While I’m on the subject: why do pollinators seem to love clusters of small flowers so much? They seem to prefer these to all other bloom configurations. Maybe it’s because they can get nectar from several blossoms in close proximity, so they don’t have to travel as far. This is pure speculation on my part, but it does make sense.