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Butterfly Nectar Plants
If you’re going to start a butterfly garden, you’re going to need to choose some flowers and plants that will attract them. To do that, you need to choose varieties that are common food sources for a variety of types of butterflies.
You’ll need a pretty wide variety of plants that bloom continuously all summer, and provide a lot of nectar. Butterflies are most active during the mid-to-late summer, so you’ll need to have flowers that bloom during that time.
Annuals tend to bloom all summer, so if you want continuous blooms you should be sure to include plenty of annuals in your garden. Many perennials are also great at attracting butterflies, but they may not bloom all season.
Be sure to plant larger plants in the back and shorter ones in the front. The taller plants will help block wind from disturbing butterflies and their eggs, and if they’re in the back, they won’t obstruct your view of the butterflies!
There are many shrubs and trees that you can use as windbreaks for your butterfly garden. These shrubs and trees will also attract butterflies with their sweet, nectar-producing blooms. You can try pear trees, plum trees, mock oranges, butterfly bush, hawthorn, blueberry, rose of Sharon, privet hedge, summersweet, redbud, buttonbush, autumn olive, abelia, and buddleia.
Annuals are especially important for butterfly gardens because of their ability to bloom for most of the summer season. Marigolds, zinnias, cosmos, and sunflower are all classic annuals for attracting butterflies. Other beautiful annuals for butterfly gardens include impatiens, nasturtium, Queen Anne’s lace, verbena, and globe amaranth.
Planting wildflowers can bring in a lot of butterflies. The great thing about wildflowers is their ease of planting. If you want, you can just sprinkle handfuls of wildflower seeds all around an area you wish to cover with them! Sure, some of them will be eaten by birds and other animals, but many will survive and grow.
Good wildflowers for attracting butterflies include coneflowers, milkweed, spearmint, thistles, butterfly weed, ironweed, and New England asters. There are also several wildflowers that are considered too weedy for most gardens, but they are really good at attracting butterflies. These weed-like wildflowers include goldenrod, dogbane, and nettles.
Perennials don’t typically bloom for the entire mid-to-late summer season, but they’re still a very important part of any butterfly garden. Some butterflies prefer specific flowers, and perennials are included in those types. This is why it’s important to have a good mix of various varieties of flowers in your garden.
There are many perennial flowers that are superb for attracting butterflies and providing nectar for them. Aster, coneflower, Shasta daisy, lobelia, passion flower, hibiscus, bee-balm, daylily, goldenrod, chives, sage, mountain mint, false indigo, coreopsis, butterfly weed, black-eyed Susan, phlox, verbena, milkweed, and hollyhock are all super varieties of perennials for butterfly gardens. These varieties are all prized for their ability to provide nectar for butterflies, and should be added to any butterfly garden.