Monty Don shares his advice for attracting flocks of butterflies into your garden this spring

 Pale yellow butterfly sat on a lavender sprig in garden to support Monty Don butterfly tip.
Pale yellow butterfly sat on a lavender sprig in garden to support Monty Don butterfly tip.

When it comes to Monty Don's gardening advice, we are all ears. So when we saw he'd shared his advice for welcoming butterflies to gardens this spring we couldn't put our gardening gloves on quick enough. 

Whether you've followed the word of Monty Don for years now or have only just been introduced to the gardening guru, there's no denying he is at the forefront of garden trends and advice – his recent March lawn care tip being a fine example.

So when he shared his advice for attracting our favourite winged friends into our outdoor spaces, there was no hesitation in rolling our sleeves up and getting to work in our gardens. And if you are particularly fond of butterflies then we recommend taking note of Monty Don's butterfly tip.

Butterfly bush buddleia with three butterflies sat atop it
Butterfly bush buddleia with three butterflies sat atop it

Writing for his monthly blog, which we've come to see as a gardening bible at this point, Monty Don revealed the best plant for attracting butterflies is the buddleia bush which he points out needs particular attention this time of year.

He said, "If you live in the south or a sheltered area, February is the best time to prune the Butterfly bush, Buddleia davidii, and it can be done any time in the coming month in colder areas." So if you missed out last month but know how to prune buddleia and live in a colder climate you still have time to prune if you act quickly!

Monty goes on to explain the main benefits of pruning your butterfly bush this early on, he says, "It produces its flowers on new growth so if it is cut back hard, just before it begins growing, you will both stimulate extra new shoots and make sure that the shrub has as high a proportion of flower to wood as possible." This potential high flower proportion is one of the reasons they are one of the best shrubs for long-lasting loveliness.

"If your buddleia is growing in the open it can be cut back very hard indeed, leaving just two or three sets of new shoots from the base," instructs Monty. If however, your buddleia is near your wildflower garden border then he recommends cutting it back to two or three feet from the ground. This will ensure the new growth doesn't have to compete with any surrounding herbaceous plants for sunlight and oxygen.

The Gardening Book by Monty Don: was £30 now £14 | Amazon 

Wanting the gardening tips straight from the source? Monty Don's gardening book is chock full of tips and tricks to get your outside space looking its best with successful blooms. With advice for potting strawberries, caring for succulents and feeding birds, you'll be a master green thumb in no time. View Deal

In his March blog post, Monty stressed the importance of preparing for wildlife's return to our gardens this year, with many species soon emerging out of hibernation. So if you want to be surrounded by stunning butterflies in your garden this spring and summer preparing your buddleia bushes now is an important step.

He says, "Many creatures such as hedgehogs, bats, dormice, grass snakes, toads, newts and many butterflies will be starting to come out of hibernation or a state of torpor." Creating habitats and protecting them for these creatures is a great sustainable garden idea and will help nurture your garden ecosystem.

As we look at what plants to prune in March, keep an eye on your buddleia's growth and enjoy its honey-scented blooms when we begin to enter the warmer seasons. The butterflies surely will!