How To Kill Buddleia

Buddleia bushes are an invasive species that can cause structural damage in some circumstances, so it can be important to learn how to kill Buddleia if you are left with no other option.

The best way to kill Buddleia is to begin by cutting it down at ground level. You’ll then need to use weed killer because the roots will resprout within a few weeks if they aren’t killed. 

How To Kill Buddleia: Easy Methods

Let’s take a look at some of the most common ways you can kill Buddleia.

Cutting Down the Buddleia

The best way to kill a Buddleia starts with cutting down the bush. Be sure to cut it close to the ground. Remember, this is only the first step in killing the Butterfly bush. 

If you don’t follow through, the bush will grow back within a matter of weeks. 


To kill the roots, glyphosate is typically recommended. It’s the active ingredient in Roundup and many other weed killers. 

After you’ve cut down the bush, you’ll need to allow it time to regrow. It may seem counterintuitive, but this new growth is key to killing the plant. 

Apply the weed killer to the new growth. The glyphosate will seep into the plant through the weeds, eventually killing the plant at the roots. Make sure to wear safety gear as a precaution, as direct glyphosate exposure is related to several health issues.

Stump Method 

You can also kill Buddleia with the stump method. You begin by cutting down the plant at the ground level. Next, you’ll need to drill a hole in the stump left behind. 

Now, you’ll pour stump killer into the hole. You can also use a glyphosate weed killer. Just be sure that you drill down into the stump of the plant, and get plenty of the herbicide into the hole. 

Next, cover the stump with a tarp or piece of carpet. The material you use isn’t important. What is important is that the material blocks sunlight. Buddleia must have sunlight to grow, so covering it helps eliminate the plant. 

Buddleia and Buildings 

Buddleia is so tough to kill because of its root system. It doesn’t have a tap root system. Instead, the roots will spread in all directions, and they are quite strong. 

These extensive roots are particularly bad news for buildings and other types of construction, including sidewalks and driveways. The bush will grow in the smallest of cracks, where its roots begin to destroy the structure over time. 

If allowed to grow, Buddleia can damage concrete or brick. It can even be disastrous for the foundation of your home if left unchecked. 

Removing Buddleia From Buildings and Other Structures 

If you find Buddleia growing on the wall of your house or even your chimney, it’s important to remove it as soon as possible. This will prevent the roots from damaging your structure. 

When Buddleia grows in the ground, the roots run deep. This makes it difficult to kill, because the roots are protected beneath the ground. 

However, when the Butterfly Bush is growing in concrete or brick structures, the roots can’t become well established. At least not without a lot of time to work their way into the structure. 

This means you can remove the Buddleia by simply pulling the plant out. Because it can’t get a firm hold, the roots should come away with the rest of the plant. 

You can also spray weed killer on Buddleia before removing it from the wall. Be sure that the weather is dry before spraying. 

If you remove the Buddleia physically, keep an eye out for any new growth. If you see new growth, spray it with glyphosate. This should kill any remaining roots in your structure.  

A butterfly sat on a Buddleia

Careful Disposal to Avoid Dispersal 

The Buddleia is so invasive because it spreads via tiny seeds carried by the wind. When you cut down a Butterfly bush with seed heads, you’ll need to dispose of it very carefully. 

These seeds can easily spread and magnify the problem. Handle the seed heads carefully. Double bag them to prevent them from spreading. 

Burning them is the most reliable way of disposal, because this destroys any seeds and cuttings from the plant. If this isn’t an option, be sure to dispose of all plant parts. 

Why Kill Buddleia? 

Buddleia is a beautiful bush. Its hardiness makes it ideal for those who don’t have a green thumb. It also produces a high amount of nectar, which makes it a magnet for butterflies as well as bees.

Given all these benefits, it’s easy to see the Buddleia as harmless. However, there are some good reasons to kill Buddleia, which is why you should learn how to kill Buddleia to be prepared if you have no other option.


First, Buddleia is invasive. It’s native to the East and has few natural predators in the West. It’s ability to proliferate is also problematic. The seeds spread with ease, and it’s highly attractive to pollinators, which means it can spread very quickly and take over your garden. 

Deep Roots 

Its deep root system also makes it difficult for other plants to coexist with Buddleia. The plant takes lots of water and nutrition from the soil, leaving other plants to struggle. 

Prevents Pollination of Other Plants 

Because butterflies love the Buddleia, they will favor it over other flowering plants. This means other plants may not get pollinated, further allowing the Buddleia to take over your area.  

Can You Have Buddleia in Your Garden? 

Perhaps you love the looks of Buddleia, or  want to attract a host of butterflies. Can you safely have the Butterfly Bush in your garden? 

One way to control Buddleia is to choose a noninvasive species. There are now a few varieties of Butterfly bush that are sterile or non-invasive. 

These are your best choice for growing Buddleia responsibly. 

If you have an invasive species, be sure to remove all blooms before they go to seed. Dispose of them carefully. 

You can also control the size of your Butterfly bush. The easiest way to do this is to choose a dwarf variety. Then, you won’t have to worry about the bush growing very large and taking over your garden. 

You can also prune the Buddleia to keep it to a manageable size. Prune regularly, and dispose of any cut stems properly to avoid propagation. 

Final Thoughts on Killing Buddleia

Buddleia is both beautiful and problematic. Despite its attractiveness, it’s best considered an invasive weed instead of a desirable plant. If you find a Buddleia in your garden, you really should eliminate it. 

To kill the Butterfly bush, you’ll have to kill the roots. Cut the plant off at ground level. Allow it to grow new shoots, and then apply a glyphosate weed killer – taking the necessary safety precautions to avoid direct exposure.

Prevent Buddleias from taking over your property by carefully disposing of seed heads, or removing plants before they mature. Remember the Butterfly bush is prolific when left to grow. 

If you choose to grow Buddleia, it’s best to choose a non-invasive variety. If you grow an invasive Butterfly bush, be sure to remove blooms before they begin to seed. 

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About Me

Hi, I'm Joe! I'm the head of SEO and content management at Bloom and Bumble. I'm a huge plant lover and over the years my home has become more like an indoor rainforest. It has taken a lot of trial and error to keep my plants healthy and so I'm here to share my knowledge to the rest of the world.

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