Last Flower Standing

Joined: September 6th, 2014, 3:10 pm

November 29th, 2016, 10:10 pm #1

Honeycomb Butterfly Bush is proving to be a tough plant. After several below freezing nights it's still mostly green and putting out new flowers. If it holds up long enough I'll put Christmas lights on it.
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Joined: July 3rd, 2014, 2:17 am

November 30th, 2016, 12:45 am #2

Brett,

Your Honeycomb butterfly bush is beautiful. I absolutely loved it in Ohio. I have a nice, healthy big one here but it NEVER blooms. Unlike the other BBs that I have grown here, nematodes don't seem to affect it. But, I'm not sure how a plant that is so lush and huge doesn't put out blooms. I've tried bloom boosters, manure, fish emulsion, you name it....no blooms. I've even tried digging it out twice because it doesn't bloom but it just comes back bigger than ever. Any ideas? Thanks!

Rhonda
Never stop enjoying life,
Rhonda

Rhonda Furlong
Englewood, Florida
Zone 10a
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Joined: June 21st, 2006, 1:24 pm

November 30th, 2016, 6:13 am #3

Honeycomb Butterfly Bush is proving to be a tough plant. After several below freezing nights it's still mostly green and putting out new flowers. If it holds up long enough I'll put Christmas lights on it.
Rhonda,

That is a really interesting question. We grow Honeycomb Butterfly Bush in Wisconsin too and I would not say it is the earliest blooming or the most floriferous variety that we grow, but it does bloom for us. I am assuming that you have it planted in full sun (not that this would be as important in your very warm zone) and the other thing I saw from this link is that Butterfly Bushes planted too deeply (like Peonies) will put out a lot of leaf growth but no flowers:

http://www.gardenguides.com/94296-reaso ... bloom.html

Additionally, here is the Dave's Garden site where some people from Florida talk about their experience growing it:

http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/51666/

I might suggest a few things:

-Make sure planting location is in full sun
-Move it to a new location where you have never grown it before
-Don't plant it too deeply
-I'm not sure what your soil is like, but I have never fertilized Butterfly Bush in our garden---if you are giving it a balanced fertilizer, this may be encouraging leaf growth and no flowers. Try one of the "Bloom Booster" fertilizers instead (the last number will be higher---which encourages flowering.) I also noted from the Dave's Garden site that Butterfly Bush grows best in neutral soil or soil that is just slightly alkaline or acidic---if your soil is highly acidic or alkaline, this might be the reason for no flowers (a container could help here.)
-Try growing it in a large container just to see what happens

Buddleia 'Orange Sceptre' is another variety of Butterfly Bush that is definitely worth trying for hummingbirds and it's very vigorous and blooms reliably and would definitely be hardy for you:

https://www.plantdelights.com/products/ ... ge-sceptre
http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/171841/

It does grow well in a container and most likely would bloom all winter in Florida (ours was still blooming just a week ago when we dug it up.) The hummingbirds really love this one since it is native in Mexico and Central America.

Good luck and please keep us posted.





Madison, WI
Zone 5a
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Joined: August 21st, 2012, 2:43 pm

November 30th, 2016, 7:02 pm #4

Honeycomb Butterfly Bush is proving to be a tough plant. After several below freezing nights it's still mostly green and putting out new flowers. If it holds up long enough I'll put Christmas lights on it.
Rhonda,
pH may be your blooming problem. Most coastal areas of FL tend to have alkaline soil, some areas in S. FL are quite high. All a result of our States geological formation over the millenniums. Central portions of the State are generally slightly acidic and just about plant stuck in the ground grows well. Our higher temperatures are of more concern than pH as a general rule, except for coastal areas.
You may be a borderline case but its worth getting a soil test.


Joe M.
Lakeland, FL
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Joined: July 3rd, 2014, 2:17 am

December 1st, 2016, 4:44 am #5

Honeycomb Butterfly Bush is proving to be a tough plant. After several below freezing nights it's still mostly green and putting out new flowers. If it holds up long enough I'll put Christmas lights on it.
Kathi and Michael,

Thanks for all the info. I have it planted in full sun and not too deep. I have tried it in various locations, the one it is in now is the only place that I can get any buddleia to last more than 1 year (nematodes have gotten them in every other spot that I have planted). I normally don't fertilize butterfly bushes that much as I know it leads to heavier foliage and less blooms, but I'd tried everything else. I might give the Orange one a shot and I'll be interested to see how the "Buzz" hot raspberry ones I just planted do.

Joe,

You may be right on the PH. I just left a message with my extension office to see how I go about getting my soil tested. It will be interesting to see the results. According to all the Florida geological maps and reports I have read, the soil where I live was created in the Ecocene period and has the oldest sediment exposed at the surface level of Florida today.

I'll follow-up once I get the results. Thanks all!

Rhonda
Never stop enjoying life,
Rhonda

Rhonda Furlong
Englewood, Florida
Zone 10a
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Joined: June 21st, 2006, 1:24 pm

December 1st, 2016, 7:04 am #6

Honeycomb Butterfly Bush is proving to be a tough plant. After several below freezing nights it's still mostly green and putting out new flowers. If it holds up long enough I'll put Christmas lights on it.
Rhonda,

I had also suggested that soil PH could be a problem and I think you should have yours tested---Butterfly Bush may not bloom in soil that is extremely alkaline. You can either purchase a kit from any garden center or even a big box store. As an example, here is a link from WalMart:

https://www.walmart.com/c/kp/soil-testing-kits

Your University Extension can also test your soil. Here is the link for the University of Florida:

http://solutionsforyourlife.ufl.edu/hot ... ting.shtml

Any results could also help you down the line with other plants and gardening.

I know that one of the Toms on The Forum who lives in Florida has grown Buddleia 'Orange Sceptre' in a container and was successful with it. I am not sure if it is susceptible to nematodes or not. I don't think we have ever had nematodes on a Buddleia in Wisconsin---it must be a warmer zone issue.

I think the ultimate test of whether your soil is affecting the blooming of your Buddleia 'Honeycomb' is to try it in a container and see if it blooms there in that growing situation.
Madison, WI
Zone 5a
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Joined: July 3rd, 2014, 2:17 am

December 1st, 2016, 11:58 am #7

Honeycomb Butterfly Bush is proving to be a tough plant. After several below freezing nights it's still mostly green and putting out new flowers. If it holds up long enough I'll put Christmas lights on it.
Michael and Kathi,
I apologize for not thanking you for mentioning the ph test as well. I'll run to Walmart on lunch and pick up a test.

If the results come back as high alkaline, I will pot it up. It may be a good idea to grow them in pots regardless due to the nematode problem.

Thanks!
Rhonda
Never stop enjoying life,
Rhonda

Rhonda Furlong
Englewood, Florida
Zone 10a
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