Butterfly add that extra special something to the blooming garden. They arrive in waves spring through fall. Not only gorgeous but a symbol of success for the environmentally minded gardener.
A busy garden full of activity—earthworms in the soil, flying critters visiting the flowers that attract bees—is a healthy garden. Just like with bees, if you want to attract butterflies, there are certain flowers that are guaranteed to have them fluttering about your beds. This list of pretty annuals and perennial flowers that support and attract butterflies is a perfect place to start.
So why a butterfly garden? Of course, we love to spy on the interesting and exotic-looking creatures, and some people even aspire to raise butterflies at home. A successful butterfly garden will provide food and shelter for the insect through its entire life cycle. Milkweed and aster, for example, provide a safe shelter for eggs to grow into caterpillars. A butterfly garden should also supply food for the caterpillars to grow and transform into pupa (aka chrysalis). Goldenrod and snap dragons produce nectar for adult butterflies to eat. These plants are good choices, but when planning your own garden, opt for varieties that are native to your area as they will best support local caterpillars and butterflies.
If you want to focus on attracting Monarch butterflies, try planting milkweed, zinnias, and the Miss Molly butterfly bush. Fall flowers like goldenrod and sedum bring butterflies well after summer ends. Once established, your butterfly garden will keep those winged beauties in sight all season long.
1. Butterfly Bush
The pretty flowers of the butterfly bush attract pollinators and make this a joy to grow. It has fast growth rates, but its low maintenance makes it easy!
Marigolds are often used in gardens as a pest prevention, but they also attract butterflies and bees. To keep these beneficial insects coming back for more, deadhead your marigold flowers to provide some color!
Salvia plants are a favorite of both butterflies and hummingbirds. Not only does their nectar taste good, it’s also full of vital nutrients that our feathered friends need to keep flying around!
The butterflies love bright sunflower plants because of the huge flowers and color. They also enjoy nectar from these happy, cheerful plants that has a great source in caterpillar food as well!
The white flowers of this plant are an ideal spot for butterflies to rest.
This brightly colored, low-maintenance flowering plant is a favorite of butterflies. Not only does it have the added bonus of self-seeding and returning year after year but its flowers also make your garden more colorful!
7. Clove Pink
Despite the name, these butterfly-friendly flowers come in a variety of colors. The “pink” refers to their notched edges which are similar to pinking shears cuts and make them different from other types of blooms on your garden path!
8. False Indigo
This cheerful flower is a member of the pea family and will grow white, yellow or blue flowers. The plant blooms for about six weeks in early spring through summertime!
A member of the aster family, this yellow beauty brings all sorts of butterflies to your yard and it is know for its health benefits. One such benefit includes pain reduction due to inflammation or arthritis in some cases!
Floss has a bluish-purple pom-pom shaped flower. Preferring warm climates, it will only grow as an annual in zones 10 and 11!
You might not think that this scrub is worth your time, but the butterflies sure do. And they have a good sense of smell!
The painted-lady butterfly is a symbol of beauty and youth. The mid summer bloomers, which grow to 6 – 8 feet tall can be the perfect addition for your garden! These plants provide shelter from rain while also supporting caterpillar life cycles.
This butterfly magnet is a great addition to any garden, and it doubles as decoration. Not only does this popular flower provide beautiful colors for your landscape; its fragrant petals can be dried into sachets or used in cooking!
Though not technically a lily, the daylily does attract butterflies with its nectar-heavy flowers. A common type of flower found in warm colors (orange red yellow) and available for division after just one or two years to help maximize growth rates!
15. Pye Weed
Also named Joe-Pye weed after a Native American herbalist, this tall growing flower was well known for its medicinal benefits.
This is a plant that needs plenty of sun and well draining soil. It can handle some drought, but make sure you don’t over water it!
17. Stonecrop Sedum
Stonecrop is a hardy succulent that can be planted in full sun or part shade, and it will thrive better with well-draining soil. If you live somewhere dry and hot like I do, then Stonecrop might be the perfect addition for your home garden!