10 Plants to Attract Butterflies

Butterflies are beautiful, delicate creatures that make a garden more vibrant and colorful. But did you know that planting the right flowers can attract butterflies to your yard? 


Here are some of the best plants to attract butterflies: 

Trumpet Vine

Trumpet vines are perennials that bloom in late summer. They grow best in full sunlight or partial shade and are native to the southeastern United States.

They are easy to grow and attract butterflies and hummingbirds to your garden. Passion flowers are perennials, but they may die during winter if temperatures drop below freezing.

Painted Lady Butterfly Bush

This plant is a butterfly magnet with bright yellow and orange flowers. It grows from 1 to 3 feet tall and blooms from early summer through fall. It needs full sun and moist soil; it doesn’t do well in dry conditions. Since this plant grows best in hot climates, it’s not recommended for planting along the coast or anywhere else where there’s a lot of humidity, such as near water or lakes.

The flower coloration attracts all kinds of butterflies. But remember that hummingbirds are also attracted to the nectar within the blossoms. If you are trying to attract specific species of butterflies (and/or hummingbirds), consider planting other flowers they prefer. 

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Purple Coneflower

Purple coneflower is a perennial that thrives in full sun and well-drained soil. Plant it in groups of three or more to attract monarchs, which will lay eggs on the flower stems. Plant purple coneflowers in August or September, when temperatures are warm enough for them to grow, but there’s still plenty of time left for the butterflies to fly around them before winter sets in.


One of the most popular plants to attract butterflies is milkweed. It’s easy to grow, doesn’t need much water, and will live happily in most soils. Milkweeds are perennials; their flowers last for months, providing nectar for the adult monarch butterfly larvae (caterpillars).

Milkweed attracts both butterflies and bees with its clusters of small white flowers. The seeds are also quite attractive to birds. If you want to plant milkweed in your garden but don’t have room for a large patch, consider growing dwarf varieties instead!


Cosmos is an easy-to-grow butterfly magnet. It attracts a wide variety of butterflies and can be planted in full sunlight or partial shade.

You will want to plant your cosmos in early spring, before the last frost date, as they do not transplant well once established. If you don’t have time to grow them from seed, look for young plants at nurseries or garden centers when plants are just beginning to flower.

Cosmos flowers are long-lasting and attractive throughout the growing season with their showy five-petaled blossoms that come in various colors, including white, lavender, and pink; they also produce some seed pods that are great for attracting birds!

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Blazing star

Blazing star (Liatris Spicata) is a native wildflower with a long bloom time and drought tolerance. It attracts butterflies, including monarchs and swallowtails. It can be grown in a container and is not invasive.

Joe-Pye Weed

Joe-Pye weed is a perennial that grows in the U.S. Department of Agriculture – plant hardiness zones 3 through 9. This flowering plant grows up to 6 feet tall and produces pinkish-purple flowers in the summer. It can grow along roadsides, at the edge of forests, and as part of hedgerows or meadows.

Joe-Pye weed attracts butterflies because it has nectar-producing flowers that bloom during their flight season (summer). Butterflies will also lay eggs on this plant because it provides shelter for caterpillars to grow before they turn into butterflies themselves!

Butterfly Weed

Butterfly weed (Asclepias tuberosa) is a perennial herbaceous plant that grows in USDA Hardiness Zones 4-9. This tall, showy wildflower attracts butterflies from all over and provides nectar to feed on. Butterfly weeds can grow up to 7 feet tall with gorgeous yellow flowers that bloom in summer. The flowers of butterfly weed are very bright in color, which makes them easy for insects like butterflies to spot from afar!

There are two types: orange-striped and white-striped varieties. The orange-striped variety has pinkish-purple stems, while the white-striped variety has green stems with white stripes on them.

Swamp Milkweed

If you’d like to attract a wide variety of butterflies, swamp milkweed is the plant for you. Swamp milkweed is a perennial plant native to North America that attracts monarchs, queens, orange sulphurs, and tiger swallowtails (to name just a few). Unlike many other plants with only one type of butterfly visiting them all summer, swamp milkweed can be visited by multiple species at once.

Swamp milkweed grows best in moist areas with full sun exposure. If you are planting it in your garden or backyard area, ensure the soil drains well, so it doesn’t become waterlogged during heavy rains or storms. You can also grow swamp milkweed as an annual in containers on your porch steps or patio if this is not an appropriate location for perennials in your area.

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Black-Eyed Susan

You can plant this perennial in your garden and enjoy the butterflies that come to sip nectar from its bright yellow petals. Black-eyed Susan is a drought-resistant plant that will flourish even if you forget about watering for a few days. It’s also native to North America and naturally grows well in many regions. This plant is a great source of nectar for butterflies. It attracts them by producing large quantities of pollen and nectar throughout the summer.

Planting Flowers Helps Butterflies Thrive

By planting flowers, you can help butterflies thrive. But what makes a plant attractive to butterflies?


Butterflies need nectar from flowering plants in order to survive. Nectar is the sweet liquid produced by flowers that provides nourishment for pollinators such as hummingbirds, bees, and butterflies. Butterflies visit many types of blossoms for nectar, including milkweed (Asclepias syriaca), wild bergamot (Monarda fistulosa), purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea), and goldenrod (Solidago canadensis).

Attract Butterflies

We hope that you have found this article to be helpful. The main takeaway should be that planting flowers helps butterflies thrive. We must do our part as human beings to help our environment, so we can ensure it is healthy for future generations. This means we must protect plants and animals from extinction and preserve natural resources, such as clean air and water. Conservation efforts are more important than ever before in today’s world of increasing population growth on top of environmental problems like climate change.

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