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What kinds of plants are REALLY good for a Butterfly Garden!!?

I want to make a butterfly garden in the front yard of my house. There is a pretty big tree so there is plenty of shade. I do know that the yard was previously landscaped but the previous tenent let it get out of hand so I just want to do something that will look good Thanks for the answers!!

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10 Responses to “What kinds of plants are REALLY good for a Butterfly Garden!!?”

  1. Shellie L

    Put rotten bananas in the tree and plant fragrant flowers. For some reason the bananas attract tons of buttflies.

  2. foxfire

    check out this site depending on where you live it tells you which plants that will attracte butterflys in your state

  3. David T

    Don’t know the botanical name, but there is actually a stalky plant with lavender blooms called “Butterfly Bush”.

  4. ANGEL

    Adult butterflies are attracted to sweet, sharp and fragrant smells and the colors orange, yellow, pink, purple and red. All varieties love wild flowers & need both nectar plants and larval food plants to keep their life cycle going. Your tree will provide a nice wind protected area. If you add a birdbath, that would provide some water for them.
    Plants for butterflies
    Alpine rockcress (Arabis alpina)
    Aster (Aster)
    Bee Balm (Monarda)
    Black-Eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta)
    Bugle (Ajuga)
    Butterfly Bush (Buddleja davidii)
    Campion/ Catchfly (Silene)
    Caragana/ Pea tree (Caragana aurantiaca)
    Campion/ Catchfly (Silene)
    Catmint/ Catnip (Nepeta x faasseniii)
    Chives (Allium schoenoprasum)
    Columbine (Aquilegia)
    Common marjoram (Origanum vulgare)
    Daisy (Bellis perennis)
    Day lily (hemerocallis lilio-asphodelus)
    Field eryngo (Eryngium)
    French marigold (Tagetes patula)
    Geranium (Hardy)
    Golden rod (Solidago Canadensis)
    Heliopsis (Heliopsis helianthoides)
    Hemp agrimony (Eupatorium purpureum)
    Honesty (Lunaria)
    Honeysuckle (Lonicera x tellmania)
    Hyssop (Hyssopus officinalis)
    Ironweed (Vernonia spp.)
    Knapweed (Centaurea)
    Knautia Scabious (Knautia)
    Lavendar (lavandula angustifolia)
    Lilacs (Syringa spp.)
    Leopards-bane (Doronicum)
    Ligularia (Ligularia spp.)
    Martagon lily (Lilium martagon)
    Masterwort (Astrantia)
    Mezereon (Daphne)
    Mouse-ear (Cerastrium)
    Pennycress (Thlaspi)
    Phlox (Phlox paniculata spp.)
    Pink (Dianthus)
    Pincushion flower (Scabiosa spp.)
    Primrose (Primula)
    Purple coneflower (Echinaea purpurea)
    Purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria)
    Ragged robin (Lychnis)
    Sweet pea (Lathyrus)
    Sage (Salvia)
    Siberian squill (Scilla sibiria)
    Snakeroot (Liatris spicata
    Speedwell (Veronica)
    Stoke’s Aster (Stokesia laevis)
    Stonecrops (Sedum spp.)
    Swamp milkweed (Asclepias incarnata)
    Thrift rose (Armeria)
    Thistle (Cirsium)
    Tickseed (Coreopsis grandiflora, C. lanceolata)
    Vervain (Verbena spp.)
    Vetch (Vicia)
    Yarrow (Achillea)
    Yellow chamomile (Anthemis tinctoria)
    Viburnum (Viburnum spp)
    Zinnia (Zinnia elegans)

    This site’s picks for attracting butterflies are Wonder of Staffa Asters with beautiful blue flowers, Wild Geraniums, Salvia Caradonna (a beautiful purple), & Sweet Lavander (for sunnier spots)

    A variety of blossoms offer nectar to adult butterflies, while leafy food sources, such as parsley, nourish the larvae. “Butterfly bush” lures butterflies of all sorts.

    You may want to select your plants by the type of butterflies you wish to attract. If your favorite butterfly is the Monarch, you must have Milkweed for these caterpillars to feed on. If you like Black Swallowtail, plant dill and/or parsley. Silvery Blue butterflies prefer Lupines .The Milkweed plants come in beautiful colors:

    Host plants for the caterpillars of specific butterflies:

    Good Luck! Hope this is helpful.

  5. Isadora

    One plant that I would not do without in my garden for butterflies is lunaria, aka money plant or honesty. It is one of the first big blooming plants in my garden, and is always swarming with huge swallowtails, all kinds, and frittilaries, and many smaller ones. I always have a huge patch of them at the edge of my woods just fot the butterflies.

    I also plant echinaceas, red milkweed, butterfly weed, tall phlox, liatris and lots of zinnias for them.

    For the frittilaries, I grow violets for the caterpillars, as they are vital for the frittilaries food.

    You must remember to plant things that the caterpillars eat, or you won’t have any butterflies or moths, and not to spray anything that will kill caterpillars. Butterflies like sun and sun-loving flowers. Moths like night-blooming, tubular shaped flowers like lilies, flowering tobacco, moon flower and four-o-clocks.

    I have dill, fennel, and parsley for the swallowtails, as well as pipevine for the pipevine swallowtail caterpillar.

    Here is a site with good lists:


  6. Sptfyr

    I think the most important question you need to ask yourself is what kind of butterfly do you most want to attract. When you want to attract butterflies you need to consider which plants are caterpillar food plants, which plants are host nursery plants, and which plants are nectar plants. Here is an
    article that I refer to frequently and on p. 3 there is a long list of common plants used in butterfly gardens.

    Good Luck

  7. ujd272

    My buddleia davidii, or Butterfly Bush, is always alive with butterflies and sphinx moths. It comes in colors ranging from white to royal purple and will re-seed if left to its’ own devices. It is a very sturdy shrub.

  8. gizmo2008

    They love bee balm.
    If you look in a flower ordering catalog it will tell you what flowers will draw butterflies ect

  9. riross77

    I’m not positive but I believe Butterflies like milkweed type plants, I have seeds for Butterfly weed and Butterfly plant. If you would like some contact me at:
    riross77@yahoo.com for details.

  10. Teresa C

    Daisy, Bachelors Buttons, Asters, Sunflowers, basically any flower that has a flat surface where they can sit on it and sun bath and get the nector.

    Buhdlei (Butterfly bush) ((I have one and they flock to it)).
    Butterfly weed (there are many many more flowers that they like)
    They also love bee balm, garden phlox

    You can also add flat surfaced rocks and also create a little water puddle.

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