Easily grown in average, medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun. Becomes weedy and sparse with diminished flowering performance if not grown in full sun. Does poorly in wet conditions. In USDA Zones 5 and 6, this plant will often die to the ground in winter and therefore is often grown therein in the manner of an herbaceous perennial. Even if plants do not die to the ground in winter, they usually grow more vigorously, produce superior flowers and maintain a better shape if cut close to the ground in late winter each year. Removal of spent flower spikes during the growing season may encourage additional bloom.
STRAWBERRY LEMONADE is an upright, outward-spreading, deciduous butterfly bush cultivar that is noted for its variegated green/pale yellow foliage and light purple flowers. It will grow 3-4’ tall in a single season, but will reach 6-8’ tall if it is neither pruned back nor dies back in winter. It is a branch mutant of Buddleja davidii ‘Pink Delight’, with variegated foliage and a more compact shape. It features spike-like terminal clusters (to 10” long) of light purple flowers that bloom from June to September and sometimes to first frost. Flowers are mildly fragrant, and, as the common name suggests, very attractive to butterflies. Willowy leaves are green variegated with pale yellow. U.S. Plant Patent PP14,370 issued December 16, 2003.
No serious insect or disease problems. Nematodes can be troublesome in the South.
Provides attractive variegated foliage and valuable summer to early fall flowers when few other shrubs are in bloom. Best grown in massed plantings in borders, cottage gardens, rose gardens or butterfly gardens. Usually does not make a good single specimen shrub. Popular fresh cut flower.