Butterfly Garden Flowers

These vibrant flowers and plants provide nectar for butterflies and create a bold border for your yard.

Photo By: Image courtesy of Monrovia.

©2013, HGTV/Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Image courtesy of East Tennessee Wildflowers

©2010, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2009, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: Image courtesy of www.PerennialResource.com

Photo By: Image courtesy of PerennialResource.com

©2009, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2008, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: Photo courtesy of North Creek Nurseries

©2008, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: Image courtesy of Ben Ford

©2009, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2009, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: Image courtesy of White Flower Farm.

Photo By: Image courtesy of East Tennessee Wildflowers

Photo By: Photo courtesy of ProvenWinners.com

Butterfly Bush (Buddleia)

Butterfly bushes (Buddleia or Buddleja) are large, fast-growing shrubs whose flowers are irresistible to butterflies. Buddleias are easy-care plants, but they’re invasive in some areas. Look for sterile cultivars which don’t set seed and therefore don’t run wild.

Phlox

Phlox is a low-growing, spreading plant that forms a blanket of blooms all summer. Perennial varieties are great for a year-round groundcover.

Coneflower (Echinacea)

Coneflower is one of the best flowers for attracting butterflies. It adds a flashy touch of color to the late summer landscape. Plant echinacea among a low growing perennial bed where showy flowers will stand above the rest.

Lantana

Lantana produces profuse color, showing off clusters of tiny, eye-catching blooms in a variety of hues. Typically grown as an annual, it's an excellent low hedge or accent shrub that you can also train as a standard. It attracts butterflies and tolerates heat.

Bluestar (Amsonia hubrichtii)

Blue star is a perennial that can reach two to three feet in height. It gets its name after it's blue, star-shaped blooms that open up in spring.

Pot Marigolds

Pot marigolds' blooms last up to eight weeks in the summer and are a quick-to-grow plant.

Black-Eyed Susan

Black-eyed Susan is one of the great wildflowers of North America and was one of the first to become a domesticated garden flower. Its showy golden yellow flower head with black centers are a visual delight.

Gayfeather (Liatris spicata)

The gayfeather is an interesting perennial which produces 1 to 3 foot-tall spikes of bright purplish pink or white flowers in late June to early fall. It is an ideal plant to grow in a butterfly garden.

Heliotrope

Heliotrope has a sweet, pungent scent that some liken to the smell of cherry pie. 'Dwarf Marine' features a royal purple color. It is large flowered yet compact and has attractive, dark green foliage and a bushy habit.

Lavender

Lavender is a perennial favorite for gardeners and butterflies alike, producing tall, fragrant spikes of purple blooms. Hailing from the Mediterranean, it's drought-resistant and can take the heat.

Swamp Milkweed

The only food source of Monarch caterpillars and a preferred source of nectar for many butterfly species, including the adult Monarch, there are over 100 varieties of milkweeds in North America. Hardy Swamp Milkweed, shown here, is a good choice for Zones 3-8 but prefers moist conditions till well established. 

Butterfly Weed (Asclepias tuberosa)

A type of milkweed, drought-tolerant butterfly weed isn’t picky about growing conditions. Give it a sunny spot, and you’ll be on your way to a flowery summer. Butterflies, bees and other pollinators can’t resist these bright orange blooms. This perennial pushes through soil in late spring, well after other plants are up and at ‘em. It’s a good idea to mark clumps with a stake to avoid early season digging in that spot. Hardy in Zones 3 to 9.

Flossflower (Ageratum)

Flossflower is an annual that is a member of the aster family. The plants grow easily from seed and with enough water and a little shade, will bloom from midsummer to frost.

Chocolate Cosmos (Cosmos atrosanguineus)

This delightful cosmos boasts dark maroon flowers that—as you might guess—are chocolate-scented.

Agapanthus

Agapanthus comes to life in late summer. It features large, elegant, deep blue bell-shaped blooms that are clustered together on tall, sturdy stems. These showy flower heads stand well above the plant's foliage.

Aster

Aster is an herbaceous perennial that comes in a wide variety of colors. Its daisy-like flowers bloom in late summer and autumn in a sunny site.

Salvia

Salvia produces fragrant foliage and tall spikes of flowers, usually in shades of purple or white. Its nectar attracts butterflies and hummingbirds.

Sea Holly (Eryngium tripartitum)

Sea holly has blue green stems with masses of small, metallic blue flower heads on tall, 4-foot stems. Sea holly is a delight to butterflies a tough plant that is very tolerant of drought.

Hollyhocks

Hollyhocks a favorite for cottage gardens because of their loose, carefree look and beautiful, large blooms that attract bees and butterflies.

Sunflowers

Cheerful, colorful sunflowers attract both bees and butterflies to the garden.

Sedum

Sedum has thick, succulent leaves that withstand drought and rainy weather. The flower buds form early and remain attractive well into winter. Low-growing types are perfect for rock gardens, while taller varieties thrive in perennial borders.

Goldenrod

Goldenrod is a perennial with bright yellow flowers that add color to a late summer garden.

Allium

A member of the onion family, alliums produce large, beautiful blooms on tall stems. Plant these bulbs in the fall for a spectacular spring show.

Joe-Pye Weed

This statuesque plant adds strong architectural interest to your flower border and attracts butterflies by the dozen. Because perennial foliage usually declines after the plants bloom, choosing a late-season bloomer such as Joe-Pye weed ensures you have lush, beautiful foliage all season long. The variety called ‘Gateway,’ shown, reaches up to six feet in height.

Cardinal Flower (Lobelia cardinalis)

This stunning American wildflower loves moist, shady woodland areas and attracts butterflies and hummingbirds for miles around

Penta

Butterflies and hummingbirds can’t resist penta's flowers, which perch prettily atop deep green leaves. Plants grow 18 to 24 inches tall and 10 to 15 inches wide.