Beautiful Flowers To Attract Butterflies For A Magnificent Butterfly Garden

Wonderful Butterfly Flowers

Emma DowneyByEmma Downey
Updated on 8/13/2022

The presence of butterflies elevates the aesthetic value of a blooming garden to a whole new level. Imagine making use of the space in your garden to maintain your ecology and stimulate the lives of insects. To put it another way, why not grow some flowers that attract butterflies?

The flowers and shrubs that are purposefully put in butterfly gardens benefit the surrounding ecology by acting as a food source and habitat for butterflies. To be recognized as a butterfly garden by the North American Butterfly Association, a garden must include at least three distinct plant species that serve as a food source for caterpillars and at least three different plant species that serve as a source of nectar for butterflies. There are only a few butterfly flowers you need to start luring butterflies to your garden.

What Exactly Are These Flowers Called?

What Are Butterfly Flowers?

You would believe that any flower would be able to attract flying buddies, but there are very specialized kinds of flowers that can feed and support butterflies. Butterflies are drawn to the sweet nectar that butterfly flowers provide, but these blooms also have many other uses. Butterflies utilize flowers as a location to deposit their eggs and as a source of food throughout their whole lives. Butterflies feed on flowers at every stage of their life cycle. According to the National Wildlife Foundation, adult butterflies are drawn to rich supplies of nectar, which are often flowers that are brightly colored, have flat-topped or clustered blooms, and have various shapes.

Best Flowers To Attract Butterflies To Your Garden

Best Butterfly Flowers for Your Garden

If you want butterflies to visit your garden, you need to consider the flowers you place in it. The finest flowers for butterflies can provide food and nectar throughout the whole life cycle of the butterfly. Make use of the butterfly blooms. You have to construct a habitat that will allow them to thrive and provide food for future generations. Get some ideas for attracting butterflies to your yard from the list we've compiled of the best flowers for attracting them.

The Finest Annual And Perennial Flowers For Butterflies


These flowers provide a steady supply of nectar and pollen for the butterflies that visit your garden. You just need to plant these perennial flowers once, and then you can watch them thrive year after year. It is crucial to choose perennial butterfly flowers native to your region since the local butterflies are already eating on such blooms.

1. Aster


Asters are eye-catching flowers that are simple to cultivate and come in a range of hues, making them a favorite choice among those who garden for butterflies. The fact that this flower blooms in the autumn and is loaded with nectar makes up that the plants are no longer able to provide food for the animal. A word of advice: not only is aster a frequent host flower for caterpillars, but it will also sustain all stages of the butterfly life cycle.

2. The Black-Eyed Susan Flower

Black-Eyed Susan Flower

These virtual sunflowers perennials provide an excellent nectar supply and are a terrific alternative to sunflowers. Coneflowers with black eyes grow readily in the sun and may be found growing wild in many meadows across the Midwest. This daisy will continue to bloom throughout the summer and provide a splash of color to your flowerbed.

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3. Coneflowers With A Purple Hue

Purple Coneflowers

The term "coneflower" refers to a diverse group of flowering plants that develop their petals in the form of a cone. These flowers often grow downward, making it simple to reach the nectar head at their top. Your butterfly garden will benefit from the addition of intriguing color and plenty of nectar if you plant purple coneflowers, which produce thick purple petals.

4. Yarrow [Yarr]


Yarrow is another plant often used in butterfly gardens because it is colorful, bushy, and excellent for insects. It thrives in hot, dry conditions and basks in the sun's rays. Yarrow is a flower that requires little care but produces enormous, beautiful bushels of the plant. Although these butterfly flowers most often seem yellow, there is a wide range of hues available for you to choose from when planting them in your garden.

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5. Joe-Pye Weed

Joe-Pye Weed

The Joe-Pye weed has the potential to produce stunning, one-of-a-kind blossoms that butterflies will like. The Joe-Pye weed plant has sturdy stems and stalks, which can withstand the weight of the enormous blooms that blossom above them. These wild plants, which are often purple or pink, grow natively along the East Coast and in the central region of North America.

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6. Milkweed


However, butterflies are drawn to this plant's nectar because of its protective covering of a poisonous substance that surrounds its stem and prevents many insects from coming into contact with it. The milkweed plant produces blooms in the form of enormous bushes composed of several tiny flowers with multiple petals each. Caution is advised while growing milkweed or maintaining it in any capacity since it has the potential to irritate the skin.

7. Garden Phlox

Garden Phlox

The common garden phlox will eventually produce abundant blooms of variously colored little flowers. This particular kind of phlox is a perennial, which means that it will keep growing in your garden for as long as possible. Phlox, also known as garden phlox, is a plant that blooms in the summer and gives unexpected touches of color and texture to gardens.

