New Cascades Butterfly Bushes…not your grandmothers buddleias

Can we have a collective, WOW!  For decades, we’ve begged plant breeders to use the weeping butterfly bush, Buddleia lindleyana in their breeding.  Although two breeders did so, and we have their F1 (first generation) hybrids in the garden, no one took it to further generations…until now. We are please to help introduce these amazing Hans Hansen/Walters Garden hybrids…the Cascades series of butterfly bushes.  The “Cascades” aren’t small like many of the newer hybrids, but instead mature at 6-6.5′ in height and width…the ‘Empress Wu’ of butterfly bushes. When I visited the Walters Garden trials this summer, these insanely showy butterfly bushes emitted an incredibly strong and sweet fragrance, and were loaded with an array of pollinators.  The “Cascades” are truly breakthroughs in the genus buddleia. They come in three colors, pink, lavender, and grand.  Hmmm….didn’t know that grand was a color.  The photo above is Buddleia ‘Grand Cascade’. 

18 thoughts on “New Cascades Butterfly Bushes…not your grandmothers buddleias”

    1. tolerant of drought, yes…but that often causes a stress that results in spider mite problems. They are somewhat shade tolerant, but then they dont flower well, which sort of defeats the reason to plant a buddleia.

    1. Hard to answer without knowing where you garden. You need to give them enough time to establish a root systems in areas where winter heaving will be an issue when/if the ground freezes. In our part of NC (Zone 7b), we would plant year round.

  1. We just purchased this variety from a local nursery to give to someone as a gift, and some kind of bug is eating the leaves. Some are lacy and some are completely gone! We have 3 “regular” butterfly bushes growing in our yard that have sustained some minor leaf damage this spring, but nothing like this bush that is still in its pot. We are leery to give this as a gift, as we don’t want to give someone a “problem” bush. Can anyone shed some light on this topic? Is this version more susceptible to problems like this? Thanks for any help!

    1. The problem isn’t with the plant…it’s with the conditions to which the plant is being subjected…mostly likely inadequate moisture, which most likely made the plant stressed, and subsequently more attractive to insect pests. Most containerized butterfly bushes will suffer if they aren’t watered 2-3 times daily. Best pest diagnosis for your region would be obtained by contacting your local County Extension Service and send photos.

      1. You were absolutely correct, thank you for your insight: we decided to find a “hole” in our own gardens for this shrub and purchased a different one to pass along. After a few weeks of being in its new home in amended soil with some slow release fertilizer plus methodical watering and a few applications of insecticide, this shrub came around and is a stand-out. We can’t wait to see what it will do next year. Pollinators seem to adore it! Thank you again for your help and direction. We believe the hungry culprits were earwigs…but now that it is thriving, there are no further insect concerns. Thank you!

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