Bring the Outdoors Home

Butterfly Bush ‘Royal Red’ | Plant Profile

Butterfly Bush ‘Royal Red’ (Buddleja davidii) are large deciduous shrubs with an abundance of foliage and flowers. The stems are long, thin and arching with flower panicles at the end of each stem. The fragrant flower clusters can grow up to 14″ long and are very attractive to butterflies, as the name suggests. The long-lived flowers are magenta or purple and bloom from June to September. Foliage are fine toothed leaves with a sage green color.

‘Royal Red’ prefers average fertility, medium moisture, well drain soils in full sun. The foliage can become sparse and ragged if given too much shade. They are tolerant of clay soils if proper drainage is provided.

These shrubs are perfect for summer long interest because of the long lived and plentiful blooms. They are perfect for pollinator gardens or along barriers or fences. The flowers can be harvested and displayed in vases. These bushy shrubs are most attractive when planted in mass along other Butterfly Bushes.


Butterfly Bush 'Royal Red' Characteristics

Butterfly Bush 'Royal Red' are large shrubs that grow wider than they do tall. If in ideal condition they can grow up to 12' tall and 15' wide, but these shrubs are vulnerable to cold winter temperatures and may experience significant die back. Not only attractive to butterflies, these fragrant flowers often have bee and hummingbird visitors. Spent flowers give way to seed pods that each contain about 50 seeds. The magnitude of flowers and seeds make these plant hard to contain.

In Pennsylvania, these shrubs are considered to be invasive and can spread wildly. 'Royal Red' is can be vulnerable to the cold Pittsburgh winter and will die back to the ground, or should be cut if die back does not occur. Cutting the plant back encourages better growth and blooms come spring. Quick removal of spent flower clusters can make way for more blooms in the same growing season. Removing spent flower clusters can also help to prevent self seeding and the aggressive propagation that Butterfly Bush is known for.

Insects and diseases are rarely an issue for 'Royal Red'. Spidermites and nematodes may make their homes here.

USDA Climate Zone
Zones 5 - 9
12.00 - 15.00'
12.00 - 15.00'
Bloom Time
June - September
Full Sun
Deer Resistant?