Flowering are the backbone of many Connecticut gardens. But the problem with some flowering shrubs is that their flowers typically last for only a few short weeks and then the shrub fades into the background. Until now. Lo & Behold ® ‘Blue Chip’ dwarf butterfly bush blooms it’s head off, literally all summer long, and then some.
‘Blue Chip’, the first in the Lo & Behold ® series of dwarf butterfly bushes features purple-blue flower spikes that are irresistible to both bees and butterflies. Growing to just under 3-feet tall, and about as wide, this little charmer is ideal for any size garden.
Not Just a Chip Off The Old Block
Unlike other you may already have in your garden, ‘Blue Chip’ is remarkably well behaved. It has a tight, branching habit so it doesn’t muscle in on its neighbors like many other butterfly bushes (Buddleia) tend to do. It is also very low-maintenance, reliably re-blooming without any deadheading needed. I have three ‘Blue Chip’ butterfly bushes growing in my garden and I’ve experimented with whether or not deadheading promotes better blooming. While deadheading certainly cleans up the shrub and makes it look a little less messy, I didn’t notice a big difference in re-blooming.
‘Blue Chip’ needs full sun for maximum flower production. Like other butterfly bushes, it prefers lean, well-drained soil. Drought tolerant once established, ‘Blue Chip’ does not like wet soil. Resist the urge to over-fertilize this little shrub, a top dressing of compost once a year will provide all the nourishment it needs to flower all season long. ‘Blue Chip’ typically blooms until the first heavy frost. Some years, I’ve had flowers on mine right through mid-November.
Using ‘Blue Chip’ in Your Garden
Because of its low-growing nature, mature plants reach about 30-inches tall, ‘Blue Chip’ makes a colorful groundcover when massed. Use it on dry slopes or even to edge a walkway or sidewalk. Its small stature makes ‘Blue Chip’ easy to combine with a variety of perennials such as black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia), shrub roses and even ornamental grasses.
You can also use ‘Blue Chip’ in containers so you can see the amazing array of butterflies and bees it will attract up close and personal.
If ‘Blue Chip’ isn’t your cup of tea, there are other dwarf butterflies bushes in the Lo & Behold ® line that are just being introduced and should be in your local garden center sometime next year. ‘Purple Haze’ has a more spreading habit with fuzzy, droopy purple flowers that give the shrub a more relaxed look than ‘Blue Chip’. You can also look for ‘Ice Chip’ with pure white flowers and silvery foliage and ‘Lilac Chip’, an even lower-grower with pinky-purple flowers.