Sweet Almond Verbena or Butterfly Bush?

malmason(9, Houston TX)July 7, 2009

Dear all,

My house is facing North, and Japanese Maple that was planted by the front door in this spring got too much sun and baked. I am now looking for a replacement.

The candidate for this spot is Sweet Almond Verbena and Butterfly Bush. I have SAV in a backyard and love this bush because of the sweet fragrance and fast blooming cycle. However I also worry that it may be challenging to keep the size, and also to clean up the dropped leaves in winter.

Can you please let me know your experience with Butterfly Bush? How is the fragrance? Will it stay as evergreen? Any recommended variety and why? Can it be pruned as a tree form, sort of like Crape Myrtle? The pictures I have seen on web shows as shrub form. Any input about this plant is very welcome.

Thank you!

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i have a sweet almond verbena and it's certainly easy to grow and smells terrific, however, it's not a particularly pretty plant, mine is 3 or 4 years old and planted in the ground and it's probably 8-9 feet tall, in the past, i've covered it on the coldest nights-- because i was afraid it would freeze
on the other hand, i've owned 3 or 4 butterfly bushes and they've all croaked the first year
my sister has 150 roses and she manages to keep those thriving, but she's killed of several (more than a half dozen) butterfly bushes!!--anyway, i haven't found them easy to raise

i'm anxiously awaiting more input on this thread!!

    Bookmark   July 7, 2009 at 4:19PM
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veganruthie(Hill Country 8)

I don't have much to add except I think almond verbena has a nice smell, I like the way it grows, is native, and I know they have some at Buchanan's! I don't know anything about butterfly bush yet, but from googled pictures it looks a lot more dramatic than willowly little almond verbena.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2009 at 10:44PM
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maden_theshade(8 - Austin)

I've only seen the Butterfly Bush as a shrub. Not sure if it stays evergreen. If you are looking for a tree form, you might consider a Vitex. It has similar purple blooms. And I'm not totally sure, but I think it keeps it's leaves most of the year.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2009 at 11:12PM
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SAV didn't survive the storm but butterfly bushes didn't survive the first year I put them in. I have one I have managed to keep alive, it's in a big pot with some other stuff. For the most part I've never managed to keep one alive and you know I can't kill much. They really seem to grow well at my sisters house, in Delaware. That's enough for me to give up on them.
Tally HO!

    Bookmark   July 9, 2009 at 9:31AM
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I used to have BB's in Utah and they were plain ugly when they were not in bloom.


    Bookmark   July 9, 2009 at 1:55PM
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jardineratx(zone 8, Texas)

I am on the 3rd attempt to grow a butterfly bush. My latest one is being grown in a pot and so far so good. The full grown specimens of BB that I have seen all seem to have scraggly, unkempt growth so I plan to plant mine in a relatively obscure area. They are beautiful if you don't mind a little bit of "native" look in your shrubs. I have not seen one grown as a tree although I am sure it can be done. My SAV also has a tendency to look a little unkempt, but I find that if it is provided with ample water and frequent grooming it makes a nice specimen. I would not classify either one as evergreen.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2009 at 2:04PM
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