Feel like your yard needs some color?
Don’t want to be constantly watering and pruning?
Need something that adds volume?
Want to keep deer off your backyard?
The answer to all these questions is one of the many butterfly bush varieties.
These gorgeous, vibrant, low-maintenance, and easy-to-grow plants will give your backyard some life.
And don’t forget about the fragrances. A mild yet enjoyable aroma will take over your outdoors, making your place a pleasure to be at.
So, are you ready to learn about the many types of butterfly bushes?
26 Butterfly Bush Types for Shrub Lovers
1. Adonis Blue Butterfly Bush (Buddleja davidii ‘Adokeep’)
The name refers to how its deep blue tones. It is one of the smallest varieties, growing not more than 5 feet on average.
As a butterfly bush, it is one of the most popular. People use it both in their backyards, gardens and even in commercial landscapes.
The dark-blue flowers tend to appear at the end of spring and last until early fall.
ALSO KNOW: The flowers may achieve a reddish tone when they’re fading.
2. Alternate Leaf Butterfly Bush (Buddleja alternifolia)
Also called the Weeping Butterfly Bush, it is almost impossible to ignore. Its drooping flowers tend to form a tiny willow appearance.
The blossoms often have a light-blue color but can also get light grey. In addition, these flowers tend to be thinner than the typical butterfly bush blossom.
As for size, it can reach 15 feet high without problems. And up to 20 feet in spread.
PLUS: it blooms earlier than other varieties throughout the spring.
3. Asian Moon Butterfly Bush (Buddleja’ Asian Moon’)
One of the largest varieties, the Asian Moon can reach 10 feet tall.
Its flowers are purple, one of the darkest tones as well. But having said that, some flowers may come out with orange splashes.
It tends to bloom from June to September, but it sometimes lasts more than that.
INTERESTING FACT: It prefers warm environments where the blossoms achieve a lighter tone.
4. Black Knight Butterfly Bush (Buddleja davidii ‘Black Knight’)
The darkest of all butterfly bushes, the Black Knight has an almost black purple hue that shines under the sun.
It is a medium-sized variety, meaning it doesn’t grow more than 8 feet high or 5 feet wide.
You can find it with some of the largest flowers as well, growing between June and September.
BE AWARE: The plant fades out in the winter and comes back in spring.
5. Blue Chip Butterfly Bush (Buddleja x ‘Blue Chip’)
Even though it’s called the Blue Chip, the flowers actually appear pink.
It is one of the smallest varieties, rarely growing more than 3 feet in height and width.
Also, it blooms late. You can see the flowers appearing in July and disappearing in October.
ALSO CONSIDER: Given its small size, it doesn’t spread as quickly as other butterfly bushes, so it’s excellent for flower gardens.
6. Chinese Weeping Butterfly Bush (Buddleja lindleyana)
Many people consider it the most attractive butterfly bushes, given the light color and its weeping flowers.
It is a medium-sized variety, growing to about 8 feet on average. Having said that, it tends to cover a lot of space, getting to over 10 feet wide.
And to make it even better, it’s also one of the most cold-hardy types.
KNOW THIS: It adores moist conditions, so you’ll have a blast growing it in misty mountainous places.
7. Harlequin Butterfly Bush (Buddleja davidii ‘Harlequin’)
While most butterfly bushes are drought-tolerant, this one has a slightly higher resistance.
It tends to grow a bit over 6 feet and form round-shaped shrubs. The spread tends to get to about 5 feet.
This variety is also a late bloomer, producing dark-purple or reddish blossoms in July that last until late September.
FUN FACTOR: The leaves of this variety are uniquely attractive with a light-green border (sometimes beige or white).
8. Himalayan Butterfly Bush (Buddleja crispa)
Like many plants from the mint family, the ‘Himalayan’ variety boasts hairy leaves and a pale leaf tone.
Its flowers tend to be pink, and instead of growing large and droopy, they grow as a small round bunch.
The name comes from where it is originated, making it one of the most cold-hardy varieties. Its other name tends to be ‘Giant Woolly,’ given it can grow to over 15 feet.
This variety tends to bloom in the summer and cover a large portion of the backyard if you let it.
EVEN BETTER: It tends to produce a strong scent, making it a great companion for other aromatic herbs.
9. Honeycomb Butterfly Bush (Buddleja x weyeriana ‘Honeycomb’)
The cluster flowers tend to produce slightly different shapes than the typical Buddleja. With small bunches, these clusters tend to grow in yellowish tones.
It is one of the best for warm areas as it prefers temperatures over 40 degrees Fahrenheit to thrive.