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8. Liatris


Liatris flowers have a rugged appearance, similar to that of floss, and they grow like straight stalks that blossom into dense spikey blooms at the top. This peculiar-looking plant will add texture to your landscape while providing butterflies with an easy entry point to the nectar they may feed on.

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9. Shasta Daisy

Shasta Daisy

One of the most common flowers, the Shasta daisy, may be found almost everywhere. Their giant petals bloom throughout the spring and summer months, and they need very little upkeep to return to their full flush of beauty.

Tip: After the flowering season, be sure to cut off any deadheads that have formed on the stems to encourage the healthy development of future blooms.

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10. Blanket Flower

Blanket Flower

The blanket flower's breathtaking bloom, which often resembles dawn, will attract many butterflies. These trailing blossoms contain bold hues like red, yellow, and orange, which are particularly appealing to the eyes of flying insects. Gaillardias, also known as blanket flowers, develop into a flowering shrub ideal for use as a foundational plant in a garden or as a border plant.

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11. Bee Balm

Bee Balm

Because of the abundant nectar and pollen that these blooms produce, many butterfly flowers will also entice bees. Bee balm is one example of an attractive plant that can attract a wide range of winged companions to your yard. There are many different varieties of bee balm, but they all feature long tubular blossoms that attract butterflies, bees, and even hummingbirds. You may select from any of these bee balm species.

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12. Bachelor Buttons

Bachelor Buttons

Bachelor buttons, also known as cornflowers, are beautiful flowers with spiky petals that erupt with long, brilliant petals that can cheer up any garden. These blooms provide an abundance of potent nectar, which will entice a wide variety of butterflies and other pollinators to visit them.

13. Coreopsis, Often known As Tickseed


Flowers pile up as they develop into voluminous dazzling blooms. Coreopsis is most often seen in yellow variants, although it may also have pink or even multicolored petals when it blooms. Plants that produce tickseed are known to attract butterflies. They are simple to care for in hot and dry conditions, and they will impart a vibrant hue to your yard.

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14. Sedum


Sedum is an intriguing shrub that blooms for a more extended amount of time than other bushes and changes color as the season's change. A word of advice: while planting sedum, avoid using rich soil since it might cause the plant to overgrow and cause the flower stalks to break.

15. Flowering Butterfly Bush

Butterfly Bush

This is one of the most well-known flowers for luring butterflies, and you would have guessed that just from its name. Because it produces luscious nectar and is so easily accessible to butterflies, it lives up to its name. Make it a point to cultivate butterfly bushes of indigenous species in your nation.

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16. Vervain


In each species of this broad categorization of flowers, the blossoms are tubular and tiny, making them an ideal food source for butterflies. They thrive in the warm, sunny climate of the southern United States and Canada, where they are most usually found. Verbenas have a pleasant aroma that attracts butterflies due to their nectar-like properties.

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The Very Best Annual Flowers for Butterflies

When you are planting flowers that bloom once a year, you should strive to time their blooming so that they are opposite one another. There must be a replacement set of flowers blossoming at all times so that butterflies are never without food. Annual butterfly flowers offer the additional advantage of bringing a change of color into your garden and providing new sources of nectar for butterflies.

17. Lantana


Lantanas may be tiny, but they pack a lot of color into their blooms. They will provide vibrant shades of red and yellow to your garden when they are in full bloom throughout the summer months. These dawn flowers thrive in sunny locations and dry conditions, and they look beautiful.

18. Zinnias


These flowers develop into an unusual shape over their lifetime, generally producing tiers of petals that encircle the pollen head. There are pollen sprouts that shoot from the bloom, and butterflies may quickly drink from them because of their proximity to the flower. Bright flowers full of nectar and endemic to the southern regions of North America are called zinnias.

19. Cosmos


The cosmos are full-fleshed blooms that open their petals to let flying insects feed on the nectar and pollen. Some kinds of cosmos are perennial, and however, the vast majority only produce flowers once each year. It's helpful to know that this particular daisy prefers hot weather and dry soil.

20. Flower Of The Sun


Sunflowers, which are everyone's favorite brilliant flowers, are enormous pollinators and can add life to your butterfly garden if you plant them. This butterfly attractor will have reached its peak bloom by late summer and will wave the flyer in the wind like a flag. A bonus is that birds of all kinds will be attracted to the sunflower seeds you scatter.

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21. Alyssum


In contrast to some of our other flowers, Alyssum blossoms grow rather close to the ground, and their clusters of white flowers may grow with only a tiny bit of light exposure. Honey-like aromas are always present in an alyssum's presence, regardless of whether the plant is white or purple.

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22. Marigolds


Marigolds come in a wide variety of species with bright colors, abundant flowers, and copious amounts of nectar. They have the form of a daisy and often appear in shades of yellow and red. However, they may also be multicolored. Although the pom-pom marigolds are stunning to look at, it is more difficult for butterflies to get the nectar they produce.

