Friday, September 27, 2013

No More Noxious Butterfly Weeds!

I finally did it! They are no more...

Back in April, I was toying with what to do with my three Butterfly Bushes. I mulled over removing them all summer and finally got the kick in the butt to actually do it.

In the back by the fence - two on the left and one on the right side of the path.
All it took was a 30% sale at Xera and a threat of a tropical deluge of 4-5" of rain this weekend for my call to action.

On the way home from work, I stopped at Xera, knowing full well I was looking for discount "replacement" shrubs.

The key was that they had to be evergreen, interesting, of appropriate size for the holes I would be making in the bed and that they not be more work than the Butterfly Bushes.

I don't mind a little trimming and shaping all year. But having to meticulously deadhead the Buddleia each summer was such a drag, but if they were invasive, I didn't want them spreading.

With the help of Greg, the co-owner, I picked out a few things. He made some great suggestions for color, texture, flowers, and the overall shape of several plants.

My 30% off sale plants! C. subulatus 'Dark Red' is the tiny plant. Have no idea where that's going to go?!?
The Buddleia davidii were all planted in 2006, and were some of the first plants I bought, even before the sale of my house was complete, so there was a little nostalgia to them.  I figured they were going to be a b@T$h to get out.

I managed to cut them down and rip the stumps out in just an hour and a half. It helped that the soil in these raised beds was wet, a little on the sandy side and that it seemed a lot of the root structure and trunks of the Buddleia were rotted out.

Two green bins plus one stump to get rid of.
I even managed to get my new plants in the ground before it got dark! They will also be nicely watered in after this weekend's storm passes through.

The plant replacing the white Butterfly Bush in the hottest sun spot is Ceanothus cuneatus 'Blue Sierra'. Chosen for it's ability with withstand the hottest sun in this location and its blue flowers for the butterflies. One butterfly bush swapped for another!

A ruggedly handsome and incredibly tough wiry shrub native to the Willamette Valley southward. 
In spring this evergreen is clad in masses of violet blue flowers for 6 weeks.
 An excellent attractant for native butterflies. Blooms April-May. To 5’ tall and 8’ wide in 5 years. 
Full sun to part shade in soils that drain well. Little or no supplemental water. 
Extremely cold hard and tolerant of hot urban sites. Zone 6 (-5 to 0 °F) 

The plant replacing the purple Butterfly Bush is Olearia lineata 'Dartonii'. Chosen for its grey color and evergreen foliage. Color-wise a little reminiscent of the former Butterfly Bush.

Behind the tall Acidanthera bicolor

A fine textured willowy evergreen shrub with silver tinted foliage that is handsome year round. 
Fast growing to 5”tall and as wide in several years. Prefers well-drained soil that is not overly rich.
Flowers are small, creamy white and inconspicuous. Full sun and little water once established. 
A daisy bush native to New Zealand. Zone 7 (5 to 10 °F).

The plant replacing the red Butterfly Bush at the edge of the black walnut's shade is Lomalia myricoides. Chosen for its leaf shape/color and sweet smelling flowers.

Long grown in the PNW, this rare evergreen shrub from Australia has thin blue-green leaves with toothed edges. 
In mid-summer exotic ivory flowers appear with a sweet fragrance. To 8’ tall and forming a vase shape. 
Graceful and very unusual. Full sun and well-drained soil. Average water. Zone 7 (5 to 10 °F).


  1. I wondered if you were really going to remove the Butterfly Bushes! I think the pollinators will very much appreciate that Ceonothus :-)

    1. I have never tried Ceonothus before. I think I was always afraid of their size. Some of them get so big!

  2. Smart to ask for input from the pros. These look like very good choices. I had a butterfly bush long ago, given to me as a start by a friend with the disclaimer "this could become a thug". Boy, was she right!

    1. Both Paul and Greg are great - so much plant knowledge there.

  3. Nice choices! Glad to see someone got in there and took advantage of their sale. I haven't had a chance to yet and with the weather this weekend I might just have to wait until next week...

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    2. I figured all the bloggers would be there fighting to the death over their various treasures, but just me. I also almost most came home with a few more things but I figured the work created taking out those butterfly bushes was enough. But now that they are out! Might need a second trip! I think I'm done for the season though, other than plants from the exchange on Sunday.

  4. I love your choices! And..totally jealous of your shopping trip with personal assistance :) I think you new additions are going to be stunning. Cheers!