Coveting a zone 5 plant – the Butterfly Bush ‘Pugster’

Mon. Jun. 17, 2019

Click on the link below to listen to my 2 min. Garden Bite radio show: Coveting a zone 5 plant – the Butterfly bush ‘Pugster’

I have coveted the buddleia or Butterfly bush, for years. I’ve been tempted many times to buy one and see what happens. It’s a zone 5 plant, I’m in zone 4b.

Then we survived the winter/spring of 2019 while some of our hardy shrubs did not. Dang it. THEN I get teased by Proven Winners with ‘Pugster’.  Who wouldn’t love that name!?!

This is a dwarf butterfly bush that would look pretty adorable in a large container in a sunny spot, while it beckons butterflies and other pollinators!

Butterfly bush ‘Amethyst’ by Proven Winners

There are actually 5 options with the latest called ‘Amethyst’ that offers non-stop blooms from early summer through frost with amethyst-toned flowers, each with a tiny yellow-orange eye in the center.


And get this, Proven Winners says, thanks to thick, sturdy stems, the Pugster® series offers vastly improved hardiness and winter survival over other types of dwarf butterfly bush. Still, it IS zone 5.

Pugsters grow to just about 2 feet tall and wide.

This darling could be put in a container and overwintered. My suggestion would be to move it to a protected spot in your yard once winter is fully underway. Zone 5a can handle up to 20 degrees below zero. However, MOST of us are Zone 4 to 3 and some of you ridiculously hardy folk live in zone 2, hello Tower and Hibbing!

Butterfly bush Pugster in a container

In spite of the winter that never seemed to end, and the winter kill that I talked about last week, climate scientists are telling us that we can expect to play with our climate zones again. It wasn’t that long ago that we shifted half a zone, which put me in zone 4b, giving us 5 degrees warmer.  

You likely have microclimates in your landscape too. That means they’re warmer than other areas and are generally protected from winds.

Click on this link to Proven Winners on how to grow the sun loving Butterfly Bush (this is about the larger shrub but goes of the dwarf variety too)

Bottom line is to go ahead and try that zone 5 plant but be sure to mulch if you’re planting it in the ground!