Butterfly gardening is a fun hobby for many today. Just imagine colorful butterflies flitting around in your flower garden, moving from one bloom to the next and creating a beautiful show just for you! Let’s look at some of the easiest to grow plats for your butterfly garden 🙂
Plants For Butterfly Gardens
Choose these easy care, drought tolerant and generally deer resistant plants for a simple butterflies garden design.
A butterfly garden provides beauty not just in its flowers, but in the fluttering, hovering and dancing butterflies it attracts. Butterfly gardens attract butterflies through the use of annuals, perennials and shrubs butterflies love.
The addition of simple elements such as a butterfly pool which provides moisture for butterflies, creates additional features to attract butterflies to the garden. Choose these simple, drought tolerant and deer resistant plants to create a simple pink and blue butterfly garden. Or, you can select the same or similar shades of flowers for a monochromatic garden design.
Butterfly bush, the ultimate garden shrub for butterflies
Butterfly bush or Buddleia provides the ultimate easy care shrub for the butterfly gardening. With over 100 species and cultivars, there’s bound to be one that’s perfect for the garden.
Butterfly bushes produce abundant clusters of lilac-shaped flowers in hues of white, blue, purple and pink, with bi-colors and multicolored bushes also available. They reseed freely, so be prepared to pull up volunteers from the garden each spring. These volunteers take root easily and can be potted and given away or transplanted to other sections of the garden.
This shrub grows in an ungainly manner; it sprawls, and is best for a natural-looking garden. Many gardeners choose the butterfly bush as the focal point in the butterfly garden, since it will indeed act as a butterfly magnet and attract copious butterflies to the garden.
The flowers exude a sweet scent, but will drop their petals after a heavy rainfall. Butterfly bushes bloom from early summer through the fall. They are deer resistant and thrive in gardening zones 5 through 7 or higher. Since it can soar to heights of ten feet or more, regular pruning is essential to keep it in check.
To create a butterfly garden, select Buddleia in a color that harmonizes with the rest of the garden and use the shrub as the focal point of the butterfly garden design.
Butterfly garden perennials
Several perennial plants add attractive foliage and color to the butterfly garden. Select as many as you’d like from the following list to add to the butterfly garden. Plant in groups of 3, 5 or 7 for a natural look.
Echinacea (purple cone flower)
These hardy perennials are native to the Eastern United States. They produce tall, daisy-like flowers with petals that curve back from a cone-like center. Shades of purple (Echinacea purprea) and white (Echinacea ‘White Swan’) harmonize wonderfully with most colors of Buddleia and attract butterflies as well as some birds to the garden.
A perennial salvia offers a hardy, drought tolerant plant that attracts butterflies and sometimes hummingbirds to the garden. It maintains a low growth habit, although it will sprawl. Tall spires of purple and blue also harmonize wonderfully with most shades of butterfly bush and the other suggested plants for butterfly gardens.
Nepeta or catmint also provides purple to light blue flowers and silvery-gray green foliage. Butterflies love it.
Annuals that attract butterflies to the garden
Many annual flowers attract butterflies to the garden. These are usually easy to sow from seeds. Many of them produce seed pods that can be saved for the next year.
Marigolds produce abundant orange-red or yellow flowers. The yellow flowers add a nice counterpoint to all the blues and purples suggested among the perennials and shrubs for the pollinator garden.
A new variety called French Vanilla produces creamy-white marigold flowers that also make a lovely accent to Buddleia, Salvia and others.
Zinnias offer care-free growth and strong potential to attract butterflies to the garden. Dwarf, tall, and even cactus-flowered varieties add interest to the garden.
Lantana may be a perennial plant in the deep south (garden zones 9 and 10) but is more often than not grown as an annual in zones 8 and through 4 in the United States. Purchase lantana in pots at the garden center. In some cases, you can dig it up, re-pot, and overwinter like a houseplant.
By choosing these plants for the butterfly garden, the average home gardener can grow not only a lovely garden with harmonized, pleasant colors, but a scent-filled delight that attracts many species of butterflies.