butterfly on a butterfly bush

How To Grow Miss Molly Butterfly Bush

Miss Molly Butterfly Bush is a one-of-a-kind butterfly plant. It is the ideal addition to any summer garden, with its almost red blooms and compact habit. Both butterflies and hummingbirds flock to this aromatic butterfly shrub.

The Miss Molly Butterfly Bush has a spring blooming season that lasts until late October. It has deep pink to almost red blossoms that contrast beautifully with the green foliage. This butterfly bush reaches a height of 48 to 60 inches tall and a spread of 48 to 60 inches wide. Its fragrant blossoms attract hummingbirds and butterflies. This butterfly bush looks great in sunny gardens and as a border plant.

Growing Miss Molly Butterfly Bush

The Miss Molly Butterfly Bush, sometimes known as summer lilac, is a rounded shrub with a profusion of deep pink extended flower clusters that bloom for months. This perennial plant gives vibrant color to your landscape from July till frost. Miss Molly is a little, fast-growing dog. The mature height and width are 5 feet tall and broad.

Here are some brief facts about the popular aesthetic plant:

  • Latin name: Buddleia x
  • Other names: Summer Lilac
  • Native to: North America, Europe
  • Invasiveness: No
  • Tenderness: Deciduous Perennial 
  • Sun: Full Sun
  • Water: Average
  • Soil: Well Drained
  • Hardiness zone: Zones 5 through 9
  • When to plant: Spring to mid-summer
  • Spacing: 60-72 inches
  • Plant height: 4-5 Feet
  • Bloom period: Summer through Fall
  • Time to maturity: 1 year
  • Container friendly: Yes
  • Fertilizer: 10-10-10
  • Toxicity: No
  • Deer resistant: Yes
  • Pest resistant: Yes

Planting your butterfly bush in full sun with a minimum of six hours of light per day is required for proper management. This is a sun-loving bush that thrives in hotter regions. It has intermediate water requirements and requires proper drainage due to its rot-prone roots. For best results, plant this butterfly bush in the spring to mid-summer rather than in the fall. In the spring, fertilize using a slow-release fertilizer.

Mills for Pruning Molly Early spring is the best time to plant a butterfly bush. To avoid causing too much stress to the plant, never cut back more than a third of the branch. Branches and leaves that are dead or dying can be pruned or chopped off at any time of the year.


When your plant is first planted, keep the soil moist, but otherwise, Miss Molly Butterfly bushes are drought tolerant and only need watering during dry, hot weather. To produce strong roots, these plants demand frequent irrigation during the first year after planting.


Every day, the butterfly bush needs at least 8 hours in direct sunlight. Even in warmer climates, plant them where they will get at least 6 hours of sunshine. If your area is really hot, you may want to provide midday shade to the plant to keep it healthy.


This plant thrives at average moisture levels and in ordinary, well-drained soil. Butterfly bush will grow well in clay soil, but it will require some special care. They require appropriate drainage and dislike residing in cold, damp conditions.


Your Butterfly bush will not require fertilizer if your soil is nutrient-rich. If your soil is nutrient-deficient, fertilize in the early spring and when planting. Choose a balanced, slow-release fertilizer.


Miss Molly enjoys the heat and is unobtrusive. It has a long bloom season that lasts multiple months and blooms without needing to be deadheaded. The Miss Molly Butterfly Bush has a spring blooming season that lasts until late October.

Miss Molly

Growing The Miss Molly Butterfly Bush In Containers

It performs well in container planting and tiny settings because of its compactness and refined, mounded growth habit. It also serves as a striking focal point. The pot should be large enough to support the roots whilst still being sturdy enough to keep the plant from tipping over. Make sure the pot you pick has at least a few good drainage holes. To preserve your planted butterfly bush from the harsh winter winds, bring it indoors. Apply a 2-3 inch layer of compost over the roots of your outside shrubs to keep them wet and prevent them from freezing.

Care & Tips

When planting your Butterfly Bush, make sure it’s in the proper spot and has the right circumstances to thrive. Planting is best done in the spring and fall. You can grow practically any time of year if you avoid frigid and hot temperatures. Deadheading is necessary to get rid of spent flowers and promote new growth. Spent buds will make your shrub look untidy, so use scissors or pruners to cut as close to the base of the flower stems as possible, and remove any flowers that have previously bloomed to make room for the new blooms.

Common Problems

Miss Molly is seldom troubled by pests or diseases, however caterpillars, mullein moths, and spider mites can attack the plants, and fungal diseases can occur infrequently. If you find insects, use a vigorous blast of water from the hose to knock them off, or spray the bushes with insecticidal soap. However, pesticides should be avoided since they harm visiting butterflies, bees, and other useful garden species.

Propagating The Miss Molly Butterfly Bush

It is deemed sterile since it produces less than 2% viable seeds. It’s critical to clean your gardening equipment before starting to propagate from a cutting while propagating from a cutting. Take a cutting from the new growth area between June and July after you have clean shears. Cut the cuttings into four to six-inch lengths. You can take as many cuttings as you like while also pruning the shrub, killing two birds with one stone.

Wildlife attracted by Miss Molly Butterfly Bush

Miss Molly’s flowers are a magnet for butterflies, including the popular and endangered Monarch butterfly. Bees, hummingbirds, and other pollinators are drawn to the flowers.

The History Of The Miss Molly Butterfly Bush

Buddleja ‘Miss Molly,’ also known as ‘Red Chip’ in Europe, is a hybrid cultivar resulting from a 2004 cross between Buddleja ‘Miss Ruby’ and Buddleja davidii ‘Attraction’ at the JC Raulston Arboretum by Dennis J. Werner and Layne K. Snelling of North Carolina State University (NCSU). In 2005, at the Sandhills Research Station in Jackson Springs, North Carolina, Werner and Snelling chose ‘Miss Molly’ in field trials.

Uses For The Miss Molly Butterfly Bush

Make a sassy statement in your garden rooms. You’ll always feel good about supporting local beneficial pollinators while flaunting your fashion sense. Make a spectacular background for your summertime celebrations by combining many of them. Plant them down your front walkway or in extra-large planters on your balcony. Create a mass planting to provide stunning leaves and spectacular colors for months in hot, sunny regions. Plant them in the middle, five feet apart, to show off their lovely shape. Mulch the spaces between the plants. 

‘Miss Molly’ is the queen of the summer garden, with its brilliantly colored blooms and exquisite habit. Its fragrant flowers are the reddest of any butterfly shrub and bloom for months without needing to be deadheaded every summer. ‘Miss Molly,’ unlike earlier types of butterfly bush, grows only 4-5’/1.2-1.5m tall, making it easy to incorporate into any sunny environment. In hot climates, this non-invasive species flourishes. It will entice butterflies and hummingbirds just as much as you do!

Mayukh Saha
Freelance Writer
Mayukh is a Content Marketer and Social Media Manager with over 5 years of experience in the industry. Mayukh believes in the power of content; how it can positively impact lives, scale businesses and touch people. In his spare time Mayukh likes to read about latest tech trends and loves to travel in the nature. You can reach him at [email protected].