With its delicate yellow blossoms and compact development, the “Butterfly” bush honeysuckle (Diervilla sessifolia “Butterfly”) is an appealing choice if you want to put in a new tree into your own garden. This plant shouldn’t be confused with the invasive butterfly bush (Buddleja davidii) which is banned for sale in several nations. Although low-maintenance, you must know about this bush’s growing demands before you make your purchase.
Size and Appearance
A mature “Butterfly” bush honeysuckle grows to about 5 feet tall and wide. The coppery new growth provides a colorful display in spring. The leaves turn dark green as they mature. From spring through the summer, the bush produces clusters of trumpet-shaped, pale yellow flowers which attract butterflies and hummingbirds. Although deciduous, the red stems of this “Butterfly” bush honeysuckle add a little color to the garden in winter.
Where to Grow
The “Butterfly” bush honeysuckle grows best in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 4 through 9. The tree should be planted in either full sunlight or partial shade. If grown in full shade, the plant will get leggy and, if it blooms whatsoever, the flowering will be minimum.
The “Butterfly” bush honeysuckle is going to do well in most soils but grows best in well-drained, loamy soil. Soil pH is not a issue with this plant, but drainage is. The tree will not thrive in areas of standing water or if it is planted in heavy clay soil because the poor drainage can lead to root rot.
Care and Maintenance
Once established, the “Butterfly” bush honeysuckle is a low-maintenance plant. It can also tolerate short periods with dry dirt. During dry spells, water the tree intensely when you first notice the leaves wilting. The plant does not need regular feeding, but can be mulched with compost to provide nutrients. In late February or early March, prune your “Butterfly” bush honeysuckle to remove any dead branches and to thin out and shape the tree. The plant can send out suckers and these should be cut to the ground when they look.