Attract Pollinators to Your Yard with This Butterfly Garden Plan

Create a lush bed of flowers that will bring beautiful and beneficial insects to your garden.

The stained-glass patterns of butterfly wings will add an extra dimension to this colorful garden bed, which bursts with easy-to-grow perennial and annual flowers that are irresistible to these pretty creatures. A variety of blossoms offers nectar to adult butterflies, while leafy food sources, such as parsley, nourish the larvae. The one shrub in this garden plan is commonly called "butterfly bush" for good reason: It lures butterflies of all sorts. A few rocks among the plants provide convenient perches for your winged visitors to sun themselves, and a simple birdbath provides water. Butterflies are sun-loving creatures, as are the plants in this design, so be sure to place this garden where it will receive six or more hours of sun daily. And remember: Pesticides are never allowed in your butterfly garden.

infographic butterfly garden plan

BHG / Joules Garcia

Plants for Butterfly Garden Plans

  • 2 Butterfly weed (Asclepias tuberosa): Zones 4-9
  • 3 Aster (Symphyotrichum novae-angliae 'Purple Dome'): Zones 4-8
  • 1 Butterfly bush (Buddleia davidii 'Nanho Purple'): Zones 5-9
  • 3 Purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea 'Bright Star'): Zones 3-9
  • 4 Spike gayfeather (Liatris spicata 'Floristan Violet'): Zones 3-9
  • 3 Bee balm (Monarda didyma 'Petite Delight'): Zones 3-9
  • 6 Black-Eyed Susan (Rudbeckia fulgida 'Goldsturm'): Zones 3-8
  • 2 Stonecrop (Sedum 'Matrona'): Zones 3-9
  • 2 Goldenrod (Solidago sphacelata 'Golden Fleece'): Zones 3-10
  • 2 Blue fescue (Festuca glauca 'Elijah Blue'): Zones 4-8
  • 12 Sweet alyssum (Lobularia maritima): All zones
  • 6 Parsley (Petroselinum crispum): All zones
  • 24 Dwarf zinnia (Zinnia elegans, any dwarf variety): All zones
butterfly garden plan illustration
Illustration by Mavis Augustine Torke

If you aren't able to find the exact cultivars listed above, substitute others in similar colors, shapes, and sizes. Also, since in certain climates some plants can become overly aggressive and spread out of control, always before planting check which species are considered invasive in your area. For example, a butterfly bush can become problematic in some parts of the country, so you may want to plant a similarly sized bluebeard, which also has purplish flowers that draw pollinators.

Get the Free Butterfly Garden Plan

The plan for this garden design includes an illustrated version of the planted garden, a detailed layout diagram, a list of plants for the garden as shown, and complete instructions for installing. Free, one-time registration allows unlimited access to all garden plans, available as printable PDFs.

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