How To Attract Butterflies To Your Garden

 How To Attract Butterflies To Your Garden

Beautiful & Beneficial

Good gardeners understand the benefits of pollinators in their yard. Pollinators help spread pollen and increase crop production. According to the USDA, most plants require an outside pollinator because the plant cannot pollinate itself.

Butterflies also add to the beauty of the garden. Sure, it's nice to see a beautiful plant, but watching a butterfly move from plant to plant around the garden adds another dimension to the gardening experience.

Attract Caterpillars First

Remember, if you want to attract butterflies to your garden, you must first attract the caterpillars. This means planting things in your garden that caterpillars and butterflies will appreciate. Remember, caterpillars eat leaves, while butterflies sip nectar. Most importantly, avoid using pesticides. While they may rid your garden of insects, the chemicals can kill butterflies and caterpillars.

Choose good host plants for caterpillars and think about what type of caterpillars (and therefore butterflies) you want to attract to your garden. Some caterpillars feed on a variety of plants, while others feed on only one specific plant. For example, pearly crescent larvae feed on asters.

What Should You Plant to Attract Butterflies?

Don't plant single plants in the hope that butterflies will find them easily. Plant large groups of the same flowers together to provide a large target of color for butterflies to find. Choose plants that bloom at different times of the season, so butterflies always have something to eat.

Consider adding some natural plants that attract butterflies below:

Agapanthus

This tall, bright blue, shiny flower stands tall above its bright green leaves. This plant blooms in late summer, and its color and multiple flowers on its tall stem are perfect for butterflies.

Aster

This daisy-like bloom is a favorite of butterflies and bees alike. It blooms in late summer and fall and is available in a variety of colors.

Black-eyed Susan

Butterflies aren't the only insects attracted to the black-eyed lily, bees love the plant too! It is a great wildflower for adding a casual look to your garden.
Bright star flower

Are you looking for an interesting bloom with a spike in the garden? Consider adding a sparkling star flower. This plant produces white or pinkish-purple spines up to 3 feet long!

Butterfly Bush

Butterfly bush is not resistant to butterflies. Not only are they attracted to bright colors, but they appreciate a large array of flowers to sit on. Lots of flowers means lots of nectar for butterflies to sip.

Butterfly Weed

Butterfly weed is a type of milkweed, and despite its name, many other pollinators (such as bees) love this plant too. Since the plant blooms in early spring, it is a wonderful addition to the garden. Make sure you plant them in large groups, and mark the area with stakes so you don't accidentally dig up the area.

Coneflower

Coneflower is a simple but beautiful flower that blooms later in the summer months. Plant this bloom in front of other tall plants.

Lavender

You're not the only one who loves the scent of lavender. Butterflies also love this plant. It is also a great plant for beginner gardeners, as it is drought-resistant and can handle heat well.

Phlox

Phlox is a low-growing perennial that tends to spread. Not only do butterflies love this plant, it's great if you have young children at home. They can see butterflies well on its surface.

Pot Marigolds

Everyone loves a fast-growing, long-lasting flower. Marigold flowers last for up to eight weeks during the summer. Bright yellow petals attract butterflies like crazy.

Milkweed

Since monarch caterpillars feed only on milkweed, it's a good idea to add them to your garden, even if you don't plan to attract monarch caterpillars specifically. Other butterflies love milkweed, but they are especially important to monarchs. This clustered, bright pink flower is beautiful in its own right, even if you're not planning a butterfly garden.

Salvia

Both hummingbirds and butterflies are attracted to salvia's tall, bright flowers. This plant is available in white and purple.

Sedum

Sedum is a hardy succulent and is available in both low-growing and tall varieties. Its flowers form early in the year and continue to bloom through the winter.

Sunflowers

Butterflies are attracted to colors like yellow, and nothing screams "yellow" more than a traditional sunflower. Sunflowers also come in a range of colors and are relatively easy to grow. You will find the perfect sunflower color and size for your garden.

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