By Jennifer Caldwell
Special to the Journal
The Lo and Behold series of dwarf buddleia bred by Dr. Denny Warner of North Carolina State University revolutionized butterfly bushes. Introduced in the spring of 2009 by Proven Winners, these plants, unlike regular buddleia, only reach 2 to 3 feet tall and wide. They are therefore perfect for small gardens, containers, or as underplantings for flowering trees such as dogwoods. The first series included “Blue Chip,” “Ice Chip” and “Lilac Chip.”
We planted three “Blue Chip” plants this year in the courtyard with great success. The never-ending blooms are deep lavender blue on dark green foliage. Planted in full sun, they have thrived and are currently 27 inches at the highest point. They are hardy in Zones 5a to 9b and will not need deadheading.
Hummingbirds, bees and butterflies flocked to the panicle-shaped flowers that bob in the wind. Though we have only an occasional deer in the neighborhood, these plants are deer resistant.
The Royal Boskoop Horticultural Society awarded Lo and Behold “Purple Haze” buddleia a silver medal during the 23rd Groot Groen Plus trade show last month in the Netherlands. “Purple Haze” was the second introduction in the dwarf series and was available to retailers in 2012.
Next year, the Lo and Behold line will expand to include “Pink Micro Chip,” which will have petite pink blooms and grow only 18 to 24 inches tall and wide, and “Blue Chip, Jr.,” which will have a more compact habit with silver green foliage.
Keep these dwarf buddleias in mind if you are looking to add a low maintenance, prolific bloomer to your small space garden as they truly are Proven Winners.
Jennifer Caldwell, a Master Gardener, is a trained volunteer of the Mississippi State University Extension Service. For gardening questions, call the Help Center at (662) 620-8280 in Lee County or (866) 920-4678 outside Lee County and leave a message.