Butterfly Garden Plants

Want to attract butterflies to your garden? Consider these plants that butterflies find hard to resist.

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Photo By: Ball Horticultural Company

Photo By: ProvenWinners.com


The light blue flowers of amsonia appear in late spring to early summer. The willow-like green leaves of this perennial turn golden in fall. Amsonia thrives in partial shade to full sun and will attract butterflies to your garden. Hardy in USDA Zones 3 to 9, depending on species.

Black-Eyed Susan

The prolific, drought-tolerant black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia fulgida) produces dozens of flowers from mid summer to fall. Also called black-eyed Susan, Rudbeckia hirta is an annual.


Want to add a vertical element to your midsummer garden? Consider gayfeather, whose purple, lavender or white spires are like 3-foot-tall exclamation points. Butterflies and hummingbirds are big fans of this sun-loving perennial.


Baptisias, herbaceous perennials native to the Midwest and eastern U.S., bloom in mid spring to early summer, depending on the species and weather. Colors range from yellow to white to blue. Hardiness varies with species and cultivar, from USDA Zones 3 to 9.


Commonly known as lantana, red sage or yellow sage, this lover of hot weather is a natural butterfly magnet.


This small (18 inches tall and wide), shrubby perennial produces its fragrant blooms throughout the summer in blue, lavender, purple or white, depending on the cultivar. Heliotrope prefers moist, well-drained soil in full sun or, where summers are hot, in afternoon shade. Butterflies are attracted to its flowers, which offer a delightful vanilla scent. Bring container plants under cover for winter or take cuttings.

Butterfly Bush

As its common name would suggest, Buddleia davidii attracts butterflies with its lovely blooms of lavender, pink, white, purple, red or yellow. These blooms can appear beginning in early spring and continue until first frost. In full sun, butterfly bush can grow up to 10 feet tall.

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