Garden plant experts warn is 'more dangerous than Japanese knotweed' to treat now

Limited depth of field image of bright pink blooms of a Buddleia davidii shrub (butterfly bush), set against a cloudy sky in a rural Cornish garden. The twining weed to the left is hedge bindweed.
The butterfly plant that sprouts beautiful flowers but is highly invasive -Credit:Getty Images

Gardeners are being made aware of one plant that is highly invasive - despite sprouting beautiful flowers.

Buddleia, otherwise known as the butterfly bush, are known for their fragrant cone-shaped flowers that are a favourite nectar source for their named insect. But it is also notorious for competing against its neighbouring plants for nutrients and growing space - and has even been compared to a well-known invasive shrub.

According to experts from, the butterfly bush could be “even more dangerous than the commonly known Japanese knotweed”. This plant poses a threat to native species and even buildings, thanks to its ability to grow within structures and cause damage.

As reported by the Express, a Garden Buildings Direct spokesperson explained: “When it comes to avoiding plants, most gardeners and homeowners know to stay clear of the pesky Japanese Knotweed. Buddleia is admired by many because its beautiful flowers and full shrub make it an attractive addition to any garden. The shrubs also attract butterflies and are loved by birds and bees.

“However buddleia, or butterfly bush, is another risky shrub to stay away from. If you already have a butterfly bush and are concerned it may be impacting your garden and home, you must treat it effectively to make sure it doesn’t come back."

Pink to purple colored flowers of fbutterfly bush or summer lilac (latin name: Buddleja davidii). Flowers are very attractive to butterflies.
Experts have compared the bush to the notorious Japanese knotweed -Credit:Getty Images

The shrub spreads by seed and can germinate in unwanted places, such as roofs, walls and window sills. Strong fibrous roots allow the bush to grow through buildings and foundations, giving it the potential to cause costly damage to homes across the UK.

As a result, the invasive shrub could also impact house prices for the worse. The bush is also an environmental issue as it outcompetes native plants, by spreading roots and taking up space.

Due to the large amount of nectar it produces, the bush distracts pollinators from native co-flowering species. This reduces the reproductive and survival success of other plants.

Anyone who already has a butterfly bush in their garden should look to replace it with something less invasive. According to the pros, buddleia can be effectively treated with herbicide by spraying or injecting it into the trunk, causing the plant to wither and die.

If the plant has already infiltrated your home’s structure, then it must be extracted by professionals to prevent further damage.

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