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Author Topic: Butterfly bushes  (Read 4395 times)
Cindi
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« Reply #20 on: October 27, 2007, 11:19:42 AM »

MrILoveTheAnts.  You must be commended on the pictures that you take, up close and personal with the bees.  I like to take pictures that way and have some astounding beauties I have taken, too many to even begin to post on the forum.

About the Buddleia (butterfly bush), I guess now I have to tell a story.  I love to do with deed, story telling is my baleywick.

So, years and years ago, I venture maybe 14, when I was firstly getting involved in developing my small nursery business using my greeehouse, I was on a search for fragrant plants to grow.  I came upon the Butterfly Bush and thought, oh that sounds nice, a fragrant shrub, I can grow that too.  So I did.  I grew it from seed.  The plants grew slowly and I was not able to sell any the first year because of the smallness of the seedlings, so I just planted them into my own garden.

They grew like stink over the summer, fall and spring and became small bushes with lilac flowers.  Oooh, they stunk.  I could not stand the stink of these flowers and really really quite annoyed, because I had gone to so much lengths to grow these on my property.  So that was that year.  I took them out.  My youngest daughter, she was pregnant at that time, said that she loved the fresh outdoorsy fragrance, eeeks, I thought she was out of her mind.

So the years went by and my oldest daughter (who at that time lived in the mobile home on my property that my youngest daughter and family live in now) was still living there in the mobile home said that she would love to have a "butterfly garden" and could I make her one.  Well, of course, I jumped for glee, I would want one too.  So I delved into some research to find out what butterflies really liked and guess what I found out.  Of course, Buddleia, Butterfly Bush.  So, now I knew that I didn't like the lilac coloured ones at all, so I ordered some pretty white ones and dark purple.   They bloomed the first year and yes, we had a butterfly garden.

My oldest daughter moved out to venture out on her own with her new (third) husband.  Eeeeks, that poor girl (that goodness she has finally found "the one" that treats her like the beautiful Queen that she is).  That is an aside.

I didn't want to have the butterfly garden anymore, I had other plans, like making a different garden for there.  So out came the butterfly bushes.  I was not all that impressed with them, especially the short time that the flower bunches last, and it seemed that every other day I had to deadhead these shrubs and that was more than I wanted to do.  Man, can I ramble.  You should never had set me onto telling a story, (heee, hee, too bad, suck it up!!!!!).

That was about 6 years ago.  So I planted beautiful gardens, new grassy area, built a small rockery to keep some earth from eroding and planted more perennials and annuals.

The summer before last a Butterfly bush sprouted up in the area behind the rockery.  What!!!!!  It had been several years since the butterfly bushes were in the ground living.  So I just let the bush be, obviously it had a quest to germinate some seeds from years before, I can only guess the weather conditions were perfect for germination (seeds can lie dormant for a long, long time until Mother Nature sets the right conditions for germination).

This beautiful bush grew big last summer, but didn't bloom, I cut it down to a couple of inches above ground, as I do with many of the perennials.  This spring it took off like it was a rocket going to outer space.  Covered in beautiful purple blooms.   Beautiful, and yes, the bees love it, but not as much as the butterflies.

There are seedlings coming up everywhere, hundreds of them, I am finding them not even close to the large shrub, but everywhere on my property, I can see they will be becoming a nuisance and I will have to do some radical termination of seedlings come the spring or soon.  They are way, way far away from anywhere butterfly bush was grown.

Back to your original question.  The plant will set seeds and you will more than likely have seedlings coming up, but I cannot say for sure.  Also, I am not sure about if the butterfly bush you have is a hybrid.  If it is a hybrid, then the seeds may produce plants that may not be like your bush, it may be likened to the mother or father that produced this plant, but that is hard to say.  Let some seeds go and produce some young seedlings, grow them on and see what you get.  Why not?  If you've got any extra room where you live, I would encourage this propogation of nature.  Have a wonderful and beautiful day, Cindi
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
MrILoveTheAnts
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« Reply #21 on: October 27, 2007, 04:03:34 PM »

I was a bit more concerned with my neighbor's yard who occasionally show up once a month to mow the lawn and then I never see them. Behind their shed were tons and tons of tall weeds, possibly a native babies breath if such a thing exists. So I can imagen all the plants I'm growing in my yard might suddenly seed in their yard. Years ago someone planted a Rose of Sharon bush (Which I never seen honey bees working in spite some posts I've read!) and currently it grows like a weed everywhere with it's thick bark. The boundary of our yard is littered with stumps of ones I've cut and they come back each year. I see other people planting them in their yards and just wish I could warn them of the coming doom. So I'm hoping I'm not going to regret the butterfly bush. We do get butterflies on ours with some frequency and I'd much rather it be a butterfly bush then a Rose of Sharon growing all over, but I see some butterfly bushes growing 10 feet tall and around, maybe higher.
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KONASDAD
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« Reply #22 on: October 29, 2007, 10:16:41 AM »

I have a similar prob w/ my neighbors bamboo now growing on my yard. I also have zoyzia grass out back and it will spread to my neighbors w/ time.(it also is replacing the clover Cry) Butterfly bushes aren't invasive. They will sprout often, but they often will die and are easy to spot and rid if needed. I notice I have more seeds w/ bees in my yard. The butterfly bushes are loaded w/ seeds and they are more fertile. Lots of extra food for the finches and stuff, which spread them around your neighbors yard to start all over again!
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"The more complex the Mind, the Greater the need for the simplicity of Play".
Cindi
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« Reply #23 on: October 29, 2007, 11:29:25 PM »

