NewsPlant of the Month July - Hydrangea 'Bodensee'
The garden hydrangea 'Bodensee' is our plant of the month July....
David's butterfly bush in lavender
A dream in shades of violet – in its flowering splendour the Buddleja davidii variety "Nanho Blue" is the queen. Which is why we have chosen it as our plant of the month. The name Buddleja is dedicated to the botanist Adam Buddle. Buddleja is better known under the German name ‘Sommerflieder’.
The addition davidii in turn goes back to Jean Pierre Armand David, a French friar who was sent to China in the mid – 19th century and – contrary to his actual task – made a significant contribution to the European plant and animal world with his observations and collections. As a result, he has frequently been immortalised – in the David's deer, the Armand pine, the handkerchief tree (Davidia involucrat) and our plant of the month Buddleja davidii "Nanho Blue".
It is wonderfully suitable for garden novices and those with little time. It grows quickly, likes it sunny and dry and remains at a manageable size of up to 2 metres in height and 1-1,5 metres in width. Being one of the smaller varieties, the ‘Nanho Blue’ makes for a delightful container plant for the terrace or balcony.
Come all ye butterflies, oh come all ye butterflies
Summer lilac (Buddleja davidii) is easily confused with the common lilac (Syringa). Purely by chance, they have similar flower panicles and a likewise strong attraction for pollinating insects. Botanically, however, there is no relationship. Syringa also flowers in May and June, Buddleja only from July. More memorable than the confusing name Summer Lilac is the alternative name: Butterfly Lilac.
Its flowers seem to be made for butterflies and other fluttering creatures with proboscises: long, narrow flower tubes, tasty nectar, enticing fragrance.
Flowering until autumn
From July onwards, butterfly bushes are quite lush and colourful – and exuberant. Some are delighted, the butterflies of course, while others are annoyed because the summer lilac, unkempt, can sometimes crowd out surrounding plants. In spring, or even better in late winter, Buddleja davidii should therefore be cut back – boldly if you wish. This strengthens the flower growth while preventing uncontrolled growth. In addition, the withered flower panicles should be removed. Instead of forming seeds, the plant is then stimulated to form new flower buds. After a few weeks, the result is an autumnal violet sea of flowers.