The Bad Butterfly Bush

The Bad

Butterfly Bush is a flowering shrub lots of people think of when they think of creating a butterfly garden. I admit, their flowers are pretty! They do attract butterflies! But…

There are a lot more beneficial plants you can use in a butterfly garden than a butterfly bush. Butterfly Bush is not a native plant, so our butterflies haven’t adapted to the butterfly bush in our landscapes. The nectar of the butterfly bush is comparative to butterflies eating twinkies. It’s not the best form of sugar for our native butterflies. Native plants however, provide the best form of nectar for our butterflies.

Butterfly bush also spreads in our gardens and it is on our invasive species list too. I’ve talked to a lot of people saying how it has spread all over their yard and has caused problems.

The last thing about butterfly bush is that it is not as cold hardy here in Kentucky and has the potential to die back. I’ve seen large bushes all of a sudden be 80% dead. Then you’re left to remove it and put in a replacement or have the space re-landscaped. I would rather have a long living plant that will mature nicely in my garden space. Sticking with native plants and planting annual flowers is a great way to attract butterflies to our gardens and to create a ‘living landscape’.


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