Plants that Attract Butterflies

Growing plants that attract butterflies to your garden will help expand the flower population. In addition to being a part of the pollination process, butterflies will also bring color and additional beauty to your property. The trick to attracting these delicate insects is to incorporate flora that will draw them into your yard.


Most species are losing their natural habitats due to human activities, namely land development. Therefore adding plants that feed butterflies not only benefits your garden, it helps sustain the natural world. In turn, these colorful creatures also benefit us. That is, they pollinate about ten percent of the fruit and vegetables we depend on. In fact, the only insect that does more is the bee.


For do-it-yourself gardeners, we have included a list of common butterfly-friendly plants.

Flowers that Draw Butterflies

  • Aubrieta (Aubrieta)
  • Aster (Aster)
  • Baskey-of-gold (Aurinia saxatilis)
  • Bee Balm (Monarda didyma)
  • Bellflower (Campanula)
  • Blanket Flower (Gaillardia)
  • Butterfly Weed (Asclepias tuberosa)
  • Coreopsis (Coreopsis verticillata)
  • Cosmos (Cosmos hybrid)
  • Dame’s Rocket (Hesperis matronalis)
  • Dianthus (Dianthus plumarius)
  • Evergreen Candytuft (Iberis sempervirens)
  • Gayfeather (Liatris spicata)
  • Heliotrope (Heliotropium arborescens)
  • Jacob’s Ladder (Polemonium caeruleum)
  • Japanese Anemone (Anemone × hybrid)
  • Johnny-jump-up (Viola tricolor)
  • Lantana (Lantana)
  • Lupine (Lupinus)
  • Marigold (Tagetes)
  • Meadow Rue (Thalictrum)
  • Mexican Sunflower (Tithonia rotundifolia)
  • Nasturtium (Tropaeolum majus)
  • Petunia (Petunia)
  • Phlox (Phlox)
  • Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea)
  • Red Valerian (Centranthus ruber)
  • Sage (Salvia)
  • Scabiosa (Scabiosa caucasica)
  • Sea Holly (Eryngium maritimum)
  • Shasta Daisy (Leucanthemum × superbum)
  • Stonecrop (Sedum)
  • Sunflower (Helianthus annuus)
  • Sweet Alyssum (Lobularia maritime)
  • Verbana (Verbena x hybrid)
  • Yarrow (Achillea)
  • Zinnia (Zinnia)

Vines that Draw Butterflies

  • Common Hop (Humulus lupulus)
  • Dutchman’s Pipe (Aristolochia durior)
  • Honeysuckle (Lonicera)
  • Passion Flower (Passiflora)
  • Sweet Pea (Lathyrus odoratus)

Shrubs that Draw Butterflies

  • Arrowwood Viburnum (Viburnum dentatum)
  • Butterfly Bush (Buddleia davidii)
  • Bluebeard (Caryopteris x clandonensis)
  • Chaste Tree (Vitex agnus-castus)
  • Germander (Teucrium chamaedrys)
  • Lavender (Lavandula)
  • Mock Orange (Philadelphus)
  • Privet (Ligustrum)
  • Rockrose (Cistus)
  • Rose of Sharon (Hibiscus syriacus)
  • Sweet Pepperbush (Clethra)

Plants that attract butterflies will bring additional color, movement, and vitality to your garden.

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