Black Knight Butterfly Bush flowers

Black Knight Butterfly Bush flowers

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Black Knight Butterfly Bush in bloom

Black Knight Butterfly Bush in bloom

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Height: 5 feet

Spread: 5 feet

Sunlight:

Hardiness Zone: 5b

Other Names: Summer Lilac

Description:

A tall garden plant with dark purple flowers in late summer when little else blooms, and attracts butterflies; may treat as a perennial and cut it back to the ground each spring as it regrows vigorously and blooms on new wood

Ornamental Features

Black Knight Butterfly Bush features showy panicles of fragrant deep purple flowers with black eyes at the ends of the branches from mid summer to mid fall. The flowers are excellent for cutting. It has grayish green foliage throughout the season. The fuzzy narrow leaves do not develop any appreciable fall color. The fruit is not ornamentally significant.

Landscape Attributes

Black Knight Butterfly Bush is an open herbaceous deciduous shrub with an upright spreading habit of growth. Its average texture blends into the landscape, but can be balanced by one or two finer or coarser trees or shrubs for an effective composition.

This is a high maintenance shrub that will require regular care and upkeep, and is best pruned in late winter once the threat of extreme cold has passed. It is a good choice for attracting bees, butterflies and hummingbirds to your yard, but is not particularly attractive to deer who tend to leave it alone in favor of tastier treats. It has no significant negative characteristics.

Black Knight Butterfly Bush is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Mass Planting
  • General Garden Use
  • Container Planting

Planting & Growing

Black Knight Butterfly Bush will grow to be about 5 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 5 feet. It tends to be a little leggy, with a typical clearance of 1 foot from the ground, and is suitable for planting under power lines. It grows at a fast rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 20 years.

This shrub should only be grown in full sunlight. It is very adaptable to both dry and moist locations, and should do just fine under average home landscape conditions. It is not particular as to soil type or pH, and is able to handle environmental salt. It is highly tolerant of urban pollution and will even thrive in inner city environments. This is a selected variety of a species not originally from North America.

Black Knight Butterfly Bush makes a fine choice for the outdoor landscape, but it is also well-suited for use in outdoor pots and containers. With its upright habit of growth, it is best suited for use as a ‘thriller’ in the ‘spiller-thriller-filler’ container combination; plant it near the center of the pot, surrounded by smaller plants and those that spill over the edges. Note that when grown in a container, it may not perform exactly as indicated on the tag – this is to be expected. Also note that when growing plants in outdoor containers and baskets, they may require more frequent waterings than they would in the yard or garden.

Buddleja davidii ‘Black Knight’

Suggestions for planting low maintenance border please Hello, I recently had my garden extended by a piece of land measuring 34 metres by 14 metres, and my son purchased 23 Phormiums from you in last August on my behalf. I was delighted with the service I received, and the plants appear to be thriving well especially considering the dreadful weather we have suffered this winter. We also bought Rootgrow from you to assist with their development ,and also for use when we moved mature Acers and other shrubs. I still need more shrubs or other types of plants and would appreciate some advice as to what to use. Along one of the 14 metre lengths there is a “hedge” of bamboo plants, and adjacent to these on the return (long) length there is a small rise of earth, tapering down to ground level, with a specimen black bamboo at the end of the mound. There is also a mature acer, which we had to move, situated at the edge of the dividing path (between the lawn) on the field side of the garden. Would it be possible for you to suggest the names of suitable plants which I could purchase from you and which would compliment the existing ones. I am in my eighties and therefore need a very low maintenance garden. I would also like to introduce a little colour if possible. My garden is very exposed and is on quite a windy site. I look forward to your reply.

