One of the best ways to get butterflies to visit your yard is to grow the plants that attract them in quick fashion!
Whether you are growing vegetables, fruit or flowers, attracting pollinators like butterflies are a must. Not only do they add intense beauty and interest as they flutter about, they are a plants best friend. And likewise, those plants provide plenty for the butterflies too!
Plants provide shelter, food, and protection for all stages of a butterfly’s life. From giving them a spot for laying eggs to providing food for a growing caterpillar to being a convenient spot to turn into a pupa and finally to giving adult butterflies plenty of nectar, plants do it all for these beautiful winged insects.
In turn, the butterflies help to transfer pollen from bloom to bloom for the plants, producing new blooms, vegetables, and fruit. Butterflies and plants coexist and depend on one another for survival.
In order to bring butterflies to your property, you can grow specific plants and flowers that naturally attract them. These flowers will not only bring in butterflies but other pollinators like bees and hummingbirds as well.
When you include a variety of flowering plants around your property, the higher the chances are that you will attract different butterfly species and provide them a place to call home. Consider growing any of the following plants that are not only beautiful but will have butterflies flying to your property this year!
Six Beautiful Plants That Attract Butterflies
Featuring clusters of tube-like blooms in vibrant colors, lantana is perfect for brightening up any space – and for attracting butterflies. It even grows well in drought-like conditions and thrives in heat of the summer sun.
There are over 150 different species of lantanas. Each plant features an array of colors like pink, orange, red, yellow, and all the hues in between. Lantana will keep on blooming from early spring until the first frost of fall.
While lantana is technically a perennial and thrives in Growing Zones 7 and above, it is normally grown as an annual, especially in cooler locations. Some varieties can have vine-like qualities while others have more of a rounding nature, so it’s easy to find varieties that work for your property.
There are over 60 different species of phlox, but they are all excellent for attracting butterflies, hummingbirds, and other pollinators. Most types are hardy in Growing Zones 4 through 8.
You can find creeping phlox varieties that grow just a few inches tall and work perfectly as ground covers. It can grow in almost all soil conditions as long as the soil drains properly. Grow it next to walking paths, hanging over walls, or cascading along rocky areas.
On the other hand, you can find garden phlox anywhere from six inches tall all the way up to four feet in height. These varieties work well in containers or bordering garden spaces.
Phlox features multiple fragrant blooms in reds, pinks, purples, oranges, whites, and even fun combinations. Most blooms have a star-like appearance that lasts from mid to late summer.
They don’t call it “butterfly bush” for no reason! This heavy blooming flower puts out flower spikes with tons of tiny colorful petals. It will keep on blooming all through summer until fall and attracts all sorts of pollinators besides just butterflies.
There are over 160 cultivators of butterfly bush, and the blooms can come in almost any color of the rainbow. Depending on your location, butterfly bush can grow like a perennial (in cooler locations) or like a deciduous shrub (in warmer climates). It grows best in Hardiness Zones 5 through 9.
Butterfly bush can be considered invasive in some US locations since it has a tendency to reseed easily. Be sure to check your local requirements and deadhead spent blooms if this is a concern. Like most flowers, butterfly bushes require full sun as well as well-draining soil to really thrive.
If you want a plant that can handle almost any growing condition, then coneflowers are the flower for you! Otherwise known as echinaceas, coneflowers are a member of the daisy family. They feature dark rounded centers with multiple petals surrounding them that are great for attracting butterflies.
Different varieties range in size from two to four feet tall. Their blooms are available in shades of purple, red, orange, pink, coral, white, and yellow and they bloom from mid-summer until the first fall frost.
Coneflowers are an easy growing perennial that are drought-tolerant and deer resistant, too. Once they are established, they require little to no maintenance in order to thrive. They are hardy in Growing Zones 3 through 9.
Black Eye Susan
If you are in need of a deer and drought-resistant flower that can also take some heat, then look no further than Black Eyed Susan. This native perennial is one of the easiest flowers to grow due to being so low maintenance.
Their iconic dark black centers and surrounding bright yellow, red, or orange petal are perfect for attracting butterflies to your property. As long as you provide Black Eyed Susans with plenty of sunlight, they will thrive in Zones 3 through 10.
Most varieties of Black Eyed Susan grow up to around two to three feet high and will bloom from June until late August. They work great for areas where you want some height in flowerbeds or around fencelines.
Last but not least is lavender. This fragrant flower is well-known for its calming and peaceful aroma. The lavender scent lingers while the plant is actively growing in addition to long after it’s cut and dried.
Lavender is actually a perennial herb that can be planted directly in gardens or in pots and containers. It blooms with its iconic purple spikes during the late summer months.
Not only do lavender blooms smell amazing to people, but they are great for attracting butterflies and all sorts of useful pollinators. In addition, their strong scent can actually repel unwanted pests from your property as well. Pests like fleas, ticks, moths, and even mosquitoes typically steer clear of this fragrant flower.
Most lavender varieties are hardy in Zones 5 through 9. You can grow it in almost any soil condition as long as the soil is not overly nutrient-dense. Also, avoid soil that doesn’t drain well and amend clay-like soils when planting lavender.
All of these flower varieties will add beauty, color, and visual interest to your flower and garden spaces this year. At the same time, their vibrant blooms will also help to attract butterflies and all sorts of other pollinators to your property – resulting in plants that are healthier, stronger, and more productive in return!
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