Last Updated on May 1, 2021 by April
Butterflies are always a welcome part of any garden. They are beautiful and set the mood when you are relaxing outside. Luckily, butterflies are also very beneficial to the environment!
Benefits of Butterfly Gardens for the Environment
In addition to making your garden aesthetically pleasing, butterflies aid with pollination, encourage wildlife and habitats and conserve resources.
Butterflies love feeding on the nectar of colorful, fragrant flowers. Just like bees, when butterflies fly from flower to flower, they pollinate plants. This encourages the growth of new plant species.
Wildlife and habitats
By having a butterfly garden, it is necessary to completely avoid the use of insecticides and pesticides. These harmful chemicals prevent butterflies from surviving in a garden.
As result, when there is an absence of these chemicals, other critters are able to thrive as well. You will find that ladybugs, catterpillars, and spiders are more abundant in your garden.
Birds rely on these little bugs for food, meaning you will also have the pleasure of watching cute little birds in your garden area.
Butterflies gravitate to local plants, making native plants a must for your butterfly garden. Local plants require less maintenance and resources to thrive. This greatly benefits the environment.
Flowers That Attract Butterflies to Your Garden
Butterfly Bush / Buddleia
This bush produces an abundance of pink blossoms all summer long. It’s also known for attracting hummingbirds who feed on its fruits as well as butterflies looking for nectar. Many people know this flower as “Butterfly Bush” or Buddleia. This is one of the best plants that will attract butterflies to your garden because it is very easy to grow, and it has a nice scent for them also!
It doesn’t really need much care so you can enjoy watching those beautiful flowers while they lure all the butterflies in! This bush produces an abundance of pink blossoms all summer long. It’s also known for attracting hummingbirds who feed on its fruits as well as butterflies looking for nectar.
Butterfly Flower / Asclepias tuberosa
This is a tall, upright plant that has colorful flowers. The bright colors are sure to attract those butterflies! This flower likes to suck in the sun and can grow up to 12 ft high. It does not require much care if you place it in an area with plenty of sunlight and sprinkling water every now and then.
Coneflower / Echinacea
I’m going to start with my favorite, the coneflower. This is a long-time garden perennial and it’s easy to see why – they’re beautiful! The common name comes from its distinctive cone shape, but what you may not know is that there are over 100 different species of coneflowers so while their geometries and colors differ, they are all equally as stunning.
This perennial originates in the Americas but has spread across the world. They have a reputation for attracting butterflies to your garden so be sure to include them! Coneflowers prefer full sun and moist soil so make sure you water often during dry spells or plant near a pond
The aster flowers are the most popular flower for attracting butterflies, and they’re not difficult to grow. If you want to attract more of these beautiful creatures into your garden, then plant aster flowers in an area with plenty of sunlight. These plants will thrive in moist soil that is well-drained. They also require a little extra nitrogen and phosphorus to survive, so be sure you fertilize them during the growing season.
*It’s not just butterflies that enjoy aster flowers; they’re also high in nectar content for hummingbirds too!
Asters are versatile plants-they can grow as an annual or perennial flower depending on your climate zone and desired results. They make excellent cutting flowers, too.
Blanketflower / Gaillarida pulchella
Blanketflower is a native prairie plant that grows in the United States. It has large clusters of showy yellow flowers with red and purple markings on its petals. The Blanketflower plants like sandy soil, full sun to part shade, and shallow water (a little over halfway up its leaves). They grow in areas where there is not a lot of competition for resources.
Blanketflower plants are easy to grow from seed, and they attract butterflies (like the Monarch butterfly), bees, hummingbirds, and other pollinators. They also work well in dried arrangements or as cut flowers because their petals fall off easily when touched by water. Blanket flowers are also called Gaillardia.
Bachelor’s Buttons / Centaurena cyanus
The Bachelor’s Button is the most popular plant for attracting butterflies. It blooms from April to June and has a sweet smell that attracts insects, such as butterflies. The Blooming of this flower will bring many beautiful colors to your garden with its yellow, white, and purple petals. You can find them in fields near woods or in areas with lots of deciduous trees, especially around the edges.
The Bachelor’s Button is a wildflower that loves sunlight and can grow in many different areas of North America. They are most common between April-June but will bloom at any time if watered well enough. In order to keep them healthy, you should remove dead leaves from the ground because the leaves will attract fungus. You should also water them at least once per week during the growing season and every few days when they are not blooming.
This plant is a perennial that you can find in many colors, such as white, yellow, pink, or purple. They grow about 18 inches tall with flowers that range from ¾ inch to two inches in diameter. They also have a wonderful scent that attracts butterflies and other insects, which is why they are great if you want your garden to be full of wildlife.
One of the best flowers for attracting butterflies to your garden are salvia plants. For one thing, they’ve got a long flowering period which will allow you plenty of time to observe and enjoy all those beautiful winged creatures in your yard or flower bed. If that wasn’t enough, these herbs have dark pink or purple petals with an orange or red center.
The plants are often grown as annuals, but they do well in a wide variety of soil conditions and can quickly spread to cover large areas for you. They also have the added benefit of being deer resistant! It’s best if you buy these from your local nursery because there
Lantana is a popular plant that attracts butterflies. This perennial flowering shrub has leaves shaped like spades and blooms in the summertime with clusters of tiny yellow flowers. Lantanas are easy to grow, relative drought resistant, and require little maintenance from gardeners.
