Butterfly Bush


I was looking up info on Butterfly Bushes, and was surprised to see so many sites claiming it is now considered an invasive species and is NOT recommended. However I didn’t see that on any Toronto specific sites. Do you concur that they should no longer be planted?


Thank you for contacting Toronto Master Gardeners with this interesting conundrum regarding Butterfly Bush, Buddleja spp. and ctv. There certainly are mixed messages on the internet regarding its invasive nature.

We contacted OMAFRA, Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. They report that butterfly bush is not currently listed as invasive on their plant list.

Which leaves the decision, to plant or not to plant, up to the individual Toronto gardener. You may decide to plant the shrub and to keep it under control, deadheading it,  monitoring the spread of seedlings to prevent them from colonizing such zones as ravines or waste land. Butterfly bush produces nectar, but not nutritious pollen, so its benefit to pollinators is somewhat diminished.

As an obviously environmentally aware gardener, I am sure that whatever your decision you will take care to protect our environment.