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Buddleia (Buddleja davidii) is an invasive plant that is found throughout the United Kingdom, often seen growing alongside railway lines, urban wasteland and road verges. Buddleia is native to China and Japan and was introduced to the UK at the end of the 19th century as an ornamental garden plant.
Gardeners often refer to buddleia as the "butterfly bush" as it attracts butterflies with its dazzlingly coloured flower heads. Despite its beauty, buddleia can cause substantial property damage.
The size of a buddleia plant varies depending on the location, however, it is common for the shrubs to grow up 5 metres tall. The leaves of a buddleia plant are dark green with serrated edges. If you look closely, you will find very fine hairs on the underside of leaves and the stem.
The flower heads of mature buddleia plants grow in long tapered clusters, typically purple or violet in colour. The flowers have a peppery fragrance and it is rich in nectar, making it a very popular choice for with insects.
Buddleia plants produce a large number of seeds (up to 3 million per plant per year!) that are dispersed by the wind and can spread to a large area in a short space of time. The seeds can also spread by animals, water currents and vehicles. buddleia seeds are tough and can grow in a number of difficult to access areas such as chimney stacks or cracks in walls.
Like many invasive species, buddleia does not have the biological controls that affect native plants and is, therefore, able to grow unchecked.
Once buddleia begins to grow, its root systems can weaken any materials as they can grow through masonry and brickwork. This means buddleia has the potential to cause costly repair bills or even render a property unsafe/unstable/uninhabitable. If the buddleia is growing on the riverbanks it can cause major erosion as it spreads and dies off.
The most effective way to treat buddleia problems is to inject herbicide directly into the plant, on the proviso that regulations are followed to protect the surrounding ecosystem. Small infestations can be pulled out by hand or mechanically dug out.
If you believe your property has a problem with buddleia then the invasive weeds experts at Wise Knotweed Solutions can help. Call us today on freephone 0808 231 9218 or find your local branch.
Alternatively, you can contact the team using our contact form.
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