The verbena is a beautiful flowering plant that attracts butterflies. This flower has an almost sweet and citrus-like scent which makes it irresistible to many insects such as honeybees, bumblebees, ants, and of course the butterfly!
This particular species will grow in most soils but does prefer some type of organic matter mixed into the soil to help it grow. Growing them in full sun is the best thing to do because they require a lot of light, but if you are growing them in partial shade or on a windowsill indoors make sure they get direct sunlight for at least four hours per day.
The verbena will start to bloom with its beautiful colors in early spring and can continue to gro in until the end of summer.
Verbena will grow up to three feet tall and about two or so feet wide if not trimmed, but it can be easily cut back by one third in height and width any time throughout the season. This is a great plant for people who are just starting out because they’re hardy plants that do well in different conditions.
The verbena can cause quite a bit of leaf damage so it’s best to plant them at the back of your garden or in front and then slowly introduce them into sunnier spots as they grow. They enjoy but are not limited to being near hedges, fences, walls, other plants that offer shade like bamboo.
Black-eyed Susan / Rudbeckia
Black-eyed Susan flowers are also known as Rudbeckia hirta and have a black center with yellow petals. The bright colors make it an easy plant to spot in the garden.
Fiery orange blooms on this perennial bloom from July through September, giving late summer butterflies plenty of nectar.
The flowers attract butterflies like a magnet. It is important to plant them in groups of four or ten, and keep the distance between each flower about one foot apart (30 cm).
-Rudbeckia hirta also attracts pollinators with lovely clusters of yellow flowers that are set against deep purple foliage for late summer color.
Goldenrod / Solidago
Goldenrod is a native wildflower that flourishes from Maine to Wisconsin year round but can be found anywhere across the United States as an introduced species. Goldenrods are perennial herbs with yellow or greenish heads of tiny blossoms like daisies.
Daisy / Leucanthemum
Growing daisies is a beautiful way to add color and texture to any garden. Daisies come in many different colors, including yellow, pink, purple , blue and white. They grow well as an edging plant or individually placed around the yard for maximum effect. Unlike many flowers that require more attention like watering , fertilizing and trimming, daisies are low maintenance plants.
While they will grow well in most soils, it is best to amend the soil with compost or other organic material before planting a new garden area. This ensures that the flowers get all of their nutrients for healthy growth. The blooms can range anywhere from one inch wide to three feet wide depending on the variety. If you have a large yard, planting two or more varieties of daisies will ensure that you get blooms all season long.
Ironweed / Vernonia
Ironweed is a great plant for attracting butterflies because it has long, tubular flowers that are usually either purple or yellow. These colors appeal to different species of butterflies so you can get the most variety by planting both types in your garden.
Snapdragons have been around since the time of Ancient Greece and are part of a genus known as Antirrhinum. Snapdragons come in various colors ranging from white, cream, pink, and purple to reds with black or yellow markings. One plant can contain many blooms at different stages at any given time in varying color, which is a very popular characteristic of this plant.
Snapdragons can be grown in the ground or in pots and thrive best in areas with mild winters that do not fall below 30F degrees (Celsius).
The Joe-Pye weed is a perennial plant that grows in wet soil. This wildflower will grow to be about six feet tall with large clusters of pink flowers on an arching stalk. The leaves are lobed and the petals can have either purple or green striations throughout them. While it’s not poisonous, if eaten it can cause stomach upset.
Sunflower / Helianthus
Sunflowers are a classic example of the power of pollination, and they make for an excellent addition to any garden.
They’re also capable of producing large amounts of seeds in one season which is great news if you want more plants at your disposal. Sunflower seeds can be used as food or animal feed once they’ve been dried.
Sunflowers are a great choice for gardeners with small yards because they grow to be just over six feet tall, and only require about three square meters (about 32 square feet) of space per plant. They also produce plenty of nectar which attracts all kinds of pollinators like bees and butterflies.
One of the more popular cultivars is ‘Lemon Queen’ which has a deep yellow color with a lemon tinge to it. You can also find red, orange, and even purple varieties if you’re looking for something different than standard white sunflowers.
Zinnias / Z. elegans
Zinnias are annual plants and the genus belongs to the family Asteraceae. The leaves have a jagged edge with three leaflets that can grow up to 12 inches long. It has upright stems with yellow flowers which can range from one inch wide all way up to four inches in diameter.
The flower heads of this plant are cone shaped and the petals are arranged with two larger outer petal called ligules. The flowers bloom from midsummer to early fall, but they can be grown in regions that have a winter season too. Zinnias prefer full sun exposure which is why many gardeners plant them near windows or decks for easy viewing pleasure during summer months.
Pincushion Flower / Scabiosa spp.
In the world of gardening, each flower has its own unique features. Some flowers are fragrant and others have a beautiful color that just can’t be missed. But there is one type of flower that really stands out from all the rest-the Pincushion Flower!
Pincushion Flowers come in many different colors like purple, white, pink, and yellow. They also have a unique pattern that looks like they are made out of thread or yarn–hence the name “pincushion.”
Pincushion Flowers attract butterflies with their fragrance and nectar-filled flowers that can be found in late summer through early winter.
Egyptian Star Cluster / Pentas lanceolata
The Egyptian Star Cluster plant is a small, low-growing perennial that has tiny flowers in groups of fours. It blooms all through the summer and fall, which are peak times for butterflies. The leaves are shaped like wheel spokes and grow to about three inches long on stems that reach up to six inches tall. This delicate flowering plant is the perfect addition to a butterfly garden.