Buddleja davidii ‘Black Knight’

Family: Scrophulariaceae

Countries: Asia, China, Japan

Buddleja davidii ‘Black Knight’ is a distinctive form of Buddleja; its long panicles of indigo coloured flowers are deeper in colour than almost all other Buddlejas.  That’s not the only quality that this plant boasts, Buddleja davidii ‘Black Knight’ produces very large flowers; plants enjoy a long flowering season and have a naturally upright form.  The richly coloured blooms are large in size and nicely scented, too.  I particularly enjoy growing this plant in my garden, as Buddleja davidii ‘Black Knight’ is such a super plant for bees, butterflies, and other pollinating insects.

Plant Buddleja davidii ‘Black Knight’ in a position where your plant will enjoy full sunshine or partial shade.  Butterflies favour visiting Buddlejas that are sited in bright, sunny positions; these insects flock to Buddleja flowers that are warmed by the sunshine.  It’s worth making the effort to plant your Buddleja in the sunniest position you can find, as this will enable your plant to attract more butterflies, bees, and other pollinating insects.

This Buddleja cultivar, like most Buddlejas, isn’t very fussy – plants grow well in any moist but well drained soil.  Buddleja davidii ‘Black Knight’ succeeds in free draining sandy soils.  If your soil is very sandy, to help your plant to establish itself successfully in your garden, plant your Buddleja in the autumn.  The soil tends to be moist in autumn, as rain falls more often and the temperatures are lower at this time.  Buddlejas are busy producing root growth in autumn, without the need to produce blooms as well, so this is the ideal planting time for gardeners with lighter, free draining soils.

I would advise gardeners with heavy soils, which are prone to water logging, to choose a drier position to plant Buddleja davidii ‘Black Knight’.  Perhaps plant your Buddleja in a raised bed, on a slope, or a raised area of ground.   If you have a heavier soil, leave planting Buddleja until springtime, as these plants do not appreciate being planted in too wet a situation.  You might also wish to consider choosing a smaller Buddleja cultivar, and growing your plant in a large planter or container.  Buddleja ‘Ellen’s Blue’ and Buddleja ‘Pink Delight’ are slightly smaller forms of Buddleja, which are more suited to container growing.  But there are quite a number of dwarf Buddlejas that are now available.

Remember to water your plants regularly in dry weather, during their first year after planting.  Once they are established, Buddleja davidii ‘Black Knight’ plants are very drought tolerant indeed.

Buddleja davidii ‘Black Knight’ is a naturally upright growing shrub.  Plants grow up to around 2.5m (8ft) tall – depending on the plant’s growing conditions.  They usually form slightly narrower plants, taking up less room widthways than some Buddleja varieties.

Plants take a couple of years to become established.  After planting Buddleja davidii ‘Black Knight’, you’ll find that your Buddleja will grow larger in size each year, forming taller plants each summer, during the first three years, after planting.

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