Earlier this summer, Proven Winners and Gardenimport kindly sent me a selection of new shrubs to trial. One of those was Buddleia Lo & Behold ‘Blue Chip’ – a new miniature butterfly bush.
By name alone, I wasn’t totally stoked on this plant. I’ve always wanted to like buddleia (also spelled buddleja). What’s not to like about a plant that attracts beneficial insects – especially one with the fanciful name of “butterfly bush”? But the buddleias I have known have been unruly, straggly beasts – completely unsuited to my small space.
Buddleia ‘Blue Chip’ promises to be a new breed all together – it’s tidy and compact, growing to a maximum of 2-3′ (60-90cm) with a spread of 30″ (75cm). The specimen I received was full and well-shaped (‘Blue Chip’ is said to form a “tidy mound”) – not the spindly vase-shape usually associated with buddleia. It would work well in containers or even as a ground cover.
Gardenimport says, “it blooms continuously [rather than in waves]… old flowers melt away and are covered by new blooms mid-summer to frost.” It is hardy to zone 5, enjoys full sun, and never needs deadheading. And while there is some controversy about buddleia’s tendency to become invasive in certain locales, Buddleia ‘Blue Chip’ produces little if any seed, so you can sleep easy there.
Anyway, despite my misgivings about its genus, I went ahead and planted Buddleia ‘Blue Chip’ in my “cool bed” alongside dark purple heucheras, blue hostas, silvery brunneras and white-flowering annuals. And wouldn’t you know it – the little guy bloomed for me a couple of weeks later. (It looked fabulous.) Despite its name, I wouldn’t say ‘Blue Chip’s blooms are a true blue. Like many “blue” flowers, they are a cool mauve – at least to my eye. It also didn’t flower until frost as advertised – it put on a show for a few weeks then conked out. However, that could be because it’s its first season. Or that I planted it in part-sun. We’ll see how it does next year. I have high hopes.
Buddleia Lo & Behold ‘Blue Chip’ is the first in a series of miniature butterfly bushes from ColorChoice Shrubs by Proven Winners. Look for it in the nursery next spring.
Photo credit: www.provenwinners.com
You have won me over with thi slittle guy ! I had seen it advertised on a few sites .. wondered about it .. now I am totally sold and will be looking for it next year for sure !
I agree! I grew it too and it is all you said. I posted about it also. I first had it growing in too much shade and soon as I moved it, it started growing and blooming like mad. I will get more next year. They would look good planted in mass.
Oh! Here’s hoping the baby buddleias make it to the UK soon, they look great!
I haven’t grown it, but I hope it will be more readily available in Oklahoma soon. I had Buddleia bushes for some years, but they are so unruly. I accidentally bought a tiny plant this year from a local grower, and it is taking over a small bed. Out it goes.~~Dee
Does it have the same tendency to reseed and take over that the big ones do? Buddleia is classified as a noxious weed in our area (Seattle)!
Andrea Bellamy says
Joy – Good! Glad I can be a bad influence for everyone’s plant-buying addiction ;)
Anna – oh good, I’m glad to hear you had success with it too. Maybe I’ll try moving mine into full sun.
Emma – “baby buddleias” – love it!
Dee – I also have that problem: “accidentally” buying plants. Hope this one is better behaved that your others.
Karen – no, supposedly it produces little if any seed, so it should be sterile (and therefore stay in our gardens, where it’s supposed to be!).
I love this blog! It is giving me so many ideas for my apartment. Although it will prove difficult to find this minature buddleia in Belgium.
I wish I could find a miniature bicolor. Is that asking too much?
I just planted on in a container on my deck. I added a hot pink verbana and two cosmic yellow marigolds for extra color. I want to draw butterflies to my deck. I already have over 10 larger butterfly bushes in my back yard which are butterfly magnets, particularly for yellow swallowtails! I cut the bushes back to two feet or so each March and they bounce back beautifully and very quickly. I’ve tried to leave them unpruned for more than a year, but I don’t like them this way.