Garden Tips

Caring for summer lilac properly

Caring for summer lilac properly

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If you like butterflies, you should plant summer lilac in the garden because it literally attracts the moths. But only if it is properly cared for and thrives splendidly.

Summer lilac attracts butterflies

Summer lilac (Buddleja) is a colorful and wonderfully fragrant plant that magically attracts butterflies. Hence the nickname butterfly lilac. This differs from normal lilac in the flowering period and in the cutting options. While the normal lilac blooms in May, the summer lilac is on from July. The normal lilac also does not have to be cut, while you do nothing wrong with a summer cut with a cut back.

In terms of appearance, the two types of lilac are very similar. The inflorescences of the summer lilac are usually also white, pink, dark blue or purple. In terms of growth height, the butterfly lilac can reach up to 5 meters with a regular cut. But only if you give him the right care.

You have to take this into account when caring for them

The right location:

The summer lilac doesn't really need much care. You create a good foundation e.g. if you choose the right location. The summer lilac loves a sunny place, which is also a bit sheltered from the wind. It also thrives very well in partial shade. It is only important that the soil conditions are correct. A light, dry and permeable soil that contains many nutrients is optimal. The butterfly lilac can develop well here. Heavy and permanently moist soils are unsuitable.

Rear section:

Even if the ground conditions are right, it can happen that the fast-growing bush cares in spring and does not really want to get into the slippers. Then only one thing helps: cut back radically! You don't have to have any inhibitions. You can cut off the entire branches about 30 centimeters above the ground. This way you can remove old, frozen and sick shoots. And while you're at it, you can completely remove shoots that grow inwards or cross each other.

If the bush has not frozen to death (which is rather rare), the first buds will be visible again just a few days after the pruning. In a few weeks the bush will be even bigger than ever. And some of the flowers are also more than twice the size of last year.

The best time to cut is in spring (April) on a frost-free day. This gives the summer lilac enough time to form new shoots.

Watering & fertilizing:

If you have just planted the summer lilac, you need to water it regularly. Especially in the summer months. But make sure that there is no waterlogging. However, you only need to water older plants during a longer dry period.

If you want to do everything right, pour the butterfly lilac with chalky water. Instead of taking the water out of the rain barrel, as is otherwise advisable for all other plants, you should use tap water.

When it comes to fertilizing, you really don't have to pay attention to summer lilac. Only after a pruning is it advisable to give some compost, because this will stimulate the growth of new shoots.


Depending on the variety, the butterfly lilac is hardy up to -15 degrees. Plants that are older than three years do not need protection in winter. However, if you have just planted the summer lilac, you need to protect it from frost in winter. It is best to cover it with brushwood or straw.

With regard to potted plants, it is always advisable to spend the winter in a frost-free room in the house. You can also bury the bucket and its container in the garden and cover it with brushwood or straw.

By the way:

Most species of summer lilac freeze back in winter. Sometimes even completely. But don't panic, the spring lilac will usually sprout again next spring.