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15 Colorful Flowers That'll Attract Butterflies to Your Garden

 "Butterflies are flying flowers,

and flowers are tethered butterflies."

Ponce Denis Écouchard Le Brun

As this quote rightly points out, butterflies and flowers were made for each other. After all, while a garden filled with flowers is a joy to be in, nothing compares to a garden filled with fluttering butterflies. Now for the million-dollar question: How can you attract butterflies to your garden?

The first thing to keep in mind is that butterflies predominantly seek nectar. They look for plants and flowers they can feed on, and also look for host plants for their larvae. Sunny, open spaces, shelter from the wind and fresh water are other factors to bear in mind when creating an inviting garden space for butterflies. Here are 15 beautiful flowers you should add to your outdoor space in the hope of seeing more beautiful butterflies.


1. The Butterfly Bush

flowers for butterflies
Also known as Buddleja, these colorful flowers range from white to pink, orange and purple. They attract many varieties of butterflies including commas, mourning cloaks, sulphurs, monarchs as well as several species of swallowtail.

2. Fennel

flowers for butterflies
A swallowtail caterpillar's favorite food.

3. Verbena

flowers for butterflies
Butterflies like sulphurs and zebra longwings are drawn to the nectar of most verbena flower species.
4. Daisy
flowers for butterflies

A wide variety of daisies are the preferred nectaring flowers for butterflies such as the mourning cloak and queen. Daisies also attract painted lady caterpillars.

5. Hollyhock

flowers for butterflies
These pretty flowers are a host food for painted lady, checkered skipper and grey hairstreak larvae.
6. Dogwood
flowers for butterflies
Dogwood tree flowers attract spring azure and American snout butterflies. The leaves also serve as a host food for spring azure butterfly larvae.
7. Snapdragon
flowers for butterflies
These beautiful flowers, known as snapdragons, serve as a host food for the larva of the common buckeye butterfly.
8. Purple Coneflower
flowers for butterflies
This well-known flower is renowned for its immune-boosting and anti-depressant properties. It is also an attractant for the common wood-nymph butterfly.
9. Mustard
flowers for butterflies
Mustard is predominantly known for its seeds and greens for culinary use. However, it is also a favorite nectar plant of the falcate orange tip butterfly.
10. Passion Vine
flowers for butterflies
These exotic purple flowers will add a colorful flare to any garden. They will also attract two species, namely gulf fritillary and zebra longwing caterpillars, both of which will feast on the flower's foliage.
11. Sunflower
flowers for butterflies
These summertime flowers provide nectar and host food for most species of checkerspot butterflies and their larvae.
12. Joe Pye Weed
flowers for butterflies
This beautiful flower will attract the swallowtail and fritillary butterfly species because of its nectar.
13. Burdock
flowers for butterflies
This flower is traditionally cultivated for its medicinal properties, which are predominantly found in its root. The Burdock is also a favorite host food for painted lady caterpillars.
14. Vetch
flowers for butterflies
There are over 100 species of vetch, all of which attract American painted ladies, sulphurs and zabulon skippers. The flowers serve both as a nectar for butterflies and as a larva host food source.
15. Stonecrop
flowers for butterflies
Stonecrop is a name given to a variety of low-growing succulent flowers. They are also a favorite nectar plant for the red admiral butterfly.
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Related Topics: tips, nature, flowers, guide, garden, butterflies
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