Honestly, get rid of the Rose of Sharon.  There are tons of more beautiful flowering plants and shrubs to have around that these.  I do not like them, the flowers are insignificantly ugly, and........oh brother I may get slammed.  Oh well, there are so many more beautiful flowering shrubs and tall flowers to plant, that YOU KNOW THE BEES WILL LOVE.  Did you ever get a chance to look at the list of "bee plants' that Ann and I have compiled for our forum friends?  If not, say the word and I will resurrect that post.  It is not hard to do, go into our profiles and search for the list, the search engine in the forum is a powerful tool and use it to your heart's content.  Go for it......love our life we're livin'.  Cindi
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
reinbeau
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« Reply #24 on: October 30, 2007, 10:47:06 AM »

That's a little harsh on the Rose of Sharon  Wink , there are some lovely varieties, and they bloom when little else shrub or tree-like are blooming, at least around here.  I've heard that some can be weedy, maybe that's the kind you've seen and learned to dislike.  Different strokes for different folks!
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- Ann, A Gardening Beek -  ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ

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Shawn
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« Reply #25 on: October 30, 2007, 10:56:39 AM »

Cindi,

I agree. There are a lot of rose of sharons here where I live and it seems "everyone is getting them." I guess I must have missed your post on good plants for bees. I too have posted some links to some sites that show god plants. I am still working on my yard trying to get as many bee plants as I can. I wish I had the climate you have but here it is dry and hot in the summer and usually a mild winter. The farmers here get their water from canals and all the water is from snow pack in the mountains. This year was good because we had the blizzard and an unusal amouont of rain fall. Ill search for the your post and see if there are some plants I like or that will grom here. I saw the latest picture you posted and I like that one a lot. 
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Cindi
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« Reply #26 on: October 31, 2007, 09:54:54 AM »

Ann, of course there are probably other cultivars of Rose of Sharon, but yes, you are right, the ones that I have seen have flowers that I intensely dislike.  I really like double flowers, and I have only seen single flowers on the Rose of Sharons around here.  I know there are doubles available.  I shouldn't be so harsh, but then.....I dislike Marigolds too, but I plant them because they provide such beautiful shows all the summer long.  Maybe one day I will eat my words and find one that I do like, maybe.

I also dislike Cosmos, but I plant it for the late nectar and pollen for the bees.  Cosmos is too much work for me to want too many around.  Anytime I grow it I find that it has to be constantly deadheaded and that can lead to hours of deadheading, which is a pain my my rear and I don't like to spend that great amount of time with it.  But I still grow a couple.

Here's the list of plants that Ann and I put together.  Have a wonderful and beautiful day, in this great life.  Cindi

"Zinnias.  Sunflowers.  Herbs like oregano, thyme, chives, alliums, too many to list!  There's another thread around here where Cindi gives a wonderful list....Found it!  Copied below:

I spent many many hours last winter researching some of the best bee plants for pollen and nectar.  I have a list compiled that I am posting. Good luck.

The flowers that I found most attractive beyond your wildest dreams were:  phacelia tanacetifolia (blue tansy), borage officinalis, California poppy and the cornflower.  Smothered in bees all summer long (and the bombus too, along with other beneficials).  HOpe this gives you a great number of good bee plants to make some choices from.  There are many many more, but these are my choices.  Great day.  Cindi

BEE PLANT LIST
Centaurea Blue Boy Bachelors Button -- Bees and hover flies love
Borage officinalis -- Bees love it, cousin to comfrey, not affected by rain because of drooping blue flowers
Agastache (Anise Hyssop) --  loved by bees
Comfrey -- Bees love it
Centaurea Dwarf polkdot mix Bachelors Button -- Bees and hoverflies love it
Consolida (larkspur) Consolida ambigua  -- attracts beneficials
Eryngium planum Sea holly -- Bees are mad about this variety
Thyme T. Vulgaris -- a good honey plant for bees (thymus vulgaris)
Fireweed -- excellent honey, bees love it
Canary Creeper T. peregrinum -- bees love it, late late pollen plant
Cosmos –- valuable for late nectar source
Phacelia tanacetifolia (Purple Tansy) -- attracts bee from miles
Poppy giganthemum p. somniferum poppyseed poppy
California poppy “Apricot chiffon”eschscholzia californica -- bees love it
Catnip Nepeta Cataria -- a good bee plant
Lemon Balm Melissa officinanlis -- Perennial, bees love it
Hyssop Hyssopus officinalis Perennial, -- bees, hoverflies
Lovage Levisticum officinale -- bees love it
Spearmint Mentha spicata blooms late summer, --- bees, hummingbirds
Helipterum (Acroclinium) helipterum roseum  Sensation Giants Mix
Yellow rocket
Impatiens capensis grows wild around my house, great for late nectar/pollen, lasts til frost-kill
Great Blue Lobelia L. siphilitica perennial, dappled light, self-sows, flowers summer through autumn
Salvia Violet Queen S nemorosa  -- particularly attractive to butterflies & bees  Flowers 2nd year
Crimson clover Trifolium incarnatum outstanding cut flowers, -- annual, bees love it
Buckwheat Fagopyrum esculentum -- bees love it, turn under 10 days after flowering to avoid seed drop
White Dutch Clover Trifolium repens -- all beneficial insects"

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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
Shawn
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« Reply #27 on: October 31, 2007, 04:47:29 PM »

Thanks for the list. I have some of the plants already but have made a copy of the list to get the ones I am lacking Thanks again.
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