Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Butterfly Bush, Summer Lilac, Orange-eye Butterfly Bush
Buddleja davidii 'Santana'

Family: Buddlejaceae
Genus: Buddleja (BUD-lee-uh) (Info)
Species: davidii (duh-VID-ee-eye) (Info)
Cultivar: Santana
Additional cultivar information: (PP12383)
Hybridized by Dransfield; Year of Registration or Introduction: 1999

Synonym:Buddleia davidii
Synonym:Buddleia variabilis
Synonym:Buddleja variabilis

One vendor has this plant for sale.

3 members have or want this plant for trade.


4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)
6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)

6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)

USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun


Bloom Color:

Bloom Time:
Mid Summer
Late Summer/Early Fall


Other details:
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds
Flowers are fragrant
Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From herbaceous stem cuttings
From softwood cuttings

Seed Collecting:
N/A: plant does not set seed, flowers are sterile, or plants will not come true from seed

Click thumbnail
to view:

By rcn48
Thumbnail #1 of Buddleja davidii by rcn48

By chicochi3
Thumbnail #2 of Buddleja davidii by chicochi3

By chicochi3
Thumbnail #3 of Buddleja davidii by chicochi3

By Calif_Sue
Thumbnail #4 of Buddleja davidii by Calif_Sue

By Calif_Sue
Thumbnail #5 of Buddleja davidii by Calif_Sue

By Kell
Thumbnail #6 of Buddleja davidii by Kell

By Calif_Sue
Thumbnail #7 of Buddleja davidii by Calif_Sue

There are a total of 9 photos.
Click here to view them all!


2 positives
2 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive natureguyfrog On Jun 19, 2013, natureguyfrog from San Diego, CA wrote:

Confirm Cv "Santana"?_Pruning in nearly frost-free clime_Controling major pests:

This is one of the most attractive yellow-variegated plants! The saturated yellow may darken to chartreuse to light green on older leaves. The yellow runs predominantly on the outer part of the leaf with the green "brushed" from the central vein like an "overlay". Yellow is very CLEANLY separated from the green even if the line is very irregular. Looking very closely reveals subtle translucent layers each of which is evenly saturated. This is why I doubt the pictures by 'rcn48' and 'chicochi3'.

The rest of the photos by 'Calif Sue' and 'Kell' are very typical of 'Santana'.

In addition the fragrant purple flowers with an orange eye are a magnificent compliment to the yellow of the leaves!

Aside to foliar and flower perfection this plant is extremely easy to grow. Here in San Diego it is EVERGREEN (Sunset Western garden zones 23/24). However it looks better cutting back hard in winter. Also frequent moderate pruning after each branch flowers keeps strong growth and fuller flower spikes. Removing any weak growth and older branches keeps the yellow coming!

Unfortunately also loved by gophers! Use a PAIR of MACABEE traps. Unfortunately a poor substitute trap is commonly available. It does work but requires a bigger space in the burrow to close and has a different trigger configuration that is not as "sensitive". If done right both traps get the gopher every time. Contrary to opinion of some who see the trap it is very humane (again if done right!) the gopher is killed much quicker than any natural predator could do!
PLEASE do not use poison "baits"!!! Gassing only works if all openings to the burrow are closed- this very difficult in a garden situation!

Another common pest that may completely halt blooming are two kinds of "bud worms" one of which creates an envelope of the new leaves at the tip with webbing. The catepillars are easily controlled by a fresh batch of SPINOSAD thoroughly sprayed on the tips and new leaves at dusk* (when bees are gone!!!) Also separating the silk-bound leaves and physically squashing the catepillar.

There is a grub that affects tips of growth throughout the plant. Also creates a tightly closed envelope of leaves. It is very hard to control unless with timely spraying (see package instructions). If bad infestation I would pinch out all the affected tips and get on a spray schedule.

SPINOSAD is the most environmentally friendly product available! *It will not harm bees the next morning when it is no longer wet on the leaves or flowers. IT SHOULD NEVER BE APPLIED DURING DAYLIGHT HOURS when bees are active unless in a closed greenhouse. RTU formulas are questionable as the effective ingredient is living bacteria species that are specific to insects that ingest it! Use any batch WITHIN 2 HOURS OF MIXING.

Positive bosoxbum On Feb 8, 2012, bosoxbum from Manassas, VA wrote:

This plant (and its close relative 'evil ways') is an incredible find for our very shady woodland border garden in Northern Virginia. Stunning variegated leaves up close, and year-long (at least so far) contrasting yellow color from a distance. Deer don't mess with it at all, and it still grew dense with only 3 hours of direct sun a day. No problems whatsoever, even in mostly clay soil, competing with poplar roots, wet or dry, temps down to 20F. The contrasting purple blooms aren't large, but they are more than a bonus. Good luck finding it at retailers.

Neutral berrygirl On Mar 16, 2007, berrygirl from Braselton, GA (Zone 7b) wrote:

Buddleia davidii 'Santana' GOLDEN VARIEG. B'FLY B Dec (z5) (Fra,Bfly)
Lovely deep-green splashed with yellow foliage and fragrant, June-to-frost red-purple flowers make this 4-6 footer an all season treat; a winner you'll enjoy from Blakedown Nurseries in England.

Neutral rcn48 On Jan 30, 2006, rcn48 from Lexington, VA (Zone 6a) wrote:

Wondeful contrast of bright yellow and green variegated foliage with purple-red blooms. Introduced by Blakedown Nurseries in England. Patented plant: asexual propagation of this plant is prohibited.

Unlike the white and green variegated Buddleia 'Harlequin', which often proves to be a weak grower, hopefully this new gold and green variegated Buddleia is an improvement. Hardy to Zone 5.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

San Diego, California
San Jose, California
San Leandro, California
Dracut, Massachusetts
Coos Bay, Oregon
Norristown, Pennsylvania
Lexington, Virginia
Manassas, Virginia

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