The Best Butterfly Plants

I simply love butterflies and the beauty they can bring anytime anyplace. The Butterfly House at Callaway Gardens in Pine Mountain Georgia has always fascinated me and scared me at the same time, because I have never seen so many butterflies in one place at the same time. Now you can create that same colorful atmosphere in your own garden. Plant the best butterfly plants to turn your garden into a colorful fluttering wonderland. Here is a list of some of the best plants that will attract all kinds of butterflies to your garden, and keep it looking colorful and vivid.

New England Aster

These perennials need full sun and will attract butterflies such as the painted lady, orange sulfur, clouded skipper, sachem, swallowtail, Horace’s dusky wing, and a few others.

Host Plants

These plants will feed the caterpillars and give a home to the egg-laying butterflies, so you must include these beauties. Sunflowers, pansies, clover, alfalfa, hollyhock, snapdragons, fennel, marshmallows, and spice bush.

Butterfly Bush

This is a buddleia species that will attract butterflies that are looking for nectar. These will attract American lady, eastern tiger, cabbage white, pipe vine, orange sulfur, cross line skipper, monarch, red banded hairstreak, and black.

Purple Coneflower

Known as Echinacea, will grow in full sun or partial shade. They will attract butterflies such as the little glass wings, wild indigo dusky wings, red spotted admirals, swallow tails, black, orange sulfur, banded hairstreak, clouded sulfur, and sachems.

Butterfly Weed

This is in the milkweed family and will be very tolerant to droughts. It will attract cabbage white, eastern tiger, gray hairstreak, monarch, sleepy orange, silver spotted skipper, and the great spangled fritillary.

Anise Hyssop

This one is also great during drought and can withstand heat. It also will repel deer and rabbits, so if you have those pests around this is a keeper, plus butterflies love them too.


They will do well in beds or in pots. They need full sun and well drained soil. They will repel deer as well as draw birds too. My grandmother always had these in her yard and they will last for years.


Great plant for the hot climates and will do well in droughts. It will attract hummingbirds as well as butterflies, so get ready for the show.

Mexican Sunflower

This bright colorful flower needs full sun and well drained soil. If you want more that just plain old yellow sunflowers this will add color and pizzazz to any garden.


This perky flower will need full sun and well drained soil. Butterflies will flock to it. It will look great planted near fennel.

No matter what you choose to plant in your garden, just keep in mind that if you want butterflies to come they will even if you don’t have the most perfect flowers.

Informative video about creating a butterfly friendly garden.

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