Q. I would like to grow the beautiful butterfly bush that attracts so many varieties of butterflies at this time of year. Any tips?
A. Buddleja does indeed attract many species of butterflies and is quite a sight in the garden when they are all hovering around the colorful panicles of flowers. It is an easy-to-grow shrub that requires well-drained soil and full sun. While the height can vary, it usually grows between 5 and 8 feet in the Chicago area. Some gardeners have luck overwintering butterfly bushes by mulching them heavily in winter; others let them die to the ground and start anew each spring. Because they flower on new wood, thorough pruning is advised. Cultivars are available in flower colors ranging from deepest purple-red to white to lilac-pink, violet-blue and even yellow.