Tags: gardening | best | plants | attract | butterflies

Gardening: 7 Best Plants for Attracting Butterflies

By    |   Thursday, 22 Sep 2016 09:42 AM

Butterflies bring color and joy to any garden and they are easy to attract. In general, choose plants native to your area that provide nectar for adult butterflies and some that are host plants for larvae.

The National Wildlife Federation says to avoid using insecticides anywhere in your garden as they will indiscriminately kill butterflies and their larvae.

Here are the best plants for butterflies.

1. Milkweed — Also called Asclepias, milkweed is a must for any butterfly garden because it is an important food source for monarch butterflies, says Missouri Botanical Garden. Monarch butterfly populations are in steep decline in part due to the disappearance of milkweed, so choose a native variety and plant in large clumps.

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2. YarrowAccording to Gardener’s Supply, butterflies love this easy-to-grow meadow perennial. Its flowers form flat surfaces on top that are easy for butterflies to rest on while sipping from the nectar-rich flowers.

3. Parsley — National Wildlife Federation says parsley, along with its plant relatives dill and fennel, are important host plants for the Eastern Black Swallowtail. Plant them in your garden and watch for the fat, green caterpillars all season.

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4. Solidago — Also known by its common name, goldenrod, Gardener’s Supply lists this native as an important source of nectar for butterflies. It blooms in late summer and early fall, a time when other nectar sources are becoming scarce and it also makes a nice cut flower for mixed bouquets.

5. Zinnia — These colorful annuals bloom all season, are very easy to grow from seed, and have an old-fashioned flair in the garden. They make Gardener’s Supply’s of important nectar flowers for butterflies and other pollinators.

6. Echinacea — Also called coneflower, this easy-to-grow perennial makes Missouri Botanical Garden’s list of top plants for attracting butterflies. Coneflowers are relatively tolerant of poor soil, drought, and excessive heat.

7. Beebalm — Also known by its scientific name, Monarda, this robust perennial comes in shades of red, pink, and purple. It will form large clumps in the garden and butterflies love its nectar, says Missouri Botanical Garden. As a bonus, hummingbirds can’t resist beebalm either.

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Brande Plotnick is an ambitious home cook, gardener, beekeeper, writer, and speaker who started her website, Tomato Envy, to inspire others to find their deliberately decadent life at home. Brande’s down-to-earth style and approachable manner have been winning over the readers who follow her blog. Her work has been featured in Urban Farm Magazine, Natural Awakenings, Mother Earth News, and the Whole Seed Catalog.

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Butterflies bring color and joy to any garden and they are easy to attract. Here are the best plants for butterflies.
gardening, best, plants, attract, butterflies
Thursday, 22 Sep 2016 09:42 AM
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