Buddleia davidii ‘Nanho Blue’

Buddleias are pretty tough plants and the only one I have ever lost was a dwarf one in the old garden after a very hard winter. This spring I was certain I had pruned mine back too early and a late frost appeared to have finished them off… a disaster for my Butterfly Bed where four different shrubs are the main focus of the bed.

I was wrong. By May they were all sending out shoots with new leaves appearing daily. Now they are back to the size they were last summer and the first flowers are opening. I am writing this down as a record to remind myself not to panic again next spring!

My favourite is Buddleia davidii ‘Nanho Blue’ (also called Buddleia davidii v. nanhoensis). This was featured in my vase last Monday (see here) and a few comments prompted me to take a second look at this shrub.

The reason I love it is partly for the fragrance of its flowers, which is not as overpowering as some. But the main reason is its foliage. The leaves are narrow – longer and thinner than other buddleias – and smoother too. As with my other buddleias they are also silvery. The combination of the smooth silver with the blue flowers is rather attractive, but even when it is not in flower it looks pretty. It retained most of its leaves throughout the winter as well, although they do look a bit worse for wear by the time I prune it in spring.

The flowers are also longer and thinner than other buddleia I have grown.

But what stood out in the photos of my vase the other day was the bubbly clusters of petals on each panicle.

This occurs on most of the flower heads it seems, and the effect is rather pretty. I think most of my buddleia have similar clusters, but because they are shorter and fatter flower heads it isn’t noticeable once they are in full bloom.

I planted a second Nanho Blue in the Oval Bed. This one is still quite compact….

 …… but the one in the Butterfly Bed is already about 2m tall and at least 1.5m wide. It isn’t supposed to get any bigger than that….

I will have to post some more photos once it is in full bloom… preferably with a few butterflies on it. 😉🦋

I think almost every garden has a buddleia, doesn’t it? So which buddleias have you grown and do you have a favourite? Are they invasive in your part of the world? Do they grow in warmer climates?

Thanks for reading and have a great gardening weekend!

17 thoughts on “Buddleia davidii ‘Nanho Blue’

  1. Guess what! I have a yellow buddleia that the bees like. I do think they are very useful plants. I did not know there were so many varieties and your Nanho is new to me and is lovely and seems preferable for small spaces. Amelia

    • I also had the yellow one in my old garden, but it didn’t do well for me. I liked the bobbly shape of its blooms. Good to hear the bees like it. I hope to see more bees again soon…. I think the rain kept them away.

  2. My track record with Buddleias is less stellar than yours but I do have one that made it. They are invasive from the seeds blowing I guess–it hasn’t popped up anywhere else in the garden though. Looking forward to seeing your butterflies enjoy those beautiful flower bubbles.

    • They do thrive in the strangest places… There was one growing in the guttering of a flat-roofed building in my hometown for several years!

  3. Glad to see your post, Cathy. After seeing the disastrous flooding in Germany, I wondered if you were anywhere near there, but I remembered you live on a great hill, so I doubted you’d be under water. Still, these crazy weather events are scary.
    Lovely Buddleias – 2 meters tall is pretty big! Ours usually die back to the ground every year, and I’ve lost every one I’ve ever planted! I content myself with Russian Sage, which has a similar presence, but doesn’t attract butterflies, just bees.

    • Hi Eliza. Thankfully we are miles from the disaster areas. And it has stooped raining here too. ☀️ Buddleia are tough, but even they have their limitations! Yes, Russian sage is also a lovely plant for bees. 🐝

  4. Oh that is a rather lovely buddleia and a good manageable size. No names for mine Cathy but two shrubs with different coloured flowers from cuttings from my late parent’s garden so most precious. They do seed about a bit but easy to recognise any seedlings.

  5. There were various seedlings around when we first moved here, but theyvthreatened to populate the whole farden and I took them out, but I did plant a very dwarf one last year but I can’t remember what variety it is and it hasn’t done a lot since. I do like that bobbly effect on yours!

  6. Interesting. They definitely do best with a lot of space around them (not crammed in against the fence like mine). I have a dark mauve, which I like best, but the butterflies don’t and I have a yellow hybrid Buddleja x weyeriana and one common or garden purple. The butterflies like the common one best 😉

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