Butterfly Bush vs Lilac: [Key Differences]

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Butterfly bushOpens in a new tab. and lilacOpens in a new tab. are two popular flowering bushes that can be found in many home gardens. Both plants have beautiful blooms, but there are some differences between them.

The main difference between the butterfly bush and the lilac is drought tolerance. butterfly bush is much more tolerant of drought than lilac. Additionally, butterfly bush is less likely to be affected by frost damage than lilac.

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Butterfly Bushes

Butterfly Bush vs Lilac

The Butterfly Bush (Buddleja davidiiOpens in a new tab.) is a fast-growing, deciduous shrub that is native to China.

It gets its name from the clusters of brightly-colored flowers that blooms in late summer and early fall, which are particularly attractive to butterflies.

The Butterfly Bush can grow up to 15 feet tall and 10 feet wide, and it prefers full sun and well-drained soil. It is relatively low-maintenance, and it can be pruned back hard in late winter to encourage new growth.

The Butterfly Bush is an invasive species in some parts of the world, so it should be planted with caution.

In general, though, it is a beautiful and easy-to-grow plant that will add color and interest to any garden.

Lilac Bushes

Butterfly Bush vs Lilac

Lilac bushes are a popular landscaping choice for many homeowners due to their showy blooms and pleasant fragrance.

These deciduous shrubs are relatively easy to care for, but there are a few things to keep in mind in order to ensure optimum health and vigor.

First, lilacs prefer full sun and well-drained soil. They are relatively drought tolerant once established, but young plants will need regular watering until they are fully rooted.

Secondly, lilacs should be fertilized yearly with a balanced fertilizer. This will help to promote healthy growth and abundant flowering.

Lastly, lilacs should be pruned annually after blooming has finished. Dead or diseased wood should be removed, and the remaining stems should be shortened by about one-third.

By following these simple guidelines, you can enjoy healthy, beautiful lilac bushes for many years to come.


Butterfly bush is a much larger plant than lilac, growing up to 15 feet tall and 10 feet wide. Lilac, on the other hand, only grows to about 10 feet tall and 6 feet wide.

Butterfly bush also has much larger flowers than lilac, and the blooms are clustered together in large groups. Lilac flowers are much smaller and grow in smaller clusters.

Finally, butterfly bush flower colors range from white to pink to purple, while lilac flowers are always a deep purple color. Because of these differences, butterfly bush and lilac make good complementary plants in a garden.

One can provide height and color interest, while the other fills in empty spaces and provides a different color contrast.


Butterfly bush and lilac are two of the most popular shrubs for landscaping. There are many similarities between these plants, but there are some key differences that you should be aware of before making a decision about which one to choose for your garden.

The biggest difference is that the butterfly bush is much more tolerant of drought than the lilac. If you live in an area where water restrictions are common, the butterfly bush is a better choice than the lilac.

Additionally, the butterfly bush is less likely to be affected by frost damage than the lilac. So if you’re looking for a plant that will thrive in tough conditions, the butterfly bush is a good option.

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