The Buddleja shrub is also called Buddleia and is directly related to the norichthorn family. Under natural conditions, it can be found in temperate as well as warm regions of Asia, South Africa and America. This shrub is so named after the Englishman A. Buddle, who was a botanist in the late 17th and early 18th century. In his native land, the plant was called orange-eyed.
Buddleia is also called the "moth tree" or "butterfly magnet". And all because the flowers of this shrub have a strong honey odor, so that for their pollination flock to large very showy butterflies. During flowering the branches of this plant strongly resemble lilacs, therefore it is also called "autumn lilac".
Peculiarities of buddleia
There are many species of buddleia in nature, about 100 to be exact. This genus is represented by deciduous or semi-evergreen shrubs and herbaceous plants.
They bloom late and long enough. A peculiarity of buddleia is that during flowering there are flowers, buds and fruits on its branches simultaneously.
The height of a shrub can vary from 150 to 300 centimeters. In most species, the pairs of leaf blades are lanceolate in shape and can reach 1-30 centimeters in length. Asiatic species have panicle-shaped inflorescences that may be 10 to 50 centimeters long.
And American species have ball-shaped inflorescences. The small tubular flowers are very fragrant and honey-like and are divided into four lobes like lilac flowers. They can be colored in a variety of color shades: red, yellow, lilac, white, pink, orange, crimson. At the same time, the intensity of coloring of flowers can vary. Fruits are represented by oblong-shaped boxes with seeds inside.
Cultivated species and varieties are frost-resistant, but if the plants are not covered, they may freeze to death in winters with little snow. But only the part of the plant which is above the ground will be destroyed and in spring time young shoots will appear from the ground in great numbers and they may start to flower in the same year. There are species which are highly frost-resistant, not suffering frosts as low as minus 20 degrees.
Growing buddleia from seeds
In medium latitudes, buddleia seeds on a bush most often do not mature, but you can resort to such tricks as stratification or sowing on a snow layer. Experts advise to buy the seeds of this plant in a specialized store, and it is best to choose imported producers.
Buddleia seeds are very small, so it is recommended to combine them with sand to make sowing easier. Fill the wide flasks with neutral soil. The bottom of the container should have holes for drainage, also do not forget to make a good drainage layer. Drop the seeds onto the surface of the substrate and press them down slightly (do not submerge them). Water the seeds with a sprayer and cover the container with glass or film.
Plot should be placed in a warm place with a temperature of 22 to 25 degrees, it must be well lit and protected from direct sunlight. Sowing should be done at the beginning of the spring period. The first seedlings will appear after 7-14 days. Plants should be systematically aired and watered. You should water with a pinkish potassium manganese solution from time to time to avoid the development of blacklegs.
After 2-3 pairs of true leaves appear buddleia should be transplanted into individual containers and it is better if they are peat-top pots. Afterwards, the seedlings should be exposed to the fresh air by opening the window for a short time, without draught. Planting buddleia
What time to plant
Planning buddleia should be done only after the threat of frost has passed. A suitable area for planting should be well lighted and at the same time protected from strong gusts of wind as well as from draughts. The soil should be neutral, well-drained, moist, nutrient-dense.
How to plant buddleia
When planting, take into consideration that buddleia bushes grow strongly and a good distance must be left between them, otherwise they will be very crowded. The planting hole should have a size of 40x40 centimeters. The depth of the hole should be equal to the size of the root system plus 20 centimeters. A drainage layer should be made at the bottom of the hole, and fertilizer should be poured in. The height of the drainage layer should be equal to 10 to 15 centimeters.
To create it, material of coarse fraction should be used. On top of this layer, a handful of garden soil, which should be mixed with the same amount of compost and mineral fertilizer, is poured as a hill. Then on this mound should be placed a seedling and straighten its roots. Pour the necessary amount of soil into the hole, after which it should be compacted. Then the plant is watered, and the surface of the soil is covered with a layer of mulch (compost).
Pay attention to keeping the root neck level with the soil surface when planting.
Pour this shrub only during dry, hot periods. Take 10 liters of well-chilled, lukewarm water per shrub. The water is poured into a ditch that should be made around the plant. Budleia is a fast-growing plant, its stems in a season can grow to 200-250 centimeters.
In order to achieve abundant, prolonged flowering, it is necessary to make 2-3 fertilizers during the season, which include phosphorus and potassium, which accelerate growth and improve flowering. They also contribute to the fact that the size of the inflorescences becomes larger. And you can also fertilize the shrub with organics (liquid compost and humus). Feeding with mineral and organic fertilizers is recommended to alternate. Also this plant needs regular loosening of the soil surface, which should be carried out to a shallow depth and very carefully, because the root system lies close to the soil surface.
