Plant of the Week: Lo & Behold 'Ice Chip' Buddleia

Lo & Behold 'Ice Chip' Buddleia (butterfly bush)

We were with our friends from Prides Corner Farms earlier this summer and gave them some grief about the horrible winter they had been through. Hey, it's not often that folks in West Michigan get to watch winter storms on the news and think, "Wow, they're getting it worse than us!"

Anyway, this week the last pile of snow in Boston was officially declared to be melted. For real - piles of snow in July. I've seen snow in July above the snow line, and in the U.P. (which is kind of one big snow line), but that's pretty crazy for a coastal city.

To celebrate this happy day I bring you a much nicer bit of summer iciness: Lo & Behold® 'Ice Chip' Buddleia (butterfly bush). It's a little plant - just 18-24" inches tall - and flowers earlier than some of the other Lo & Behold® varieties. Sometimes white flowers don't get a lot of love, but I think 'Ice Chip' is a great choice for pairing with brightly colored annuals or the dark foliage of a plant like Spilled Wine® Weigela.

The Lo & Behold® butterfly bushes are wonderful little plants that bring color and fragrance to summer gardens without littering the landscape with unwanted seedlings. They will bloom from midsummer to frost without deadheading. What's really fun about them is that they challenge us to think about Buddleia in a whole new way. Most of us are used to thinking of butterfly bush as a really big, kind of awkward plant to be stashed in the back of a mixed border. You want the fragrance and the butterflies, but the plant itself was often not much to look at.

These plants are different - cute little mounds of blooms that stay tidy and totally deserve placement at the front of the border. Unlike older varieties, they make a great mass planting. Face it, no one needs a mass planting of 'Pink Delight'.

We do recommend that they be planted as early in the season as possible in northern climates so they have time to establish before winter. Also, pay extra attention to the soil: it really needs to be well-drained. Putting it where the plow truck is going to drop a ton of heavy Boston snow in winter isn't a good idea, either.

Proven Winners' Lo & Behold 'Ice Chip' Buddleia (butterfly bush)

Plant of the Week is written by Jane Beggs-Joles

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