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what plants will attract butterflies to my garden??

im making a butterfly garden but sadly i havent seen many butterflies yet.

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18 Responses to “what plants will attract butterflies to my garden??”

  1. Clarisse

    I think roses

  2. smile182

    i can NOT remember the plan for the lifeo f me but they would bloom and be purple around this time of the year and we would get TONS of monarchs as they migrated through our area. like TONS of them! crap really wish i knew what the plant was called.

  3. Beautiful_Disaster

    If you want Monarch butterflies, milkweed plants are the best. The butterflies also love butterfly bushes. :) And something called Lantana.

  4. jane3246

    butterflies ultimately like nectar and pollens. Plant flowers that have alot of smell (nectar) and large bright blooms with pollen filled stems. In fact, i think there’s a flower called a butterfly plant/flower supposed to work well to attract…try to google it.

  5. niacar75

    Jasmine, star jasmine and sweet smelling flowers are great for attracting butterflys

  6. june

    It depends since each species of butterfly have thier respective food plants, but want is important that you should plant flowering plants like citrus, roses and so other…

  7. homie1992rapster

    lots of big flowers…also to aattract them put bowls of 1/2 water 1/2 sugar

  8. winnie

    A Butterfly bush, go to any nursery to buy one, they grow pretty tall and come in several colors, we have 2 and they attract the butterflies very nicely.

  9. sptfyr

    In order to attract and keep butterflies you need to have both food and host plants. You need the plants they like to eat and the plants they will lay their eggs on. First decide which butterfly you want to attract and then do a search for building a garden to attract that particular butterfly. I personally like the black swallowtail to I plant butterfly bush, lantana, bee balm, and many other nectar plants. I also plant a lot of parsley and dill because those are the host plants for their eggs and caterpillars.
    Here is a good site to get you started on nectar and host plants.
    Good luck and enjoy

  10. wheeza7geeza

    The two best plants are the- Swan Plant which attracts Monarch butterflies,and the Buddlia shrub, which also attracts different varities. However you should check the flowers for your area.Most flowers attract butterflies. But there don’t seem to be many around so much these days.

  11. Charlotte S

    I was just reading up on this the other day from “The Butterfly Book”.

    Butterflies love the following nectar plants:
    Bee Balm, Phlox, Marigolds, Catmint, Purple Cornflowers, Asters, Butterfly Bush, Liatris, Black-eyed Susans, Lavender, Queen Anne’s Lace, Globe Thistle, Heliotropem, Coreopsis and Lantana.

    I’m sure that there are many more but this will get you started. It is so much fun !!

    I hadn’t seen many Butterflies in the past few years but this year I have seen many and also different kinds.
    Maybe they like my plants. :)))

  12. katwoman

    Great answer and web site sptfyr. Thanks!

  13. erihu

    good list, Charlotte S!
    sedum are good too.
    i had a 400 sq ft butterfly garden, 3 blueberry bushes, apple trees, & a grapevine that’s 100+ yrs old (deconstructed the flower beds for a bigger garden lol)
    i had tiger swallowtails & monarchs & elfins & hairstreaks in it everyday! i also have a butterfly field guide to indentify them & learned alot of flowers from that. i look up butterflies that are typically in my region (New England) & planted accordingly
    check local nurseries, buy books, look things up on the internet…there are so many different types of butterflies that like all sorts of different flowers!
    good luck & enjoy!

  14. TBECK

    I get a lot of butterflies in my lavender, meadow sage, salvia, weiga and catmint. They like my wild climbing roses too. They are very sweet smelling. I know down south(US) that in my mothers garden they tend to flit around her jasmine and honeysuckle. as well as hummingbirds and bees.

  15. Dystopian J

    A butterfly garden requires two essential components: flowers to provide adult butterflies with food, and host plants to feed the butterfly caterpillars.

    An excellent plant for any butterfly garden is milkweed, as many butterflies love the flowers, and the plant itself is the food of the Monarch butterfly caterpillars. There are several varieties and species to choose from. One of the most popular is Asclepias curassavica, or Scarlet Milkweed (http://davesgarden.com/pf/go/604/). It has lovely red and yellow flowers.

    However, there is more than just milkweed. The following flowers should do a great job of providing adult butterflies with food:

    -Verbena bonariensis
    -Joe-Pye Weed

    Butterflies tend to go for flowers that have east to reach nectar, like the one listed above. They almost never go for things like petunias, roses, and morning glories, as those flowers have nectar that is difficult to reach.

    If you want butterflies to stay in your garden, you will need to provide their caterpillars with food plants. The following food plants are good choices for a garden:

    -Milkweed (Monarch butterfly)
    -Parsely, Dill, and Fennel (Anise and Black Swallowtail butterflies)
    -Willow trees (Tiger Swallowtail butterfly)
    -Hollyhocks (Painted Lady butterfly)
    -Hops vine (Red Admiral butterfly)
    -Pipevine (Pipevine Swallowtail butterfly)
    -Violets and pansies (Most of the Fritillary butterflies)
    -Blue-crown passion vine (Gulf Fritillary butterfly)

    This list is a rough one, as I don’t know what part of the U.S. you’re in. To find out what butterfly species live near you, check out this great website: http://www.butterfliesandmoths.org/map

    Hope you have a great time with your butterfly garden!

  16. devilishblueyes

    Butterfly bushes are the best. There’s also a perennial flower with reddish orange flowers called a butterfly flower. That attracts them fairly well. Try picking flowers that have a bunch of little flowers clustered together in bunches. Butterflies tend to like those kinds of flowers. They also seem to like Echinacea and Gaillardia flowers although not as well as butterfly bushes. I always have a ton of butterflies each year with butterfly bushes. I noticed at the butterfly gardens they put out orange slices for them to eat on.

  17. rmonarch

    Here’s a great site to check out for information also:


    It even includes a map for butterfly gardening by region in the US.

    Some good articles on the site also:


    *~ Enjoy ~*

  18. justfish

    If you live where you can grow cassias and Dutchman’s pipevine, they are excellent host plants also. Cassias for the sulphurs and pipevine for Gold rimmed swallowtail.

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