The Buddleja Garden

Neotropica Vol 81:

by Eliane Norman
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Buddlejas by
David D. Stuart
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Click images to enlarge

Buddleja sterniana

Posted 14th April 2017

Things are starting up in The Buddleja Garden at last. This past winter has been very mild indeed and has meant stalled flowers buds have survived. Many of the spring-flowering species and hybrids are beginning to open now, such as the Crispa Complex species B. agathosma and B. sterniana. Winter Sun, a hybrid of B. araucana has also flowered very well.

My B. sterniana was planted out a few years ago and didn't appear to do much at first. Orginally, I kept the plant in a pot where it stayed small and produced only a few weedy flowers. I was unsure whether it would prove hardy in a south-facing, but exposed, position. This year, however, it has finally exceeded my expectations; outside it has grown into a large straggly monster about 3 metres tall and 4 metres wide. The flowers, which appear before the leaves, cover the entire plant and from a distance it looks like a pale pink cloud. The plant is in for a shock - as soon as the flowers finish it is in for a rigorous pruning to tame its straggly character. It should regenerate into a denser, better shaped shrub by the autumn.

The 2017 Buddleja Diary is here!

Posted 8th April 2017

It's time to prune Buddleja davidii - I always prune summer-flowering species and hybrids in April. There is already a page on pruning, so I won't go into details. Remember - don't prune spring-flowering species until after they have flowered.

Watch out for those reverted, all green shoots on variegated cultivars such as Harlequin - like the one on the centre of the photo. Remove any branches now with reversions and keep a check once the growth restarts - the reverted shoots will be much more vigorous and could eventually take over the plant.

Buddleja forrestii - I have had some success with one B.forrestii planted in the garden, which has proved to be quite hardy. I have a second cultivar, one with massive leaves, already 30cm long, and brown tomentum. It's still in a pot and I've never seen the flowers - but it is growing well and I am making space for it so it can grow to what must be an impressive full-size. I have been warned this one might be a little less hardy, but I will take the risk as they never seem happy confined.

Buddleja Diary for 2017 coming soon!

In the meantime, here are a few antique prints to enjoy; click to enlarge.

Buddleja colvilei

B. alternifolia

Buddleja alternifolia
Buddleja x intermedia

B. intermedia

B. japonica

Buddleja japonica
Buddleja sessiliflora (as Buddleja verticillata)

B. sessiliflora

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