Sunday, June 29, 2014

Buddleia Progress Report. 6.29.14

Buddleia "Blueberry Cobbler".  6.29.14

Buddleia "Miss Molly".  6.29.14

Buddleia "Miss Ruby".  6.29.14
The sterile buddleias are starting to bloom.

As described in earlier posts, sterile buddleias are complex  hybrids between Buddleia davidii and other species.  They have the advantage of being sterle, so do not produce seeds.  For that reason, the sterile hybrids are legal in  this SPring Oregon and Washington.  I did see some Buddleia davidii at Lowes, and walked past it a few times, beautiful dark purple.  But as an environmentally oriented gardener, I couldn't bring myself to buy it.  The B. davidii are highly invasive.  The sterile hybrids do not set seed, so are not invasive.  Despite being sterile, some varieties are highly vigorous, while others are much more restrained.

In their 2nd year, the varieties "Peach Cobbler" and "Blueberry Cobbler" are 7 feet tall, and equally wide.  Also in their 2nd year, "Miss Ruby" is about 4 feet tall, and "Miss Molly" is about 3 feet tall.  The most compact is "Blue Chip", which is about 18 inches tall.

Bloom order:  "Miss Molly" was first, mid June.  "Miss Ruby" was 2nd, late June.  "Blueberry Cobbler" followed close behind, late June.  "Peach Cobbler" is about to bloom, probably 1st week of July.  "Blue Chip" does not have buds yet.  Not a fair comparison, because I let that bed go wild while I was recuperating from surgery, and only this spring pulled out the competing weeds.  It has made a resurgence of growth, but had a late start.

These buddleias are the fastest of all my shrubs to grow and establish.  They are one of the few that deer and rabbits don't touch.  They don't seem to be affected by any insects.  Bumblebees forage the flowers.  I'm not sure about honeybees - so far, there is minimal if any honeybee activity.   The more compact varieties look ideal for smaller gardens, and the more vigorous varieties look ideal for privacy hedge.

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