About Me
My Photo
Annie in Austin
Welcome! As "Annie in Austin" I blog about gardening in Austin, TX with occasional looks back at our former gardens in Illinois. My husband Philo & I also make videos - some use garden images as background for my original songs, some capture Austin events & sometimes we share videos of birds in our garden. Come talk about gardens, movies, music, genealogy and Austin at the Transplantable Rose and listen to my original songs on YouTube. For an overview read Three Gardens, Twenty Years. Unless noted, these words and photos are my copyrighted work.
View my complete profile

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Blue Butterfly Bush Clerodendrum ugandense

Can there be too much blue in the garden? Not in my opinion, so this Blue Butterfly bush is one of my favorite plants, no matter what you call it...in addition to Clerodendrum ugandense the botanical name Rotheca myricoides 'Ugandense' shows up as a synonym, along with Clerodendrum myricoides.Annieinaustin,2010,July, Blue Clerodendron
These delicate-looking blue flowers have graced many a Garden Blogger Bloom Day since 2008 but my plant barely survived last winter when our temperatures dropped to 13°F. It took months before one tiny sprout reappeared from the dead sticks at the base so while it was still on the "Dead-or-Dormant List" I searched local nurseries for a second plant with no luck. My friend Sophia from the Divas of the Dirt checked out Houston nurseries but also came home empty-handed.

Then my garden blogger friend Robin from Getting Grounded found a beauty for me at It's About Thyme. The new plant is blooming in a patio container and how I love those blue flowers!
Annieinaustin, 2010, Clerodendrum ugandense at nightThe original plant (a Passalong Plant from Sophia) has sun for a good part of the day with a little shade when the vines fill in the nearby obelisk. I've added compost and do have to water it, but not excessively. Right now the new plant looks happy in its patio container next to the Pineapple Sage, but it was already nearly 3-feet tall when Robin bought it and it will need repotting soon.Annieinaustin, 2010,7,Pineapple sage with Blue clerodendron
My plan is to bring it inside during cold snaps ... either into the garage or near the window in the breakfast room. Maybe that way instead of putting all its energy into survival and regrowth after winter, it can just concentrate on being beautiful!

31 comments:

  1. I certainly agree with you about never having enough blue in the garden. I'm not familiar with this lovely blue butterfly bush: thanks for the intro. It's going on my wish list!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I agree, its going on my wish list.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Too fragile for my garden, but nice to meet it.

    ReplyDelete
  4. What a delightful plant, such delicate blooms. It's definitely going on my "must have one someday" list.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Glad to hear your Butterfly Bush came out of it. It is so pretty and to answer your question there cannot be too much blue in a garden. I love the true blue blooms.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Wow, how awesome, nothing like our butterfly bushes in Michigan. It looks so tropical up close and kinda spirea-ish from a distance. :)

    ReplyDelete
  7. What gorgeous shades of blue! No wonder you love it so, Annie. :)

    ReplyDelete
  8. I knew something with such pretty delicate blue blooms wouldn't survive here. It is a beauty and worth any trouble of bringing it in and out during winter.s

    ReplyDelete
  9. I just bought a 'Blue Butterfly' after coveting one for a while. I love it! It may be my favorite purchase this year - so far.

    ReplyDelete
  10. This is such a wonderful flowering plant, it really looks like a butterfly! Thanks for sharing...

    I am an artist here in Texas and I love to paint butterflies and flowers so this is my perfect plant!

    ReplyDelete
  11. What a dandy, I've never seen one before. Now I know why, no nurseries carry them. Blue is good but red is my flower color.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I love blue in the garden, and that is a grand plant. I look at it and imagine the possibilities of "scanner" portraits of it. Sounds like it is a very tender perennial and will reward you for being coddled.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Blue is my favorite color in the garden, but oh so hard to find plants with a true blue flower. These delicate blossoms are lovely. I would add it to my wish list, too, but I can see it wouldn't like Illinois winters.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Such a lovely bloom -- I can see why you'd want to have one in the ground and one in a pot. Your post reminds me that I've been meaning for some time to visit It's About Thyme. Although it's a bit too far south to be a regular haunt for me, it's on my list for fall shopping.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Annie,it is so pretty and underutilized. Lovely to see Austin having some better weather this summer.~~Dee

    ReplyDelete
  16. I have a few plants like that, where I don't expect any blooms from them this year. Ah well. I saw this plant, not in bloom, in a nursery here in Louisiana. Since I didn't know it would be so beautiful, I passed on it. How big do they get?

