Butterfly Bush – Spider Mites

Q: My four-year-old butterfly bush is starting to die. I am perplexed as it has been a great performer. No pests or mildew seen.

A: Is there any chance of herbicide or other pesticide applied nearby? The twisted leaves reminds me of damage from weed killer.

Her Reply: I think I may have found the culprit. Spider mites. I did not see them yesterday but upon closer inspection of the underside of leaves in bright sunlight where mottling is occurring, the little devils are there.The area the buddleia is in anchors my pollinator garden. With such a heavy infestation, any recommendations for the most pollinator friendly treatment?

My answer: Spider mites HATE, HATE, HATE wet leaves. I suggest you spray the leaves vigorously with water for a few days.