If you are like me, in spite of the fact it is late November, butterflies are still flying about your backyard. During the past few days I have seen or have had heard of zebra heliconians, cloudless sulphurs, sleepy oranges, fiery skippers, common buckeyes, common checkered skippers, pearly crescents and both American and painted ladies feeding in backyards in Middle Georgia.
Remarkably, I still have a few plants that are still providing these butterflies and other wild pollinators with food. However, one of the plants that has proven to be one of the best sources of late season nectar and pollen is a butterfly bush named sky blue (Buddlea davidii).
This is a miniature butterfly bush that anywhere from three to four feet tall and three feet in diameter. This makes it ideal for large and small gardens as well as large pots.
In my area, the plant has extended blooming season from late spring well into late fall. In fact, right now it has as many blooms on it as it has displayed all year.
The purple flowers are both beautiful and fragrant. In fact, the blossoms’ fragrant honey scent is especially pleasing.
It grows in zones 5-9 and does well in a variety of soil types ranging from loam to the clay-type soils found in my yard. It does best in soils with a pH ranging from 5.5-7.0.
This small butterfly bush has been a pollinator magnet for weeks on end. However, its nectar and pollen are perhaps more important to the wild pollinators right now than at any other time this year.
Try sky blue and let me know how it does in your backyard.