Attracting Butterflies

How can you bring the beauty, spirit and vitality of butterflies to your landscape?

Make your garden a great haven for various forms of wildlife. Butterflies are not only beautiful, but they can be very beneficial: they are excellent pollinators, essential if you are growing vegetables, have fruit trees or if you want seeds from your ornamentals.



There are certain plants that will attract butterflies to your garden. For example, the aptly-named butterfly bush (Buddleja americana) is beloved by both birds and butterflies. Butterflies can’t help themselves around the heavenly purple blooms. Butterflies love sweet, brightly colored flowers: bee balm (Monarda fistulosa), coneflowers (Echinacea sp.), milkweed (Asclepias sp.) and zinnias (Zinnia sp.) will all attract butterflies. It is a good idea to plant an assortment of flowering plants, shrubs and trees to attract a variety of different species of butterfly.



For best results, plant perennials in a sunny and warm location. Adult butterflies seem to be more attracted to flowers that grouped together in a single variety or color. (Scientists have found that butterflies are near-sighted and are more easily attracted to a large block of color.) Plant a variety of flowers that will bloom from late spring through autumn—especially, for those late, migrating butterflies.