Butterfly Garden Plants

Butterfly gardens not only attract butterflies, they also offer beautiful flowers. Watch and learn the best butterfly garden plants for your butterfly garden, so you can enjoy butterfly gardening all summer long.

Attract butterflies to your garden by planting their favorite nectar sources. Let's start with perennials. Butterfly bush, or buddleja, is one of the best known butterfly attractors. The sweet smelling flowers look good in any summer landscape, and it's hardy to Zone five, where it dies back but re-grows each spring. In warmer climates, it may grow as a shrub. Beebalm, or Minarda, is a native that blooms in pink and red. The midsummer blooms sparkle at gardens and draw loads of butterflies. Hyssop is another good choice. It's in the Sage family, and almost all members of that group, such as Salvia, Agastache, and others, are excellent butterfly plants. Annuals are also good butterfly lures. Pentas is an annual that loves heat, which makes it a dependable summer annual for beds and containers. Lantana is another heat lover that colors up summer gardens. Zinnia is a traditional annual loved by butterflies. It's prone to disease. But new varieties like Profusion are much more dependable. In fall, there are several standouts. Sedum, especially the fall blooming varieties like Ruby Glow, Autumn Joy, and others, attract clouds of autumn flyers. Aster is another favorite. With pink blue and purple blooms. And Goldenrod, with its yellow blooms, really pops in Fall gardens. Certain butterflies readily make themselves at home in gardens that have suitable food plants for the caterpillars. Milkweed is the food plant for Monarch butterflies, which often lay eggs on the plants. Giving you a special treat as you watch the beautiful caterpillars grow. Dill, parsley and Queen Anne's Lace are all favorites of black swallowtails. The butterflies routinely lay eggs on these plants and you can often see caterpillars on the foliage. Be sure not to apply any insecticide, even organic products, if you have a butterfly garden. Just grow the right food plants and watch butterflies arrive in droves. [MUSIC]