Return to the Butterfly Garden Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
Ellen's Blue Butterfly Bush?

Posted by treehugger100 z6MD (My Page) on
Fri, Aug 1, 14 at 13:46

I am looking for one 4-6' very fragrant butterfly bush for zone 6 that butterflies adore. I would appreciate any suggestions. I am considering Ellen's Blue. I have seen butterfly bushes completely ignored by butterflies and even bees so the name is misleading. Thanks for your suggestions.

Terri


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: Ellen's Blue Butterfly Bush?

Ellen's Blue is the best butterfly bush I've ever had, and I've had mine for quite a few years. It's tall, but not huge, so I can reach the top of it to dead head the spent blooms. In spring, it makes LONG panicles, then continues to bloom all year long with shorter panicles of flowers, but still as attractive to butterflies. Of course, if there are no butterflies in your area, it doesn't matter what you plant, none will visit your nectar plants.

Here are some pictures -

 photo YellowFemaleTigeronEllensBlue_zps2e8b1016.jpg

 photo BlackTigeronEllensBlue_zps89a443dc.jpg

Image hosted by Photobucket.com

Image hosted by Photobucket.com

Image hosted by Photobucket.com

Sherry


 o
RE: Ellen's Blue Butterfly Bush?

Sherry, WOW! That is exactly what I wanted! Now we can just hope it makes it through PA's wet Winters. Thanks!


 o
RE: Ellen's Blue Butterfly Bush?

Plant it in a raised bed!! My butterfly bushes wouldn't survive the winters down here, either, and I couldn't understand it, because our winters are mild. Then I read that they can't tolerate the constant wetness of winter, which we have. Once I quit planting them directly in the ground and started planting them in raised beds, they all survived.

I've got another one I just planted that I think I'm going to like called Miss Molly. It's got dark magenta blooms.

Sherry


 o
RE: Ellen's Blue Butterfly Bush?

Sherry, I just bought 2 quart size bushes. What about putting each one in a 15 or 29 gallon pot? I grow fruit trees in those sizes and berry bushes and everything has always done well. What do you think? Which size?

Thanks!


 o
RE: Ellen's Blue Butterfly Bush?

I've found that it's a bad idea to put a small plant in a great big pot. The soil retains too much water without there being roots to fill it up, and then the roots rot. Since butterfly bushes are so prone to that, I wouldn't do it, at least just yet.
I'd pot them up one size pot at the time. Of course, you'll need a lot of different size pots, but, if you're a plant nut like most of us, you probably have them already.

My butterfly bushes aren't that much higher than the surrounding ground, so, if it's at all possible, if I were you, I'm make a raised bed and plant them a few inches above the ground. It makes all the difference.

Sherry


 o
RE: Ellen's Blue Butterfly Bush?

Since I want this is a specimen bush, I don't want to make wood raised beds but I can't see how to raise it up a few (3?4?) inches otherwise. What do you think about just mounding the soil up a few inches? Or do you have any other ideas?

I really appreciate your help!


 o
RE: Ellen's Blue Butterfly Bush?

Sherry, your Ellen's blue butterfly bush is gorgeous! I have 2 Black Nights and one pink (don't know name) bush. The butterflies love both. They have done great in my pa zone 5/6 yard. It was a very cold wet winter this year and they did die completely to the ground this year (first time ever), so they are a little smaller than usual and one is a little floppy. But they are doing well and flowering.

I just so wish the monarchs would come back :(. Because I just learned (from this forum) that Asclepia tuberosa is not a favorite of the monarchs, I will plant something different next year. I just didn't know because when I first planted it 4 summers ago, it attracted monarchs and they laid eggs and I was able to raise about 8 cats both that year and the next. To bad they haven't been back since.

Cathy


 o
RE: Ellen's Blue Butterfly Bush?

Treehugger, you could mound the soil up, but the soil will wash away, and I don't know what the result of that would be. You could also make a mini raised bed with bricks, garden edging or whatever you like. If you don't like the looks of garden edging, you can extend your mulch beyond the edging to cover it up. It doesn't have to be a full size raised bed.

Thanks, Cathy!

Sherry


 o
RE: Ellen's Blue Butterfly Bush?

Misssherry, I have stone edging around some beds and plan to use it on all of them. It is 4" high. Would that suffice?


 o
RE: Ellen's Blue Butterfly Bush?

Yes, that would be great! Hopefully, you can fit the stones together tightly, but If dirt gradually washes out between them, you can just add a little back. You might use that time to add some composted manure, compost, fertilizer, etc.

I think this plan will work, and when a butterfly bush stays well drained, it really thrives.

Sherry

This post was edited by misssherry on Sun, Aug 3, 14 at 6:18


 o
RE: Ellen's Blue Butterfly Bush?

I took Miss Sherry's advice a few years back and really liked Ellen's Blue!

I believe the nectar is different compared to others because the monarchs never touched it....but it was the red spotted purples' favorite!

Unfortunately, it succumbed to Minnesota winter. Tony


 o
RE: Ellen's Blue Butterfly Bush?

I don't mean to advise anybody to plant anything, because conditions are very different in different parts of the country. Actually, conditions can even be different locally, like mountain laurels that grow easily on the gritty, sandy soil on the bluffs of local creeks, are very hard to grow on the heavier soils away from creeks.

In Florida, they can't grow butterfly bushes directly in the ground because of nematodes. And I know that Buddleia has a limit to the amount of cold it can tolerate. And some butterflies, like monarchs, don't really like butterfly bush. So, there are a lot of things that can make growing it a problem. Treehugger just wanted to know about Ellen's Blue, and, if you're going to plant a butterfly bush, in my opinion, it's one of the best.

Sherry


 o
RE: Ellen's Blue Butterfly Bush?

Sherry, I ordered two Ellen's Blue. I will plant one in the raised bed like we discussed. But what do you think about growing one in a pot, letting it die back in Fall and then putting it in my unheated garage for the worst part of Winter? I'm thinking that way at least one of them will survive.

I pull rosemary and other tender herbs in this way and they always survive.


 o
RE: Ellen's Blue Butterfly Bush?

Here is a female Tiger Swallowtail visiting my Dark Night Buddleia, she's been nectaring for quite some time. Yeah, now there are two! If I remember right the monarchs liked this variety as well. I will have to wait and see if the ones I have now in chrysalis' visit it when they emerge. It is a very fragrant flower.

Cathy


 o
RE: Ellen's Blue Butterfly Bush?

That sounds good, Treehugger!

And that Dark Knight is beautiful, Cathy!

Sherry


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Butterfly Garden Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here