Marian Burgess

2010-02-15 2010-02-16

Crocus Helpdesk

Help with Actaea simplex and Buddleja davidii please Hello, I recently ordered some really lovely plants from you, all of them are doing really well in my garden, but, I have just noticed that the Actaea simplex ‘Pink Spike’ is now not looking too good. Today I noticed that the 3 large leaves on the plant now have a brown crusty edging to them and they are no longer look very healthy, would you know why this may have happened? I have watered it the same as all of my other plants, so I’m very unsure why this has happened. Could it be overwatering, as the soil where it is planted is quite heavy? Any ideas? Also I’ve got a Buddleja davidii ‘Royal Red’, which is suffering from yellowing leaves, and falling off the plant. I don’t think Buddlejas suffer from chlorosis, but could this be a result of overwatering too? If you can help me that would be fantastic and much appreciated, Kindest regards, Nick

Gleaming Gem

2009-09-03

Hello Nick, The Actaea likes a moist soil, so it is unlikely to be suffering from too much water unless it is really boggy. They are herbaceous perennials though, so it will be starting to die back now, and I suspect this is it,-simply a part of their normal life cycle. The leaves will continue to deteriorate in autumn and disappear altogether in winter. I have added some notes to your order about your concerns, so if the plant fails to put on lots of new, lush growth in spring then please get back to us and we will happily replace it. As for the Buddleja, they also start to lose their leaves at this time of the year, but although they can be watered freely in summer, they prefer a drier soils when not actively growing, so you should cut back now. I hope this helps. Helen

2009-09-04

Crocus Helpdesk

Summer flowering tree Hello, I am looking for a tree that can grow as tall as 8ft-10ft and flowers for most of the summer, or even one that flowers in the winter. I am looking to add a large tree with colourful flowers to my garden – I do love the Laburnum x watereri ‘Vossii’ but it only flowers from May to June I believe. Can you recommend at suitable tree? Regards Laura

LAURA BLIZARD

2009-07-05

Hello Laura, Even a miniature tree will get taller than 8-10ft, so I suspect you may be looking for a shrub, which are generally more compact. The ones that will flower for months on end throughout summer are either Buddlejas or Lavatera. I’m afraid I don’t know of any trees (no matter what size) that will match them.

2009-07-08

Crocus Helpdesk

Rabbit proof shrubs Dear Sirs We are planning to plant a 30mt long border with flowering shrubs and have assorted colours of Rhododendrons in mind. Our main concern is that the shrubs must be rabbit proof as the border is adjacent to woods and a large grassed area. Also, where possible we would like to have ‘flowers’ on the shrubs throughout the summer. Would you be able to provide a picking list of suitable shrubs? Thank you for your prompt attention Andy

Clark, Andy (buying)

2009-06-15

Hello there, These are really troublesome pests, and there are no effective deterrents available (apart from getting a guard dog) which will be any help to you. They tend to prefer leaves and soft stems rather than flowers and woody stems, and they seem to prefer feeding in exposed positions and often nibble plants at the edge of borders. This habit can be used to the gardener’s advantage by planting more valuable subjects in the centre of beds. In winter, when food is scarce, deciduous plants at the edge of beds will not interest rabbits, and will help protect winter flowers in the centre. Below is a list of flowering shrubs which they usually tend to leave alone. Buddleia davidii, Ceanothus Cistus Cotoneaster dammeri Deutzia Hebe Hypericum Hydrangea Mahonia aquifolium Potentilla fructicosa Rhododendron spp. I hope this helps. Helen Plant Doctor

2009-06-17

Crocus Helpdesk

Salvia Black Knight
Botanical Name:

Salvia Black Knight is a large salvia, growing to 2 meters high and 1 meter wide. The flowers begin as almost black and fade to deep purple as they age. The flowering period lasts from early summer to autumn. The mid green leaves are aromatic.

Growing Conditions

Black Knight prefers to grow in a warm sunny aspect and can take being dry between watering periods. Alternatively it can tolerate being constantly moist. Most soil types are tolerated well, so it is quite versatile. However, this salvia may be prone to frost damage and it can be useful to prune the stems in winter and protect the roots with pea straw. Black Knight is known to be deciduous in colder areas of the world, but the plant will return in spring. Since it is a large growing salvia it is often best suited to the back border or as a fence screen.

The salvia family has over 900 members with an extensive history as culinary, medicinal and ornamental plants. Ornamental salvias have become collectorsí items, as gardeners try to find a place in their garden for each and every one. There are salvias that will suit every type of soil and climate. More information on the Salvia genus and Common Sage (Salvia officinalis) may be found on our Common Sage page.

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