And it also needs to be weeded systematically.
Trimming the buddleia
Trimming the buddleia is essential. This is because if it is not done, the stems become elongated and bare, resulting in the bush losing its effectiveness and looking untidy. Also, pruning contributes to the fact that flowering becomes more abundant. Those inflorescences that have started to fade should be cut off, as buddleia need a lot of strength to grow new flowers.
In spring after the warmth has settled outside, the bushes should be pruned, so high-growing varieties should be cut to 90 centimeters from the ground and low-growing ones to 30 centimeters. As a result, the plant will have an attractive appearance and its flowering will become even more lush and showy.
Propagation of buddleia
How to propagate buddleia by seeds is described in very detail above. It is also quite common to propagate such a shrub by cuttings. In the autumn after flowering is over, cuttings should be cut, selecting annual shoots that can be either woody or green.
Then they are removed to a cool room, which should not freeze, there cuttings will remain until spring. They can only be planted in the ground for rooting the following spring. If desired, cuttings can be planted in the rooting soil in the fall, and their roots will grow in a couple of months. When cutting, make sure that there are at least three buds on the cuttings, two of which should be covered with soil at the time of planting. Rooted cuttings should be covered so that they do not die from winter frosts, and in the spring they will need to be transplanted to a permanent place.
Those cuttings that have been stored before the spring period should be planted in the open ground in a permanent place after the threat of frost has passed.
Pests and diseases
Only whiteflies and spider mites can settle on buddleia, and they prefer hot, dry weather. If you are unable to keep the air moisture levels up, you should cut the infested stems off and then give the shrub a suitable insecticide treatment. However, this plant is very resistant to disease and pests, so you rarely have problems with it when growing it in the garden.
Pruning and care.
The seeds of this shrub should be collected after they are fully mature. This is usually in September or October. However, those seeds that you collect on your own will need a long time to prepare before sowing, but this does not guarantee that they will take off well. Therefore, experienced gardeners recommend buying Buddleia seeds rather than collecting them.
After the leaf plates on the shrub begin to turn black, you will need to dip the bushes in dry soil to a higher height (at least to the third bud on the stems). Then the branches will have to be cut off, with only 20 centimeters above the mound. Then the bush should be covered with lapnik, and on top of it set a box made of wood. On top of it, lay a roofing felt and secure it with stones and bricks, so that the wind cannot destroy the resulting construction. Remember that film or sawdust should not be used as a cover, as the plant will wilt if it's underneath it.
As for the box, its size should be as big as possible. In this case the plant will have plenty of air, which it needs.
Buddleberry David. Preparing for winter.
Main species and varieties with photos and names
There are several different species cultivated in the middle latitude, and the most popular is the budleia variegated, or Davidia (Buddleja davidii).
Also very popular are its derivatives such as: Wilson's Buddleia with its rich lilac-pink flowers reaching approximately 0.75 m in length; the Vicha Buddleia with its somewhat larger flowers and the beautiful Buddleia with its very large and fluffy purplish-pink flowers.
Buddleja davidii (Buddleja davidii)
The height of this deciduous shrub can vary from 200 to 300 centimeters. And this plant can also be a not very large tree (5 m high) with branch ends that are drooping. The stems grow relatively quickly.
Leaf blades are lanceolate-oval or lanceolate with a pointed apex. They are dark green on the front side and yellowish-white and densely pubescent on the back. Leaflets are about 25 centimeters long. The fluffy spike-like inflorescences consist of purple florets, which have a honeylike odor. The inflorescences are about 40 centimeters long.
Flowering begins in the last days of summer. The duration of flowering is 6 weeks. Varieties:
- Alba, White Cloud and White Profusion - have white flowers;
- Empire Blue, Black Knight - florets colored in various shades of purple;
- Royal Red, Harlequin - florets may be different shades of red.
The varieties described below are less hardy but will survive the winter if well covered:
This deciduous shrub has broad, cone-shaped, light lilac or white flowers.
Budleja nivea (Buddleja nivea)
The surface of the stems and leaflets of this deciduous shrub has a dense felted pubescence.
The paniculate inflorescences are colored lilac.
Budleja japonica (Buddleja japonica)
This deciduous shrub grows very fast. The drooping, panicle-shaped, pale purple inflorescences are about 20 centimeters long.
Budleja alternifolia (Buddleja alternifolia)
This deciduous shrub is drought tolerant. It is often grown as a tree, with the crown formed like a weeping willow.
The small inflorescences include purple or lilac-pink flowers that have an almond scent.
Budleja globosa (Buddleja globosa)
This shrub is semi-evergreen. Flowering is observed in May. The globular inflorescences are colored golden orange. Cultivated only in southern areas..