How to Attract Butterflies to Your Garden


Butterfly Garden

Photo by Tony Alter

What Plants Attract Butterflies

Certain plants are better at attracting butterflies than others. Did you know that butterflies are dwindling in numbers? Particularly since 1980 due to deforestation, improper landscaping, and environmental changes are affecting many ecosystems. To keep a healthy garden butterflies of all types are our allies.

Create a Butterfly Friendly and Happier Garden.

Butterfly gardens, for example, are carefully planned plots that contain butterfly-attracting sprouts and plants to diversify and introduce butterflies to a particular area. By attracting butterflies, a plot can also attract other insects that assist in healthy growth and development of crops and blossoms.

The collection of plants for attracting butterflies is extensive and easily available to you if you interested in encouraging butterflies to visit your beautiful garden or plot. Whether you own an entire acre of land or just a mound of soil in your yard, plants for attracting butterflies not only add color to your garden, they encourage a healthier planet, too.

How do I begin the process?

It’s simple. Butterflies love sunny open spaces, little or no wind, and fresh water. Next, look for the best plants that will integrate into your current plot while keeping the area aesthetically pleasing. This depends entirely on your taste and your preferences. In addition, would you prefer to attract butterflies and not bees, or butterflies and bees but not hummingbirds? Each plant can attract multiple types of visitors, so take care in your decision making before you dig in to the process.

Do not be afraid of color! Butterflies are drawn to bright, lively colors in their flowers. This is a sure sign of a healthy spot to stop at. It’s most effective to plant clusters of these plants for attracting butterflies so they can easily find their particular favorite blossom.

In addition, the location of your butterfly garden party must receive plenty of sun and warmth. Butterflies may find a flower attractive, but if it’s not in the sun, you may detract more butterflies than you had hoped to.  Live in a colder climate? Drop in some large stones to absorb day time heat and provide an easy rest stop for tired butterfly wings.

What are my best plant options for attracting butterflies?

If you’re looking to attract all types of butterflies, along with their nectar loving friends, here are the easiest plants to start with:

  • Milkweed: This wildflower choice will attract butterfly larvae, encouraging healthy growth and survival of pupas into butterflies. It is a relatively common and hearty flower that’s often seen growing near streets.
  • Honeysuckle: Most people associate honeysuckle with the scent of Summer. So do butterflies! This gorgeously scented petite flower attracts a wide variety of butterflies very easily, and adopts into new gardens without much trouble.
  • Lilacs: Butterflies have good taste in their flower choices. Plant elegant lilacs in your garden to provide a spacious place for butterflies to browse at. This flower attracts over 6 different types of butterflies.
  • Goldenrod: Attract a narrower range of butterflies with this voluminous flower, but attract the most voluptuous of butterflies as well.

Many brightly colored flowers will attract butterflies because of their rich diversity and appearance in a plot. It is best to research your options for any area, especially if you are hoping to only have plants for attracting butterflies in your garden.

Learn more with this handy Farmer’s Almanac table that goes over all flowers and plants for attracting butterflies.

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Photo: Tony Alter

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