What Plants Attract Butterflies? Let Your Fancy and Scenty Garden Shelter the Flying “Flowers”

by Snezhana Besarabova

Butterflies are those beautiful and delicate creatures that are fascinating to watch as they flutter from flower to flower in your garden. But if you wish to attract a great number of these colorful flying “flowers”, you should start taking care of your green area more. In this article, we are going to reveal what plants attract butterflies, which you can grow, benefiting not only those tender flying creatures. Furthermore, they will enliven your garden with wonderful scent, and burst of colors and creating a friendly environment for other pollinators like bees and hummingbirds.

What Plants Attract Butterflies and Bees?

what plants attract butterflies and bees echinacea

Usually, the plants that invite butterflies, are also attractive to another pollinators of the flowers – the bees. These both useful insects are essential for the health of your garden life. That’s why growing plants that support butterflies is not only good for the vitality and loveliness of the green area, but is a great way to help protect them. Here are some ideas of what plants attract butterflies and bees:


plain tiger butterflies on milkweed what plants attract butterflies


If somebody asks: “What plant attracts the most butterflies?”, the answer will probably be: “Milkweed”. It’s vital for the life cycle of monarch butterflies, and the only plant that these famous flying insects can eat. So, a lot of butterflies can land on a milkweed. Monarchs also use the plant to lay their eggs on. The bright orange or pink flowers of milkweed also attract bees and other pollinators.


vanessa cardui butterfly echinacea what plants attract butterflies and bees

This beautiful and hardy perennial, also called coneflower, attracts both butterflies and bees with its remarkable pink, yellow or purple flowers. Echinacea is not only attractive to these valuable pollinating insects, but you can benefit from its high immune-boosting properties.


verbena what plants attract butteflies and bees

It’s a colorful annual plant, which grows in clusters of small, bright flowers, invites both butterflies and bees. Verbena is an excellent plant for using as a garden border or for rooting it in outside containers. This flower is easy to grow and with proper caring it can bloom all summer long. It can be inviting for various species of butterflies, with its color and aroma.

What Plants Attract Butterflies and Hummingbirds?

what plants attract butterflies and hummingbirds

When butterflies in warmer regions feed on flowers, another pollinators are also attracted to the same place – the hummingbirds. These tiny birds are known for their speed and agility. Because of their tiny size and colorful feathers, they look like very fast and sparkling pollinating insects. Look at our short list of what plants attract butterflies and hummingbirds:

Butterfly Bush

admiral butterfly what plants attract butterflies and hummingbirds

As its name suggests, butterfly bush is a favorite plant for butterflies. This amazing bush can grow quite large and produces a profusion of long and slender flowers, whose fragrance also attracts hummingbirds. But you should be careful to control its growth, as butterfly bush is also known for its invasive tendencies, if left alone.

Also read: Top 7 Fall Potted Plants That Attract Hummingbirds

Bee Balm

what plants attract butterflies and hummingbirds the bee balm

Bee balm, or monarda, is a bright and showy flower that is a favorite plant for both pollinators – butterflies and hummingbirds. Its colors come in shades of red, pink, and purple. This plant has a long blooming season, making it a wonderful choice for a variety of pollinating insects, apart from butterflies.


what plants attract butterflies and hummingbirds the lantana

Lantana is a tropical plant that forms clusters of small, orange, yellow and red colored flowers, which are “magnets” for both butterflies and hummingbirds. This tropical flower is heat-tolerant and drought-resistant, making it an ideal choice for gardens in warmer climate zones. It’s also attractive to other pollinating insects, such as moths.

What Plants Attract Butterflies to Lay Eggs?

a green yellow and black black swallowtail caterpillar what plants attract butterflies to lay eggs

If you want to create a butterfly-friendly garden, it’s important to grow plants, which will not only invites adult butterflies, but also provide food and shelter for their offsprings. Every species of butterflies lay their eggs on specific plants, which their caterpillars will feed on. Here are some of the best plants, used for attracting these flying insects to lay their eggs:


a yellow butter parsley what plants attract butterflies to lay eggs

Parsley is a host plant for the black swallowtail butterflies, which lay their eggs on its leaves. The growing caterpillars will feed on the parsley’s foliage. In addition to being a host plant for the black swallowtail butterfly, parsley is also a great herb. It’s useful to have it in your kitchen and can be added to a variety of dishes.


cabbage white butterfly what plants attract butterflies to lay eggs

With its small yellow flowers, fennel attracts a lot of butterflies. It’s a host plant for several species of them, including the black and the anise swallowtails, which caterpillars feed on the foliage. This herb is also well known for its culinary uses.

verbena what plants attract butterflies and bees

Attracting butterflies to your garden supports pollinators, as well as create a beautiful and healthy outdoor space. By planting a variety of plants, which invite both adult butterflies and their caterpillars, you can help preserve these delicate creatures and contribute to a conservation of nature.

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