Monarch butterfly on Butterfly Bush

Bringing Butterflies to Your Garden

Butterflies! Beautiful, ephemeral, almost magical with their well-known metamorphosis from larva to adult. Butterflies are especially meaningful to us at Swallowtail Garden Seeds, as the company is named for the swallowtail butterfly! Butterflies can bring brightly-colored beauty and useful pollination to your garden.

When planting for butterflies, it’s wise to consider all stages of a butterfly’s life and their variety of needs. Butterflies need places to lay their eggs, food plants for their caterpillars, safe places to form chrysalides, and nectar for the adults. Native flowering plants are ideal for butterflies, who in many cases have co-evolved over time with the plants and rely on one another for survival and for reproduction. Consider color and plant type; butterflies tend to be attracted to blooms in bright colors that are clustered with short flower tubes. It’s always best to avoid pesticides or fertilizers in a garden where you wish to encourage beneficial insects of any kind. For more butterfly-specific considerations, see this page at the National Wildlife Federation. For a list of native plants in your area, click here.

The following is a list of annuals, perennials, flowering vines, and herbs that butterflies find irresistible. You’re sure to find some gems on this list as well! For best results, consider a mix of annuals and perennials, and think about providing plants that have complementary bloom cycles, so there’s always something blooming for the butterflies.

Butterfly-Friendly Plants

Butterfly-Friendly Annuals

Butterfly-Friendly Perennials

Butterfly-Friendly Flowering Vines

Butterfly-Friendly Herbs

Written by Emily.