Top Butterfly Container Garden Ideas

No-fail Containers
Bring butterflies to your garden -- even if you have just a deck or patio -- with these easy container recipes.

Plant a Butterfly Magnet

Simple and eye-catching, the color and shape of the container is perfect for pentas plants, which no butterfly can resist.

A. Pentas 'Butterfly Red' -- 3

Pick Easy Plants

This container garden is almost no-fail; the white zinnia is extra-easy to grow and the butterflies will appreciate it, as well as the fragrant heliotrope.

A. Zinnia angustifolia 'Crystal White' -- 3
B. Heliotrope (Heliotropium 'Marine') -- 2
C. Coleus (Solenostemon 'Brilliancy') -- 1

Go with a Group

This grouping of different kinds of containers, yet planted in the same color palette, draws the eye where a single container would be overlooked.

A. Plectranthus 'Mona Lavender' -- 4
B. Salvia guarantica 'Black and Blue' -- 2
C. Fan flower (Scaevola 'New Wonder') -- 4

Give Them Something to Eat

While we typically think of attracting butterflies with flowers, don't forget about host plants. Here, fennel is a good way to attract swallowtail caterpillars.

A. Bronze fennel (Foeniculum vulgare 'Rubrum') -- 2
B. Nasturtium (Tropaeoleum 'Scarlet Gleam') -- 4
C. Sweet potato vine (Ipomoea batatas 'Tricolor') -- 1
D. Sage (Salvia officinalis) -- 1

Be Bold

Bold and brassy, 'Teddy Bear' sunflower is fun and playful, especially as an echo for the dwarf marigolds at its feet. It'll also help bring tons of butterflies to your yard.

A. Sunflower (Helianthus annuus 'Teddy Bear') -- 3

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.

Top Butterfly Garden Plants

See plants that are sure to flourish in your butterfly garden!

Try Vines

Vines don't just have a spot in the ground; they're also great accents in container gardens. Here, a Spanish flag adds the perfect touch to an already wonderful planting.

A. Zinnia haageana 'Persian Carpet' -- 2
B. Petunia 'Ultra Blue' -- 3
C. Coleus (Solenostemon 'Alabama Sunrise') -- 1
D. Spanish flag (Ipomoea lobata) -- 1
E. Vinca 'Illumination' -- 2

Create a Fall Look

Evocative of autumn, this design has flair and contrast all summer long. The salvia echoes the firecracker blooms in shape and color, leaving the black-eyed Susans to take center stage.

A. Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia 'Indian Summer') -- 1
B. Firecracker plant (Cuphea ignea 'David Verity') -- 3
C. Salvia splendens 'Hotline Red' -- 2

Play Up the Foliage Effect

This showy plant needs no embellishment. The plain container allows the flashy variegated lantana to show its stuff. The butterflies will enjoy the blooms while you enjoy the handsomely bicolored foliage.

A. Lantana 'Samantha' -- 2

Go for the Blues

Butterflies and hummingbirds can't resist salvias; here a blue salvia sets off other blue- and purple-flowering companions perfectly.

A. Petunia 'Supertunia Royal Velvet' -- 4
B. Salvia guarantica 'Black and Blue' -- 2
C. Angelonia 'Serena Lavender' -- 2
D. Nierembergia 'Purple Robe' -- 6
E. Nemesia 'Blue Lagoon' -- 6

Plant in Yellow

This all-yellow planter mixes shapes and sizes to create contrast and is stocked with black-eyed Susan, lantana, and other butterfly favorites.

A. Calibrachoa 'Superbells Saffron' -- 4
B. Marigold (Tagetes 'Discovery Yellow') -- 2
C. Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia 'Irish Eyes') -- 3
D. Lantana 'Lemon Drop' -- 3
E. Black-eyed Susan vine (Thunbergia alata) -- 1
F. Lollipop flower (Pachystachys lutea) -- 1
G. Creeping zinnia (Sanvitalia procumbens) -- 2

A how-to guide to thriller-filler-spiller containers that will look great from the moment you plant them.

Video: Container Garden Design Ideas

Watch this quick video and learn from Better Homes and Gardens® garden editor Eric Liskey the tips and tricks to put together a beautiful container garden.

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