Flowers that Butterflies Love

10 Easy Care Plants That Butterflies Love

Looking for ways to attract butterflies to your garden? Plant these 10 easy-care plants that butterflies love.

I can’t believe summer is half over already!

Before you know it, fall planting season will arrive, so it’s time to start thinking about things you want to add to your garden now.

Since I’m often asked about plants that attract butterflies, I created a top 10 list of easy-care perennials that they love.

When I started my flower garden, it was really important to me to attract pollinators.

Before planting, I researched butterfly and hummingbird attracting plants that grow well in my area to entice them to my yard.

Thankfully, there are lots of gorgeous flowers that attract both so this list is a great start to having a pollinator garden.

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Monarch Butterfly and Coneflowers
Monarch butterfly enjoys my coneflowers on a sunny day.

Why Should I plant a Butterfly Garden

Planting a butterfly garden not only attracts butterflies but also hummingbirds.

Every butterfly garden has bright and beautiful nectar loving plants that feed both butterflies and caterpillars.

How Much Sunlight Do Butterfly Gardens Need?

Butterfly gardens need full sun because the flowers that attract butterflies need full sun.

And the butterflies themselves need the warmth from the sun to warm their muscles for flight.

Tips to Attracting Butterflies with Plants

  • Select plants with varying bloom times so butterflies are fed from spring through fall. Check the plant tag for bloom times. Butterflies are drawn to clusters of like colors so it is important to plant enough of the same flowers together.
  • Butterflies favor native plants.
  • Where possible, avoid pesticides in your gardens because they can wipe out butterflies and other pollinators.
  • Butterflies are drawn to brightly colored purples, blues, yellows, whites and pinks.
  • Focus on plants with multiple florets as well as composite flowers, because they can get more nectar at one time.
  • Avoid double flowering varieties because they carry less nectar.

For more information about butterfly gardens, read this.


My Top 10 List of Easy Care Plants that Attract Butterflies

In my gardens, butterflies love:

  • Bee Balm
  • Echinacea
  • Butterfly Bush
  • Butterfly Weed
  • Liatris
  • Coreopsis
  • Black-Eyed Susan
  • Tall Phlox
  • Sedum Autumn Joy
  • Joe Pye Weed

And the best part?

Most of these blooms over the course of a few months, so your garden will bloom from spring through fall.

While most of the plants on this list will do well in a range of zones, keep in mind that I garden in hardiness zone 6a New Jersey.

Before planting, check your hardiness zone to be sure these plants will do well in your climate.

Bee Balm

Butterflies love bee balm.

They cover my flowers when they are in full bloom.

And the bright colors of the flowers brighten up summer borders.

Butterfly Garden

Echinacea (Coneflowers)

Coneflowers are so gorgeous aren’t they?

Each year when they bloom I am just in awe.

They are perfect for the cottage garden.

And the butterflies go crazy for the nectar.

Butterfly Garden

This is one of many monarchs that enjoy my echinacea.

I’ve been growing these coneflowers here for years and they’ve really taken over the area.

So I plan to divide them and move them around in fall.

Butterfly Garden

Butterfly Bush

To grow a butterfly bush is to love a butterfly bus.

They bloom all summer long and will be covered with butterflies.

Not to mention, they grow quickly after planting.

And look so gorgeous.

Butterfly Bush

I just planted Grande Cascade in the garden this year.

And I can’t wait to see how it blooms!

I was given this pretty beauty from Walter’s Gardens.

Butterfly Weed

Butterfly weed is so pretty isn’t it?

The brightly colored orange flowers add lots of color to the garden in summer.

This is my butterfly weed mixed with the gorgeous balloon flower.

Isn’t that a pretty combination?

Not only do the butterflies love butterfly weed, but the monarch lay their eggs on the underside of the leaves.

So be judicious when removing garden debris because they house these beautiful creatures.

Butterfly Weed
Butterfly weed (orange flowers) and balloon flower.


I used to have so much more liatris in my garden.

But through the years, it petered out.

I need to add more because liatris adds a lot of visual interests with it’s spikey blooms.

And the butterflies love them all summer long.

Photo from Walter’s Gardens.

Liatris comes in a variety of colors and are pretty hardy where I live.

They are beautiful in a cottage garden.

And are a must-have plant in the summer garden.

Summer Garden Flowers that Butterflies Love
Liatris ‘Kobold Orginal’ from Walter’s Gardens.

Moonbeam Coreopsis

I’ve had a love affair with moonbeam coreopsis since I started gardening.

The dainty yellow flowers are so pretty.

And the plants are very easy to care for.

Butterfly Garden Flowers

I have Moonbeam Coreopsis in almost every garden because it is so easy to divide.

Here it is in my cutting garden.

Doesn’t it look great with my kids’ old tricycle too?

Butterflies are attracted to the bright yellow blooms.

So it’s a must-have flower in a butterfly garden.

Moonbeam Coreopsis in Summer Flower Arrangement
Moonbeam coreposis in a fresh cut flower arrangement.

Black Eyed Susans (Rudbekia)

Black eyed susans are one of my favorite summer garden flowers.

They are super easy to care for.

Divide easily.

Look gorgeous in the garden.

And the butterflies love them!

Summer Garden Flowers that Butterflies Love
Black-Eyed Susans and Tall Phox

Tall Phlox

I’ve been growing tall phlox for several years.

The butterflies love these blooms.

Here in New Jersey, they can get afflicted with powdery mildew easily.

But last summer, I was applying an organic fungicide pretty regularly, and the blooms lasted SO MUCH longer.

Garden Flowers that Butterlies Love

I love the fuschia colored tall phlox in this bed.

I don’t know the variety of it, but it looks so good when it blooms with that smoketree foliage.

Sedum Autumn Joy

Sedum Autumn Joy is one of my favorite perennials because it is a four-season, easy-care, easy to propagate, plant.

Do not overlook this one for your garden if it grows in your hardiness zone.

Because it is a workhorse in the flower garden.

And the butterflies go crazy for the nectar.

Preparing the Flower Garden For Fall Plantings

Joe Pye Weed

Joe Pye does so well and is super easy to care for.

It grows so tall.

And the butterflies cover them while they bloom and as the flowers fade.

They are a must-have flower that adds lots of visual interest to the garden too.

Woodland Garden Ideas

Joe Pye Weed attracts lots of pollinators.

The butterflies and bees love them and they are super easy to propagate.

I have this perennial in almost all of my gardens.

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10 Easy Care Plants that Butterflies Love

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