Flowers that Butterflies Love

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.

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 and 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

Butterfly Garden
Butterflies love Bee Balm!

Echinacea (Coneflowers)

Butterfly Garden
This Monarch LOVES the Echinacea in my garden!

Butterfly Garden

Butterfly Bush

Butterfly Bush

Butterfly Bush
I just planted this Buddleia ‘Grand Cascade’ in spring from Walter’s Gardens. I can’t wait to see it bloom!

Butterfly Weed

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


I used to have Liatris in my cottage garden but had to pull it when it was invaded by dodder a few years ago. I need to replant this! Photo from Walter’s Gardens.
Summer Garden Flowers that Butterflies Love
Liatris ‘Kobold Orginal’ from Walter’s Gardens.

Moonbeam Coreopsis

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

Black Eyed Susans (Rudbekia)

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

Tall Phlox

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

Preparing the Flower Garden For Fall Plantings
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.

Joe Pye Weed

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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