    ReplyDelete
  17. I've never heard of this plant. I'm glad I stopped in to see what you had going in Texas because it is one of the most beautiful blooms I've ever seen.

    It looks kind of like a wacky hat.

    ReplyDelete
  18. How nice to have a friend who will watch for things for you! I have one of those (friends) who enjoys shopping way more than I do so I benefit from her travels too. I totally agree with the blue comment and this is a really nice addition.

    ReplyDelete
  19. I love that blue too! I've always wondered if they really did well here. But if yours have been great (except in crazy freeze) I may have to try it. Like you, maybe safely in a pot.

    ReplyDelete
  20. I have a Clerodendrum ugandense (Blue Butterfly Bush)that I just transplanted from one area to another in my yard. It is about 4 feet tall and full. I hope it survives the move. What do you suggest that I can do to help it along? Vit. B12? Should I cut it back? I live in Los Angeles. Thanks so much for your comment!!
    Rhonda

    ReplyDelete
  21. Hi Rhonda,

    Usually whenever I transplant I mix some seaweed, sometimes a little SuperThrive into water... add compost & mulch. Maybe that works in Los Angeles, too? Good luck - they're really beautiful!

    Annie

    ReplyDelete
  22. Blue Beauty! made me smile when I happened to ran into it at a Farmers Market on FM 2929 Rd. in Tomball TX. I have never seen it in the many Houston Nurseries that we have. It really captivated me with its butterfly resemblance. The flower bloom reminds me of one of the many varieties of orchid flowers. Happy to bring it home.

    erod

    ReplyDelete
  23. I live in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa and have a number of Clerodendrum Myricoides growing in my garden. I cut them back at the end of winter once the berries (for the birds) are over. This encourages the plant to bush out and the cuttings root very easily to grow into new plants.

    ReplyDelete
  24. I live in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa and have a number of Clerodendrum myricoides plants growing in my garden - some in full sun and some getting shade for part of the day. Towards the end of winter I prune back fairly heavily to encourage bushiness. The cuttings slip very easily.

    Jennie

    ReplyDelete
  25. Yesterday I saw tiny sprouts at the base of the original plant and the one bought last year... hoping some of the cuttings will turn into plants strong enough to take our summer!

    Jenny from South Africa - the hint about cutting back to encourage bushiness may help any readers in milder zones, but here in Austin the plants die all the way to the ground. Next winter I plan on bringing at least one plant inside!

    Thanks for the comments!

    Annie

    ReplyDelete
  26. Only God can make a tree. And only God can make a plant with a butterfly as its bloom. When I first saw the clerodendren ugandense, I became tearful and humble as I thought of God's omnipotence. To me, it was like He said, "So, your flowers don't attract butterflies. Well, I'll make you a plant with butterflies already on it." I love this plant. I have one that I hope is dormant and not dead.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Only God can make a tree. And only God can make a plant with butterflies as its bloom. When I first saw clerodendren ugandense, I became tearful and humble because, to me, it was proof of God's omnipotence and omnipresence. It was like He said, "So your flowers don't attract butterflies. Well, I'll make you one with butterflies already on it." I love this plant. It makes me smile and know that I have a God.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Just saw one of these at my local nursery in Spring last week.. After reading this, I think I might need to go back and get it! I didnt realize it was hard to come by.

    Rhonda
    Spring, TX

    ReplyDelete
  29. I have been growing this for two years in a garden window in cold weather and it is outside during the summer. I had my first bloom open today! It is beautiful. Aurora Colorado

    ReplyDelete
  30. Just purchased a blue butterfly (Clerodendron) at Lowe's Home Improvement. Any tips to grow them in central, coastal, FL region 9?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm pretty sure that they're easier to grow in Zone 9 - they freeze back most years here. Meems, another Florida gardener, considers them easy care, well-behaved plants for her area. Good luck!

      Delete

A comment from you is like chocolate - maybe I could live without it, but life is more fun with it. I'll try to answer. If someone else's comment piques your interest, please feel free to talk among yourselves.