Of the two types of plants you'll need to attract butterflies to your garden, nectar plants usually get top billing. And why not? They add color, style and beauty to your garden while providing the food most butterflies and other wildlife need to sustain life.
For butterflies, presentation is everything so by grouping a number of the same nectar plants together you’ll help butterflies see your scrumptious offering from a distance.
Some nectar plants have the reputation of being favorites to a wide variety of butterflies – plants such as Coneflower, Butterfly Bush, Tall Verbena and Lantana, to name a few. Be sure to check with your local garden organizations for any plants that may be considered ‘invasive’ in your area.
You may want to consider planting nectar plants that are native to your area. They not only can require less maintenance than non-natives but can bring a welcome variety to your gardens. Check with your local garden organizations for a list of the native plants in your area.
Finally, be sure to extend your garden ‘menu’ with your favorite butterflies’ host plants.
Aster (Aster spp.)
Black-Eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta)
Blazing Stars (Liatris spp.)
Butterfly Milkweed (Asclepias tuberosa)
Buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentalis)
Cardinal Flower (Lobelia cardinalis)
Common Milkweed (Asclepias syriaca)
Coneflowers (Echinacea purpurea)
Coreopsis (Coreopsis spp.)
Cosmos (Cosmos spp.)
Dianthus Family (Dianthus spp.)
Lantana (Lantana camara)
Marigold (Tagetes spp.)
Mexican Sunflowers (Tithonia rotundifolia)
Petunia (Petunia x hybrida)
Salvia (Salvia spp.)
Shasta Daisy (Leucanthemum spp.)
Sunflower (Helianthus spp.)
Swamp Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata)
Swamp Verbena (Verbena hastata)
Tall Verbena (Verbena bonariensis)
Thistle (Cirsium discolor)
Violet (Viola spp. )
Woodland Stonecrop (Sedum ternatum)
Yarrow (Achillea spp.)
Zinnia (Zinnia elegans)
Butterfly Bush (Buddleia spp.)