23. Gazanias


Gazanias, known for their vibrant colors, features broad, flat petals surrounding the huge pollen head. After being exposed to the light for a day, butterflies go crazy over it when it opens up. Gazanias are an excellent addition to any garden, but they need a lot of sunshine to display their magnificent patterns and colors. However, the benefits they provide will be well worth the effort.

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24. Gerber Daisies

Gerber Daisies

You are looking at the species of daisy that is most often seen at hardware and home improvement shops. There is a wide spectrum of coloration available for the Gerbera daisy. The sun and dry soil are ideal conditions for the growth of these blooms, and they will enhance the summer bloom in your garden.

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25. Cape Daisies

Cape Daisies

Cape daisies, which often bloom in colder areas, are known for the fantastic shift of color that they bring with them. By planting these daisies, you may make up for the lack of summer bloomers in your garden and provide nectar and food for butterflies in the autumn. There are white variations, blue versions, and many more colorful types of cape daisies.

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26. Petunia


Petunias, trendy houseplants, are excellent sources of nectar and color that attract butterflies. Petunias also smell sweet. As long as you keep the blooms intact, your butterflies will be able to take advantage of the nectar that these bright bell-shaped flowers produce through the summer and into the autumn.

27. Pansies


Pansies are a delightful annual that you can add to your garden, and their early blooming will entice butterflies to emerge from their winter slumber. The shape of the petals of a pansy is essentially identical, yet they always come in a variety of colors to entice more butterflies.

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How To Select Flowers For A Garden That Attracts Butterflies

Before selecting flowers for a butterfly garden, it is necessary first to be aware of the local environment and butterflies and their specific requirements. Not all of the flowers that we have discussed up to this point will thrive in every environment. 

The following is a straightforward, step-by-step process that will assist you in selecting the appropriate flowers for your butterfly garden. Because it is simple, you shouldn't have any trouble carrying it through to its completion, and you can't skip any of the steps!

First, Become Familiar With The Climate In Your Area

Know Your Local Weather

You may determine the typical high and low temperatures in your location by consulting the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map. With this information in hand, you'll be able to choose butterfly flowers that are well suited to your local environment.

Step 2: Obtain Further Information Regarding Butterflies


If you are familiar with the life cycle of butterflies and their behaviors, you will have an easier time selecting flowers that attract butterflies. Zinnias and milkweed, for instance, seem to be particularly attractive to monarch butterflies.

Step 3: Pick Flowers And Plants With Vibrant Colors

Choose Brightly Colored Plants

In a manner comparable to bees, butterflies are attracted to the brilliantly colored vegetation. It is important to have a large number of them in your garden. The most beautiful plants often have flowers that last for a long time.

Step 4: Select Plants That Can Be Planted Together

Opt for Plants You Can Plant Together

If you use this strategy, luring butterflies to your garden will be much simpler, and you'll be able to ensure that they continue to visit. In the same breath, it has the potential to make your landscape seem fantastic by bringing harmony and balance into the space.

The Fifth Step Is To Search For Plants That Are Resistant To Pests

Look for Pest-Resistant Plants

When it comes to a butterfly garden, dealing with pests may be challenging due to the possibility that chemical chemicals will affect the butterflies. Because of this, the most effective strategy is to choose plants that are resistant to pests in the first place to avoid having to deal with them at all.

Is It Time To Grow Some Food For Butterflies?

It is beneficial for your garden area, but it also contributes to the provision of food and the upkeep of the environment when you plant flowers that attract butterflies. In addition, gardening is beneficial to your health regardless of what you choose to grow. Use the samples we've provided you with as a source of inspiration, but don't forget to conduct some study on the kinds of flowers and plants that are widespread in your region before you plant any butterfly flowers. Have you been able to create a butterfly garden with any degree of success so far? Share this information with the other gardeners and us in the community by leaving a comment.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the most attractive flowers for butterflies?

The most successful butterfly flowers are those with vibrant colors and plenty of nectar to provide. They include annuals such as Zinnias, Lantanas, Marigolds, Alyssum, and Cosmos and perennials such as Black-Eyed Susan, Aster, Yarrow, Purple Coneflowers, and Milkweed. Perennials include also include Purple Coneflowers.

What can you do to get butterflies to visit your garden?

Planting flowers native to butterflies in your garden can help bring these winged beauties to your yard. Plant them to form rows or clusters; this will make it simpler for the butterflies to find them and gather around them. Because butterflies like the warmth, you should grow all of these flowers in an area with plenty of sunlight. You should also avoid using pesticides and ensure the weeds are kept under control.

Which hues of flowers do butterflies like to visit?

Butterflies are drawn to flowers with vibrant hues, mainly yellow, orange, purple, pink, or red. The liquid that butterflies seek is called nectar, and many of the plants that come in these hues are excellent providers of nectar.