I Love Pugster Dwarf Butterfly Bush

Sep 4, 2020 | Love This!

Name: Buddleja davidii ‘SMNBDBT’ aka Pugster dwarf butterfly bush.

Type of Plant: A dwarf butterfly bush that blooms prolifically through the summer. Hardy in zones 5 – 9, and best planted in full sun. Grows 2 feet tall and 3 feet in diameter, tolerant of heat.

Why I Love/Hate this plant: I love how low and round these shrubs are. I love their flowers, and the fact that they come in several colors. And I love how the plant just keeps on cranking out the blooms all summer.

A Word to the Wise: All of the advertising about this shrub says that you don’t have to deadhead, and in terms of flower production this is true. The shrubs keep blooming without clipping off the old, brown flowers. But if you do cut off the faded and brown blooms, the plant looks SO much better! So take a few minutes every week, perhaps with your favorite beverage during the cocktail hour, and cut off the brown flowers. You’ll be happy that you did.

Pugster Periwinkle buddleia is just one of the dwarf butterfly bushes in the Pugster line.

I planted two pink as well. All three of my plants have been flower-making machines all summer.

These plants are all at the end of a hot, asphalt driveway. The butterfly bush go well with the Soiree® Kawaii Catharanthus, annuals that also love the heat.


  1. Joan Austin

    CL enjoyed your show this morning 9/5/2020. These plants are beautiful and I wondered what is the mulch that you are using?

    Thank you.

    Joan M. Austin

    • CL Fornari

      I tend to use a variety of mulches – this one is the plain (natural color) bagged cedar mulch I got at Hyannis Country Garden.

      • Joan Woolson

        All the reading is very interesting

      • Michael

        I’m in northeast PA and planted a number of these last summer. I agree that deadheading helps improve the look and flowing of these bushes. Now in the spring, it looks like the growth is all coming from the ground. Should I have cut off anything either earlier on the spring or on the fall? The leftover branches look thick and aged.

  2. Fran Carreiro

    After your show today, I was lucky to score a ‘Pugster’ in blue from my fav nursery in Dighton (at 1/2 price, too!). It’s so cute.

  3. Janet Fazio

    I love the pictures and info on the pugster butterfly bush. I have been trying to locate a nursery that has them. So far, no luck . Any suggestions where I might try. Also, I went to the proven winners site and they reccomend not planting in the fall. If I find one, should it be planted now? Thank you.

    • CL Fornari

      Since I have no idea where in the world you live, Janet, it’s impossible for me to suggest where you might buy a Pugster. If you’re on Cape Cod, and you find one this week, by all means plant it. We have such long, warm falls that it’s fine to plant these in mid-September. I wouldn’t plant past the end of September, however, and if you do put one in the ground this next week be sure to water it deeply once a week through the end of November. Frankly, you’re probably better off waiting until next year because you’ll have a greater selection at your local nursery.

  4. Martha

    Should I fertilize my Pugster Amethyst Butterfly Bush Buddleia? I live in Zone 8b, have sandy soil that has been amended somewhat. We have “off and on” rain and sun. Thanks!

    • CL Fornari

      A general organic granular such as Plant-tone would be fine.


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