A wonderful little shrub, noted by its special fragrance and its ability to thrive even in the most troubling terrain.
Common name : Summer Lilac
Scientific name : Buddleja davidii
Family : Scrophulariaceae
Category : Shrubs
Type of plant : Perennial
Buddleja davidii originates from China, but is very well-adapted to most European climates south of Scandinavia. It can be planted in full sunlight, even in uncultivated earth, regardless of how rich it is in nutrients or if it's full of stones. Plant it preferably in poor soil to limit the development of its sometimes unruly foliage. Keep in mind that it's a pioneer plant, whose wood is quite durable. It's therefore beneficial to trim its growth down at ground level each year.
A shrub measuring between 2 and 5 meters, with downy stems, opposite, spear-shaped leaves of a green-greyish colour. It flowers in the summer in large, dense panicles of heavily scented violet flowers. There are other types of butterfly bush than Buddleja davidii, with yellow or white foliage.
Plant my summer lilac
Plant from the end of autumn to the beginning of spring, in the sun, in all types of soil except very rich earth. Don't bury the base of the plant too deeply. Tamp down the earth around the roots, form a shallow basin and water until no more can be absorbed.
Mulch my summer lilac
Mulch in November each year to protect the soil — especially for the first few years — and limit weeding.
Prune my summer lilac
In March, every year, prune all the branches, just flush with the ground; this operation is called coppicing, it forces the plant to re-emit stems from its roots. If you notice that your shrub is weakened by competition from taller plants, trim it every other year.
Water my summer lilac
Water in the first weeks if the weather is dry - and soon it will not be needed anymore