When planning your garden, looking to fill a gap or replace a spent plant, one of the best things you can consider is planting for wildlife. More often than not plants that attract large numbers of bees and butterflies are also highly decorative and add color, shape and texture to your landscape, while also offering important food sources to many creatures. The Buddleia is so successful at creating a haven of deliciousness that it is virtually unrivalled, and any self-respecting butterfly garden that does not contain one will certainly be quietly complaining about you behind your back. Quite apart from the plump lances of tiny deep purple flowers, each dotted in the center with an orange eye, ‘Asian Moon’ has two tone foliage; the upper side of the leaves shows a grey-green color with a silvery hue that gives it a blueish tone, and the underside is a pale silver that when caught in the breeze give a wonderful effect as the leaves move around. Even without the dramatic flower heads, these six inch long leaves that measure only one and half an inches wide, make for a lovely shrub all by themselves.
Reaching heights of up to seven feet and the same in width, these sizeable shrubs are quite coarse and loose in nature allowing lovely movement, which in turn spreads the delightful honey aroma that appeals not only to us but to bees and humming birds also.
Native to a great many regions of the world from the southern United States to Chile, Africa and Asia, the buddleia takes its name from the renowned English botanist, the Reverend Adam Buddle, with the title being posthumously awarded. The new seedless varieties were a very welcome addition to the market as the older traditional plants were considered so invasive that their planting was heavily restricted, which unfortunately proved a great loss to wildlife. Fortunately much has been kept from those original plants, and certainly all of the things that were so loved in the first place. These are unfussy and easy to grow, and require very little special treatment.
When choosing a position for your new addition, sunlight is an important point to consider. These are plants that want plenty of sun, in fact they prefer at least 6 hours a day, and these are the conditions in which it will perform best. The hole should be twice the size of the pot in which you received the plant but only as deep, so that when placed into the ground the pot soil and earth around it will be at the same height. Water well on planting and then every two weeks thereafter, more if it is particularly dry. They are not often planted alone, but with others in order to maximize the effect and present an irresistible opportunity to wildlife. It is a very adaptable plant, as was proven by the fertile plants who could grow without even the suggestion of soil it seems, and so you do not have to worry much about the acidity or alkalinity of the soil. Nor really the composition be it sandy or loamy. If you are in a heavy clay area then it is worth making sure that there is suitable drainage,e as being overly wet is something ‘Asian Moon’ will punish you for.
Being a fast growing shrub there is a need to prune it if you do not want it to get too loose and leggy. A hard prune can be undertaken in early spring and once more in mid-summer. This second prune can see the plant taken down to within 3 feet of the ground and will serve to incentivize an even stronger continuation of the aromatic flowers.
There is a lot to like about this plant, and it has certainly allowed gardeners to safely reintroduce a much loved shrub without fear of it spreading with abandon. It will furnish you and the wildlife it attracts with many years of pleasure without you having to do an awful lot to achieve it. An absolute must in any wildlife and butterfly garden, it is difficult to find any reason whatsoever to not include this in your plans and truly you will not regret it. A proliferation of deep purple flowers, beautiful silvery green texture that comes alive in a breeze and more butterflies, bees and hummingbirds than you ever thought possible.