9 Plants for Butterflies to Turn Your Garden Into a Pollinator’s Delight

Best Plants for Butterflies

Welcome to the flutter-tastic world of butterfly gardens, where every breeze brings a swirl of wings and vibrant colors! Picture your outdoor space bursting with kaleidoscopic beauty as butterfly species dance from blossom to blossom, sampling nectar from tiny flowers and sunny yellow blooms.

The best plants for butterflies are an irresistible mix of butterfly bushes and other drought-tolerant blossoms that will transform your garden into a delightful, nectar-filled paradise.

Fascinating Butterfly Facts

Let’s plant some nectar-rich blooms that will make your garden the ultimate butterfly haven, teeming with these enchanting winged guests!

Best Plants for Butterflies

Here are the must-have plants in your butterfly garden:

1. Abelia

butterfly plants

The profusion of nectar-rich flowers is a feast for butterflies emerging from their spring slumber, with swallowtail butterflies flocking eagerly to its bright blooms. Whether you’re attracting butterflies as part of your butterfly garden or enhancing your landscape, this versatile beauty works wonders as a specimen or hedge plant.

It lures in different butterfly species with its irresistible violet-blue blooms and bright flowers, providing an ideal host plant that brings the magic of fluttering wings to your outdoor space!

2. Agapanthus

flowers butterflies like

Agapanthus, those summer bloomers resembling miniature lilies, originally hail from South Africa and are fantastic for drawing butterflies. While not true lilies, these flowering plants are butterfly-friendly and serve as wonderful host plants for fluttering friends.

Their tall flower spikes produce blooms that thrive in full sun, adding vibrant color to your garden. Whether you’re pairing them with the pink flowers of a Mexican sunflower or mixing them with native species like butterfly weed, these fragrant flowers are a delightful addition to any butterfly haven!

3. Aster

attracting butterflys

Aster is a nectar-rich late-season gem that both butterflies and bees adore. With its bright colors and white blooms, this flower provides a vital source of nectar in late summer and early fall, just when most other flowers have finished their seasonal show.

Monarch butterflies love these blooms, flocking to them alongside bees when the asters burst into colorful glory. They’re perfect for hanging baskets or as a lovely addition to your garden, keeping the buzz going even after many other flowers have faded.

4. Bee Balm

plant that attracts butterflies

Swallowtails or Bee Balm have a special love for beebalm, with the eastern tiger swallowtail happily sipping nectar from the beebalm in the yard. This delightful plant attracts pollinators like no other, offering flat clusters of small flowers that entice not just swallowtails, but fritillaries, whites, and sulphurs, too. Moths are also drawn to the show.

Plant it in well-drained soil and partial shade, and you’ll have a bustling haven for these fluttering beauties from early summer right through late summer. Pair it with other plants for a drought-resistant garden that keeps pollinators happy all season long!

5. Blazing Star

flowers for butterflies

Blazing star (Liatris spp.) belongs to the diverse Aster family (Asteraceae) and serves as a bright beacon for butterflies and hummingbirds.

This perennial wonder blooms in vivid purple, adding a burst of bright color to natural areas or your garden with its long-blooming flowers.

It typically blossoms from late summer to early fall, lasting a good month or two, depending on the species. Whether nestled among other plants in your garden design or shining in poor soil, this Joe Pye weed companion loves basking in the sun. You’ll see many species of butterflies, including the zebra swallowtail, flitting around, making it a dazzling addition to any landscape!

6. Coneflower

plants to attract butterflies

Coneflowers are a magnet for butterflies of all stripes, from the Great Spangled Fritillary and Monarchs to Painted Ladies and Swallowtails, all flocking to feast on their high-quality, sweet nectar. Birds, too, find joy in these wildflowers, happily snacking on the seeds.

These colorful blooms bring shades of orange, purple, yellow, and pink to the yard, lighting up the landscape like daisy-shaped fireworks, while pollinators dart by all season long. Whether basking in the sun or spreading joy in the shade, these wildflowers keep nature in flight from spring to fall!

7. Butterfly Bush

flowers for butterflies

Butterfly Bushes are garden superstars when it comes to attracting butterflies, forming vibrant mounds of blossoms in a kaleidoscope of colors. These hardy plants are tough cookies, resilient against drought, salt, and sizzling temperatures.

They’re like a magnet for pollinators, drawing butterflies with their irresistible blooms while being a perfect addition to any gardening space. Whether you’re growing asters or a mix of other varieties, these bushes will stand out with their purples and more, ensuring your garden buzzes with life while providing essential nourishment for butterfly larvae!

8. Catmint

plants to attract butterflies

Catmint are a feast for the larvae of Lepidoptera (butterflies and moths) and a nectar buffet for friendly pollinators like honeybees and hummingbirds.

These delightful plants not only attract beneficial guests in shades of purple, yellow, orange, and pink to your yard, but also work hard to keep the less welcome pests like aphids and squash bugs at bay. With Nepeta’s blooming magic and pollinator appeal, you’ll have your garden buzzing in all the right ways this fall while enjoying its colorful charm even in the shade.

9. Salvia

bushes that attract butterflies

Salvia, with its showy blooms and easygoing personality, is a beloved pick among gardeners and butterflies alike. Planted in a sunny spot with well-drained soil,this plant’s colorful spires attract butterflies to your yard all spring and fall.

Available in vibrant shades of yellow, orange, purple, and pink, salvia blooms for weeks, ensuring your yard is bursting with life and color. Whether in the sun or shade, it’s a surefire way to add splendor to your garden.


As you transform your garden into a butterfly paradise, remember that each plant is an invitation for winged wonders to flutter by. With a rainbow of blooming colors, from the vibrant purple coneflowers to the pink shades of bee balm and salvia, your yard will become an irresistible haven for a kaleidoscope of species.

These nectar-rich flowers and host plants are sure to keep your garden buzzing and twirling from late spring to fall. Don’t forget to mix in anise hyssop for extra flavor and keep an eye out for the butterfly species attracted to these blooms! So, plant with joy, and watch as your backyard fills with enchanting guests. Happy gardening!

Johan Perez
Johan Perez is an experienced agriculturalist with over twenty years in the field. He holds a Ph.D. in Agricultural Sciences and has contributed extensively to research on sustainable farming practices. Johan has also written for numerous agricultural periodicals, offering expert advice on farming technologies and methods. In his free time, he enjoys outdoor adventures, which often inform his professional insights into ecological agriculture.

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