Bring the Butterflies to Your Yard

Watching butterflies in the garden is such a joy! They really bring a landscape to life as they flutter from flower to flower. It doesn’t require a lot of work to attract them to your garden either. And what’s good for the butterflies adds beauty to our gardens.

Butterflies need nectar sources. They use a straw-like structure called a proboscis to extract nectar from the flowers.  Be sure to arrange your garden so that something is in bloom throughout the growing season and especially in late summer when butterflies are most active. Including some of their favorite annuals will ensure a steady supply of nectar.

There is an extensive list of butterfly-attracting plants. Some of my favorites are:

Annuals that Attract Butterflies:

  • Cosmos (Cosmos sulphureus)
  • Marigold, French (Tagetes patula)
  • Nasturtium (Tropaeolum majus)
  • Sunflower (Helianthus species)
  • Queen Anne’s Lace (Daucus carota)
  • Zinnia (Zinnia elegans)

Perennials that Attract Butterflies:

  • Aster (Aster species)
  • Black-eyed susan (Rudbeckia species)
  • Butterfly bush (Buddleia davidii)
  • Butterfly weed (Asclepias tuberosa)
  • Daylily (Hemerocallis species)
  • Hibiscus (Hibiscus species)
  • Hollyhock (Althaea rosea)
  • Lantana (Lantana camara, L. species)
  • Lobelia (Lobelia cardinalis)
  • Milkweed (Asclepias species)
  • Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea)
  • Sedum (Sedum species)
  • Yarrow (Achillea species)