Why plant Audubon® Native Buttonbush?
Delightfully different, Buttonbush is a fun Accent to have in your wildlife-friendly garden. Its white flowers bloom in summer, and they’re like nothing you’ve ever seen before! Round like a gumball, they’re covered with long styles (the female part of the flower), sticking up all around—kind of like a kid’s hair when she puts her hand on one of those static electricity balls at the science museum. Bees and butterflies adore the blooms, and hummingbirds visit them, too. In the wild, Buttonbush grows near water, and many species of ducks eat the seeds. Kingbirds, robins, and towhees have also been observed feeding on them.
Botanically, Buttonbush is unusual. It belongs to the same family as the Coffee plant—a family that doesn’t have very many members that are cold-hardy. And Buttonbush is hardy—to -30ºF once it’s established! It has an extensive native range that includes most of the eastern U.S., parts of California and Arizona, much of Mexico, and Cuba. There are even some populations in East Asia. This water-lover usually borders streams or lakes and is useful in stabilizing the shoreline. It also provides habitat for birds that like to nest near water, such as Red-Winged Blackbirds.
How to use Audubon® Native Buttonbush in the landscape?
All sorts of butterflies—Swallowtails, Monarchs, Viceroys, Fritillaries, and Painted Ladies, to name a few—LOVE Buttonbush flowers, and they will take long, slow drinks from them. They get so engrossed in what they’re doing that you can get very close to them. A great plant for wildlife photographers!
Hardiness Zone: 5-9
How To Plant Audubon® Native Buttonbush
Buttonbush appreciates fertile, moist soil in full sun. Plant it in a rain garden or at the edge of a water feature if you can—it will even thrive in water up to its shins. Regular garden conditions are fine if you don’t have a soggy site. Just make sure to irrigate regularly, so the soil stays fairly moist. In cold areas (Zones 4 and 5), Buttonbush may die back over the winter, but it will regenerate from the roots. In California and the Deep South, it will not die back, and, in fact, it can achieve tree-like proportions there.
How To Fertilize
Incorporate Elements Starter Plant food granular form into the soil when planting. If planting in spring or summer, start fertilizing late fall using Elements Starter Plant food granular form on an annual basis each late fall. Continue this for the first three years to get your plant well established.
My shrub arrived heavily damaged, wilted and just in poor condition but I don’t think that had anything to do with Bower and Branch and everything to do with FedEx. Waiting on the replacement shrub and hoping for a much better experience.
We are so very sorry that your package was delayed in shipping! Your new Buttonbush is set for delivery today - we hope all is well with that one and you are able to enjoy it for years to come!
- Bower & Branch Plant Whisperers