Why You Should Never Plant Buddliea in a Butterfly Garden.
Sounds ridiculous I know but the experts are all saying that Buddliea davidii cultivars are the last thing you want to plant in a butterfly friendly garden.
There are many reasons I can think of. I got rid of mine about three years ago when I realised what little use they actually were.
So before you surf off to another page or web site thinking I'm a nut case here is a list of the top three reasons.
1 They are an invasive foreign plant.
2 The nectar is addictive so other surrounding plants don't get pollinated.
3 No butterfly or moth species lay their eggs on buddliea.
So lets ellaborate.
We all know Buddliea grow along railway lines and in waste ground. And have you seen how they grow on buildings?
The estimated damage to listed buildings by Buddliea runs into tens of thousands of pounds.
Viewed by the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) as an invasive non-native species. Its "invasion history" has been charted from its introduction to the UK in the 1800s to the first record of the plant in the wild in 1922.
Defra says the highly-dispersible seed of what was originally a garden plant has resulted in extensive buddleia populations in the wild, where the shrub has often out-competed native vegetation and reduced biodiversity.
Buddleia has been blamed for the destruction of chalk grassland at Folkestone Warren, a site of special scientific interest (SSSI) in Kent. Clouds of butterflies used to be seen there, but now only common species can be spotted and even these are in decline, with the rarest ones disappearing altogether. Buddleia was eliminating butterfly habitat by killing off everything else, and while the shrub provided food for adults and larger insects, other plants were needed for butterflies in their larval stages.
The nectar is so highly charged that insects become addicted to it and flock to the plants en masse. This means that surrounding flowering plants go unpollinated. once again it's nearly always our native wild flowers that lose out to these invasive foreign plants.
So what should we plant instead? I hear you ask. Well how about following this link and choosing some fantastic nectar rich natives from the lists.