Is butterfly bush HARMFUL to butterflies? #627229 - Ask Extension

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Is butterfly bush HARMFUL to butterflies? #627229

Asked April 24, 2020, 12:45 PM EDT

I understand that the plant is considered invasive in some areas. Because it spreads by seed, dead heading the flowers and throwing them away is a way to manage the plant. What I want to know: Is butterfly bush HARMFUL to butterflies?

Montgomery County Maryland

Expert Response

You are correct. Many butterfly bushes tend to self seed, and can become invasive.
Dead-heading is a good management option.
This shrub is certainly beloved by our "winged-flowers", as some call them, but it's nectar may not be quite as nutritious as the native plants that have evolved here in combination with other flora and fauna.
So no, we don't think it is harmful to the butterflies, but perhaps not the most ideal.


Christine

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