Buddleja 'Miss Ruby'
Common Name: butterfly bush
Type: Deciduous shrub
Family: Scrophulariaceae
Zone: 5 to 9
Height: 3.00 to 5.00 feet
Spread: 3.00 to 5.00 feet
Bloom Time: June to September
Bloom Description: Reddish-pink
Sun: Full sun
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Flower: Showy, Fragrant
Attracts: Butterflies
Tolerate: Rabbit, Clay Soil

Culture

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.

'Miss Ruby' plants reportedly produce few seeds (almost sterile) and infrequently sucker in the garden. They flower continuously from June to frost, with no need to deadhead spent blooms.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Buddleja is a genus of about 100 species of mainly shrubs but also some trees and climbers. They are native to Asia, Africa and North and South America. Commonly called butterfly bush they are very attractive to butterflies and other pollinators.

Genus name honors the Reverend Adam Buddle (1660-1715), English botanist and vicar of Farmbridge in Essex.

The genus name is frequently listed today as Buddleia. However, Linnaeus named the genus Buddleja (pronounced with a silent “j”) which is still considered to be the proper spelling (first name survives) according to the International Code of Botanical Nomenclature.

Common name refers to its attraction to butterflies.

‘Miss Ruby’ is the second cultivar to be released to commerce in a new miniature butterfly bush series named LO AND BEHOLD (the first was 'Blue Chip'). This series is being developed at the JC Raulston Arboretum in North Carolina. Plants with additional flower colors are expected to be introduced in this series in the future. 'Miss Ruby' plants grow in manageable, well-branched mounds to only 2-3' tall in one year, but feature bright, reddish-pink flowers in spike-like terminal and axillary clusters. Flowers bloom continuously from June to September and sometimes to first frost. Flowers are fragrant, and, as the common name suggests, very attractive to butterflies. Willowy, elliptic leaves are gray-green. 'Miss Ruby' is a hybrid resulting from a cross between B. 'White Ball' (seed parent) and B. 'Attraction' (pollen parent). U.S. Plant Patent Applied For (PPAF).

Problems

No serious insect or disease problems. Nematodes can be troublesome in the South.

This cultivar is not considered to be invasive in the landscape (no suckers and few seeds).

Garden Uses

Provides attractive summer to early fall flowers when few other shrubs are in bloom. Grow in borders, cottage gardens, rose gardens or butterfly gardens. Popular fresh cut flower.

Miniature plants small enough to use as a flowering ground cover or in containers.