This butterfly bush can get to over 12 feet and spread wider than 8 feet in the right place.
DON’T DISMISS: The name comes because the plant attracts TONS OF POLLINATORS, especially bees.
10. Kewensis Butterfly Bush (Buddleja colvilei)
The flowers tend to achieve a dark-pink or read tone, making them one of the most lively of their kind.
Having said that, the true feature comes from its cold-hardy build. It can resist temperatures as low as 30 degrees Fahrenheit.
It is decently large as well, growing to 9 feet high. And with its shrubby growth, it tends to cover small areas despite its size.
CHECK THIS: The blossoms tend to drop, almost like a weeping form.
11. Ivory Butterfly Bush (Buddleja davidii ‘Ivory)
The name makes perfect sense, as it is one of the whitest from the Buddleja family.
Its leaves may achieve a grayish tone but most often look light-green.
This is one of the smallest varieties, growing no longer than 5 feet in most cases. Some people even grow it in containers with no problem.
INTERESTING PART: This variety is man-made. It was bred to create a smaller variety than other butterfly bushes.
12. Les Kneale Butterfly Bush (Buddleja davidii ‘Les Kneale’)
The man who discovered the plant gave it the name. Thus, it’s now one of the most exciting names for butterfly bushes.
Aside from how it’s called, the plant holds a unique ability: it tends to grow in temperatures as low as -20 degrees Fahrenheit.
Given its cold-hardy ability, it is not a surprise the plant grows almost anywhere. Also, it’s still one of the smallest at about 6 feet of height max.
WORTHWHILE INFO: The flowers can be light purple or entirely white (the colder the place, the paler the blossoms).
13. Miss Ruby Butterfly Bush (Buddleja ‘Miss Ruby’)
Its name points out to its bright fuchsia hue. But it’s not only the tone that sets it apart but the large cone.
A single flower can reach over 5 inches long, with a cone shape and a drooping habit. These blossoms appear in late spring.
Despite growing to about 5 feet, it is not as invasive as other butterfly bushes.
PRACTICAL DETAIL: The flowers disappear as late as early fall, so you can enjoy them for up to four months.
14. Nanho Blue Butterfly Bush (Buddleja davidii ‘Nanho Blue’)
Also known as the Dwarf Blue, this butterfly bush can reach up to 12 feet.
While the name doesn’t make sense, the color does. It is a deep-blue plant, often with purple or pink tones.
The plant tends to thrive in warm areas, but it also resists temperatures as low as -10 degrees Fahrenheit (even though it’s likely to go dormant).
DON’T IGNORE THIS: Its leaves are thinner and smaller, making it look less dense than the typical butterfly bush.
15. Nanho White (Buddleja davidii ‘Nanho White’)
Another narrow-leaf variety is the Nanho White.
In contrast with the Nanho Blue, this one is indeed a tiny variety, growing no further than 6 feet in most cases.
The white is due to its flowers, often achieving a bright blank hue. Its throat tends to get orange, making it even more attractive.
EXTRA: It is one of the easiest butterfly bushes to grow, as it is cold-hardy and thrives in almost any soil or climate.
16. Orange Butterfly Bush (Buddleja globosa)
A bright-colored butterfly bush would be the Chilean Orange Ball Tree (as it’s also called), given the rounded flowers it produces.
On top of having bright orange blossoms, the plant is also one of the tallest: reaching 15 feet or more.
The foliage is dense and tends to prefer warm areas (it can resist frost nonetheless).
BEST FACT: You can grow it in either moist or dry environments without any problem.
17. Pink Delight Butterfly Bush (Buddleja’ Pink Delight’)
Want to give your backyard a colorful touch? Then bright a Pink Delight butterfly bush.
Its bright pink-to-purple flowers are among the most attractive.
The plant is still medium-sized, growing to about 9 feet. And despite that, the foliage is thick to make it an even denser addition to any garden.
VITAL TO KNOW: It starts blooming in the summer until the first frost.
18. Purple Haze Butterfly Bush (Buddleja’ Purple Haze’)
Don’t want to grow a large butterfly bush? Then give the Purple Haze a chance.
This small 3-feet variety tends to require little to no care. More importantly, it stays tiny and doesn’t take over gardens like other types.
It is also a cold-hardy variety, resisting cold temperatures of up to -20 degrees Fahrenheit.
You’ll know it is a Purple Haze by the light purple color of its downward drooping flowers.
DON’T FORGET: Its leaves tend to be larger than usual, with a feather shape.
