Journal, NewsJuly's Plant of the Month - the Panicle Hydrangea “Limelight”
Panicle Hydrangea 'Limelight'...
The sun is shining, the bees are buzzing – the summer is here! And as the days get warmer and the blossoms burst into colour, the garden really leaps into life. Whether bumblebees, honey bees or butterflies, they all head straight for the sweet blossoms of the summer blooms. This month we’d like to present to you an especially well loved summer plant – the Buddleja davidii, also known as the Butterfly Bush, and this is a strain known as the “Royal Red”.
This colourful bush lives up to its name, since it really is a butterfly magnet. It’s not only butterflies that are attracted to the Butterfly Bush however but also other beneficial insects like the bumblebee and bee. The “Royal Red” strain shines out with its purple red colour, and shouldn’t be missing from any flower garden.
The Buddleia or Butterfly Bush has a bushy build and can grow up to a height of 3 metres. The degree of pruning will determine the shape of the bush. If you prefer the plant when it’s smaller and bushier, you should cut the wood back to around 30 cm (or just above the first pair of eyes) in spring. This leads to more extreme branching and if you leave the older shoots standing in various heights, you’ll end up with a slimmer, more elongated shape. Since the blossoms of the butterfly bush only bloom on year-old wood, a yearly cutting back is imperative.
When the Butterfly Bush blossoms it’s a real wonder. Its long, dark green leaves appear filigree and fine – just like the blossoms. These grow on elongated panicles and give out a sweet scent. While the panicles in the middle of the bush tend to stand straight up, the outer ones hang a little further down. The purple-coloured blossoms of the “Royal Red” bloom from July until September, and when the temperature allows it, even into October. If you remove the withered panicles then more will grow in late summer.
The Butterfly Bush “Royal Red” doesn’t only enchant with its looks, but also through its low maintenance needs. It’ll grow best in a sunny, wind-protected place. Before planting, the earth in the planting hole should be loosened somewhat in order to avoid waterlogging, which the Buddleia doesn’t like much. To make sure that you can enjoy the plant for as long as possible, dung the plant once a year and trim it regularly. Because of its expansive growth it doesn’t fit well to being planted in plant pots. The Butterfly Bush can deal well with the winter cold and it’s a real eye-catcher in the garden!