A butterfly garden is an easy way to bring some beauty and fun to your garden. Read on for more butterfly-friendly flowering plants as well as tips on how to grow a butterfly garden in your yard.
Butterfly Garden Tip #1: Many species of plants and flowers attract butterflies – some provide nectar for the adults, and some provide nutritious leaves for the larvae to feed upon.
Annual Nectar Flowers for a Butterfly Garden
|Cosmos (Cosmos sulphureus)||Nasturtium (Tropaeolum majus)|
|Globe Amaranth (Gomphrena globosa)||Queen Anne’s Lace (Daucus carota)|
|Impatiens (Impatiens wallerana)||Sunflower (Helianthus sp.)|
|Marigold, French (Tagetes patula)||Verbena (Verbena sp.)|
|Mexican sunflower (Tithonia sp.)||Zinnia (Zinnia elegans)|
Butterfly Garden Tip #2: As a bonus, many butterfly-attracting plants are low-maintenance, hardy, and quite possibly native to your area, which means that your butterfly garden may be the easiest patch of flowers you’ll ever grow.
Perennial Nectar Flowers for a Butterfly Garden
|Ageratum (Ageratum)||Hollyhock (Althea rosa)|
|Aster (Aster sp.)||Ironweed (Vernonia sp.)|
|Bee Balm (Monarda didyma)||Joe-Pye weed (Eupatorium fistulosum)|
|Black-Eyed Susan (Rudbeckia sp.)||Lantana (Lantana sp.)|
|Boltonia (Boltonia asteroids)||Leadplant (Amorpha fruticosa)|
|Bugle (Ajuga reptans)||Lobelia (Lobelia cardinalis)|
|Butterfly Weed (Asclepias tuberosa)||Milkweed (Asclepias sp.)|
|Catmint (Nepeta sp.)||Mountain mint (Pycnanthemum sp.)|
|Chives (Allium schoenoprasum)||Passion Flower (Passiflora sp.)|
|Coneflower (Echinacea sp.)||Phlox (Phlox paniculata & carolina)|
|Coreopsis (Coreopsis sp.)||Salvia, Sage (Salvia sp.)|
|Daylily (Hemerocallis sp.)||Sedum (Sedum sp.)|
|English Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)||Shasta Daisy (Chrysanthemum max.)|
|False Indigo (Baptisia australis)||Spearmint (Mentha spicata)|
|Gayfeather, Blazing Star (Liatris sp.)||Thistles (Cirsium sp.)|
|Heliotrope (Heliotropium arborescens||Verbena (Verbena sp.)|
|Hibiscus (Hibiscus sp.))||Yarrow (Achillea sp.)|
Butterfly Garden Tip #3: The best location to plant a butterfly garden is in full sun.
Shrubs and Trees for a Butterfly Garden
|Abelia (Abelia sp.)||Mock Orange (Philadelphus sp.)|
|Blueberry (Vaccinium sp.)||New Jersey Tea (Canothus americanus)|
|Butterfly Bush (Buddleia davidii)||Pear (Pyrus communis)|
|Buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentalis)||Plum (Prunus sp.)|
|Buckeye (Aesculus parviflora)||Privet (Ligustrum sp.)|
|Clethra (Clethra alnifolia)||Redbud (Cercis sp.)|
|Elaegnus (Elaegnus umbellata)||Rose of Sharon (Hibiscus sp.)|
|Hawthorn (Crataegus sp.)||Silverling (Baccharis sp.)|
|Honeysuckle shrub (Lonicera sp.)||Spiraea (Spiraea sp.)|
|Lilac (Syringa sp.)||Viburnum (Viburnum sp.)|
Butterfly Garden Tip #4: In addition to nectar-producing flowers for your butterfly garden, consider plants that caterpillars like to munch, such as fennel and milkweed.
Host Plants for Butterfly Larvae and Eggs
|Black Cherry (Prunus serotina)||Milkweed (Asclepia sp.)|
|Clovers (Trifolium sp.)||Nettles (Urtica sp.)|
|Carrot and Cabbages||Oaks (Quercus sp.)|
|Dill (Anethum graveolens)||Parsley (Petroselinum sp.)|
|Dogwoods (Cornus sp.)||PawPaw (Asimina triloba)|
|Elms (Ulmus sp.)||Senna (Cassia sp.)|
|Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare)||Spicebush (Lindera benzoin)|
|Flowering Fruit Trees||Tulip Tree (Liriodendron tulipifera)|
|Hop Tree (Ptelea trifoliate)||Willow (Salix sp.)|
Butterfly Garden Tip #5: When planning for your butterfly garden, keep in mind that some butterflies like to lay their eggs in trees.
Butterfly Garden Tip #6: Mass plant single varieties of plants for greater visual appeal and to attract more butterflies.
Butterfly Garden Tip #7: It’s important to keep a butterfly garden free of pesticides!
Butterfly Garden Tip #8: Butterflies love to sunbathe, so include a few flat, dark stones in your garden.
Butterfly Garden Tip #9: Butterflies also need water and take minerals from the soil by sipping from wet soil. Bury a dish of coarse sand (kept wet), or include dishes of water with pebbles or sticks for perching.
Butterfly Garden Tip #10: Learn your local butterflies, and plant larval host plants so you can attract species common in your area.
Butterfly Garden Tip #11: Plant your butterfly garden where it’s protected from the prevailing wind, such as near a fence, wall, or hedge.
Butterfly Garden Tip #12: Stagger the bloom times on plants to ensure butterflies are attracted to your garden throughout the warm seasons of the year.
Butterfly Garden Tip #13: Having trees or large shrubs near your butterfly garden can provide a protected place for butterflies to nest at night.