19. Rio Grande Butterfly Bush (Buddleja sessiliflora)
Between Mexico and Texas, there’s a river called Rio Grande. The plant gets the name from that river because it tends to grow around.
It is a desert-loving plant that appreciates warm environments, even though it tends to grow close and around bodies of water. You can also find it in high-altitude places.
The leaves are hairy, with a pale green tone. Its flowers are often green, with yellow hues when the fall arrives.
WHAT ELSE TO KNOW: It is a small-sized variety, growing no longer than 6 feet.
20. Royal Red Butterfly Bush (Buddleja davidii ‘Royal Red’)
Love vibrant colors? You’ll ADORE the Royal Red butterfly bush then.
Its dark purple color with magenta hues adds beauty to any garden.
As a bush, it grows to about 8 feet and can spread to 6 feet. This makes it grow in a bulb shape, rounded, and almost shrub-like.
The best part about it? You will see sparse foliage that can resist temperatures as low as -10 degrees Fahrenheit.
BEST THING: Its blossoms achieve a bright magenta tone when the sun hits, achieving a beautiful look when the summer arrives.
21. Santana Butterfly Bush (Buddleja davidii ‘Santana’)
The flowers of the Santana variety are often dark purple, but you may also find them in dark red. Either way, it’s GORGEOUS.
It is a small variety, growing between 4 and 6 feet at max. This makes it possible to grow in cold and warm areas without problems (it’s actually one of the most versatile).
You will see the plant blooming from early summer to early fall.
NOT TO DISMISS: The leaves tend to be variegated, boasting a dark-green body with a light-green or white edge.
22. Sungold Butterfly Bush (Buddleja x weyeriana ‘Sungold’)
No butterfly bush produces a brighter flower than the Sungold variety.
Its deep yellow color and rounded clustery flowers are impossible to ignore. You can boost any backyard’s appeal with one of these.
If there’s something you will love, it is the cold-hardy temperament. You can grow it in slightly cold areas (as low as 0 degrees Fahrenheit).
IF THAT WASN’T ENOUGH: A typical Sungold butterfly bush reaches 10 feet in height and spread even more than that.
23. Utah Butterfly Bush (Buddleja utahensis)
One of the desertic varieties, this one prefers warm areas.
It is a small variety nonetheless, growing as a small shrub no longer than 3 feet.
The flowers tend to be small and yellowish. Therefore, it is not the most attractive, but its flowers tend to last up to 6 months (from April to October).
WHAT ELSE: It grows almost anywhere, from high-altitude areas to beachy places, deserts, and even shady forests.
24. White Profusion Butterfly Bush (Buddleja davidii’ White Profusion)
Few butterfly bushes can match the White Profusion in terms of beauty.
Just look at it. The thick white flowers and dense foliage make it a sight to behold.
It tends to grow no longer than 6 feet and spread for the same. What’s even better, it grows almost anywhere (it prefers warm areas).
IMPORTANT FACTOR: The flowers start being utterly green in the spring, so you may not experience the white brightness until summer.
25. Winter Flowering Lilac (Buddleja asiatica)
Among big Buddlejas, the Winter Flowering Lilac is one of the cutest. The flowers grow in clusters while still boasting the spiky shape.
Its leaves tend to be more spaced out than other varieties. And it still produces a particular fragrance, ideal for adding a scent to your backyard.
The bush grows to about 12 feet in most cases. It prefers warm environments and doesn’t take much space, given it rarely covers more than 6 feet.
WHAT STANDS OUT: As the name says, it may bloom in the winter (as long as temperatures are over 20 degrees Fahrenheit).
26. Woolly Butterfly Bush (Buddleja marrubiifolia)
If you live in a warm place, you probably need the Woolly Butterfly Bush. The hairy and pale leaves are a bit thicker than the typical butterfly bush.
Because of that, it is a cold-sensitive species, growing in temperatures higher than 30 degrees Fahrenheit. In fact, it thrives in desert regions.
You can consider it pretty drought-tolerant. And if you overwater it, the plant is likely to suffer.
The exciting part is the orange flower. This blossom grows in a small bunch, often round, beautiful bright color.
WHAT TO CONSIDER: It is an early bloomer, as the flowers appear in early spring and disappear by late summer.
Bring a Butterfly Bush to Your Backyard NOW!
Your garden doesn’t have to look dull and sparse when you can add a butterfly bush.
With so many butterfly bush varieties to pick from, it shouldn’t be much of a problem to get the BEST one for your backyard.
So, what are you waiting for? That bush won’t plant itself!