White Profusion Butterfly BushBuddleja davidii ‘White Profusion’
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Buddleja davidii ‘White Profusion’
Outdoor Growing zone
The White Profusion Butterfly Bush lives up to its name, with a profusion of huge flower spikes from early summer into fall. The blossoms are in fat cones up to 16 inches long, and they are pure, snow-white, with a rich honeyed fragrance that attracts hordes of butterflies and other pollinating insects. It grows rapidly into a rounded bush 6 to 8 feet tall and wide, perfect for a specimen, among dark-leaf evergreens, or behind early-flowering shrubs. Perfect for hot locations and poor soils.
Plant your White Profusion Butterfly Bush in full sun for the best results, and in well-drained soil, away from areas that are wet in winter. It grows well even in dry, sandy soils, once established, and it thrives just about anywhere, including in city gardens. It is free of pest and disease problems, and grows rapidly. Prune hard annually, as soon as new growth begins, removing all dead wood and cutting back stems to 2 or 3 healthy buds. Remove flower spikes as they go over, to stimulate more blooms and to prevent seeding.
White flowers are wonderful in any garden, especially from late afternoon to dark, when they become more and more conspicuous, as other flowers fade into the dusk. Since many of us work and come home later in the day, they are ideal for those summer evenings outdoors relaxing or around the bar-b-que. Plus, they look great with all other colors, and fabulous against dark evergreens. For long periods of blooming through summer and into fall, the butterfly bush is a classic favorite – mostly with flowers of purple, red or pink. But there is one outstanding bush with pure-white blossoms that always wins the trials and awards. Its name says it all, with the White Profusion Butterfly Bush bringing a true profusion of enormous spikes of white blossoms to light up your garden. It always tops the list of the best butterfly bushes, and is considered by all to be the most outstanding white among classic, large-flowered types. Growing up to 8 feet tall and wide it makes a superb specimen behind smaller shrubs, or growing between evergreens, and of course its rich fragrance will attract not just you, but a profusion of different butterflies and other pollinators, all set to have a honey party in your garden – bring the kids along.
The White Profusion Butterfly Bush is a deciduous shrub that grows rapidly, growing each year into a rounded bush up to 8 feet tall and wide, but it can be smaller in cooler zones. It branches profusely from low down, becoming an open bush with an attractive light look. The long, oval leaves are up to 6 inches long, with a thick textured feel, and they are rich dark-green with a silvery underside. The young stems are also silvery-green, covered with a dense coating of very short white hairs. Flowering begins before mid-summer, and lasts well into the fall, even up to the first frost. The tiny flowers are pure-white like little trumpets with a flat-open flaring mouth of 4 or 5 petals. The center is golden yellow. Hundreds of blooms are carried in huge conical heads, 12 to 16 inches long, which grow first from the ends of each new stem, and then from side shoots that keep on being produced. A bush in bloom in a wonderful sight of perfect white, and truly a profusion of beauty. The blooms release a rich, sweet fragrance of honey, and they attract hordes of different species of butterflies and other pollinators, sometimes even hummingbirds.
The pure white beauty of the White Profusion Butterfly Bush makes it an outstanding bush to plant among dark-leaved evergreens. Plant it behind spring and early summer-flowering shrubs to keep the color coming, and make it the centerpiece of a garden of white flowers. It fits perfectly with other shrubs, and brings dark colors around it to life. Grow it in any hot and dry area, and on slopes and banks.
You can grow the tough and reliable White Profusion Butterfly Bush in zone 5 and all the way through into zone 9. It has good winter hardiness, but in cold zones it should be planted in a very well-drained spot, and away from areas that accumulate ice and snow.
Plant the White Profusion Butterfly Bush in full sun for best results, especially in cooler zones. It grows well and vigorously in any well-drained soil, including poor rocky and sandy soils, and in urban soils too. It will grow in clay, but not in areas that are often wet and sticky. It is equally happy in alkaline and acid soils, and it’s incredibly easy to grow.
You normally won’t see any pests or diseases on the White Profusion Butterfly Bush, which grows well with very little care. It is slow to sprout in spring, so wait until you see new growth before pruning. Trim out any dead wood, and shorten back last year’s growth to leave 2 or 3 pairs of healthy buds to grow. You can trim it short, or leave a framework of older branches, as suits you best. Remove the blossom heads as soon as they are finished, to prevent seed production and to encourage more blooms. Cut back to the first pair of leaves – usually, you will already see two new flower spikes developing just below the old one.
Named after the French naturalist and missionary Pere Armand David, the butterfly bush, Buddleja davidii, grows in Central Asia. Pere David found it in 1869 along the border between Tibet and China. Once introduced in western countries it became very popular, and soon many different color forms were being raised from seeds. The variety called White Profusion first appeared in 1945, but its exact origins, and who bred it, have been lost.
You can tell just how good this variety is, because it received the Award of Garden Merit from Britain’s Royal Horticultural Society in 1993, and then had it confirmed in 2002, after the Society carried out extensive trials of the many different varieties of butterfly bushes. Everyone agrees that this is the white butterfly bush that is like no other – la crème de la crème (or should that be ‘the whitest of the whites’?). Anyway, we know you will love it, but order right away, as our best butterfly bushes – like this one – sell out the fastest. This variety is not sterile, and should not be planted in areas where butterfly bushes are known to escape into wild areas.