If you love butterflies, the following eight plants are a must-have to lure them to your garden. Next summer, don’t forget to plant these flowers and enjoy the hoards of butterflies that won’t be able to resist your flower garden.
Eight Butterfly Plants for the Garden
Here are eight gorgeous flowers that are sure to attract more butterflies to your garden.
Butterfly Weed – Also known as milkweed (Asclepias), this hardy perennial will be appreciated by more than just butterflies, as it shows off brilliant orange or rose flowers on 2-foot (0.5 m.) stems. It has been shown to attract a wide variety of butterflies, including Red Admiral, Monarch, Painted Lady, Cabbage White, and Western Swallowtail.
Bee Balm – Not only is the bee balm (Monarda) flower delicately beautiful and a great addition to any flower garden, but it just happens to attract the Checkered White butterfly.
Zinnia – With so many varieties of colorful zinnias on the market, you’re sure to find one you love. They are known to attract the Zebra Longwing, the Cloudless Sulphur, the Painted Lady, and the Silvery Checkerspot butterflies.
Joe Pye Weed – Another butterfly favorite, joe pye weed (Eupatorium purpureum) has large, round heads of vanilla-scented, rosy pink flowers that bloom in late summer, attracting butterflies by the gazillions. The Anise, Giant, Zebra, and Black swallowtail butterflies and the Great and Gulf Fritillary butterflies are just a few that can’t resist its charms.
Purple Coneflower – The stunning purple coneflower (Echinacea), also known for its medicinal properties, is known for attracting the common Wood Nymph butterfly. It’s also a hardy perennial that requires little care — what could be better?
Butterfly Bush – True to its name, the butterfly bush (Buddleia), also known as the summer lilac, provides blooms in various shades that are unsurpassed for attracting butterflies like the Pipevine, Polydamus, and Spicebush Swallowtails as well as Red Admirals. It gives off a great scent too!
Hollyhock – This classic, tall, biennial flower is a necessary component for the life cycle of the Painted Lady Butterfly. Hollyhocks (Alcea) provide a host plant for Painted Lady caterpillars to feed on before they morph into butterflies.
Passion Flower – The passion flower vine (Passiflora) is another gorgeous flower that just happens to be preferred by caterpillars before they morph into the Zebra Longwing and Gulf Fritillary butterflies. It’s also reputed to be easy to grow.
Before planting these species, be sure to discover which butterflies are native in your area so you can plant the appropriate flowers and bushes. Some trees, like willows and oaks, also happen to be preferred caterpillar host habitats. Also, be sure to provide the butterflies with rocks on which to warm themselves and some muddy dirt or wet sand for drinking. Before you know it, swallowtails, monarchs, and fritillaries will be lining up to get to your flower garden.