Here's a list of plants that attract butterflies to your garden. Almost all do well in sunny locations. Butterflies tend to be attracted to plants with pink, purple, and blue flowers that have flat topped or rounded forms and shallow cups that allow butterflies to reach nectar easily. It is recommended to amend garden beds with plenty of organic matter such as compost to encourage healthy plants with lots of blooms. Butterflies also love mud puddles, which provide them with essential nutrients. A birdbath can be used for this purpose if you prefer not to have a puddle on the ground. Pieces of fruit left out will also attract butterflies. Pesticide use should be avoided in butterfly garden unless the specific pest can be targeted without harming butterflies or their larvae (caterpillars).
Abelia (Abella chinensis or A. grandiflora)- Shrub. Clusters of bell-shaped pink or white flowers from May-June
through frost. Grows to 3' to 6'. Plant in full sun to half shade.
Balloon Flower (Platycodon grandiflorus) - Perennial. Inflated balloon-like buds open to star-shaped purple, white,
or pink flowers. Plant in sun with afternoon shade. Grows to l' to 3' depending on variety.
Beard Tongue (Penstemon spp,) - Perennial. Spikes of tubular red, pink, white, or purple flowers. Grows to 2'.
Bee Balm (Monarda didyma) - Perennial. Tight, rounded clusters of tubular purple, scarlet, or pink flowers in summer. Plant in sun, if possible, with light afternoon shade.
Black-Eved Susan (Rudbeckia spp.) - Perennial. Showy orange coneflowers in summer. Grows to 2 1/2 ': Plant in sun.
Bluebeard (Caryopteris clandonensis) - Perennial/Shrub. Clusters of small blue flowers in summer. Grows to 2' to 3'. Plant in sun.
Blazing Star. Gayfeather (Liatris spp.) - Perennial. Plumes of fluffy purple or white flowers.
Butterfly Bush (Buddleia davidii) - Shrub. Spikes of purple, pink, blue, white, or orange-yellow blooms in summer. Grows to 5' to 10' or more depending on cultivar.·
Butterfly Weed (Asclepias tuberosa) - Perennial. Broad clusters of bright orange or yellow flowers in summer. Grows to 3'. Plant in sun.
Catmint (Nepeta faasenii) - Perennial. Small but profuse clusters of blue or white flowers in summer.
Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea) - Perennial. Showy pink or white coneflowers in summer. Grows to 3' to 5'.
Coreopsis (Coreopsis spp.) - Perennial. Profusions of yellow, orange, maroon, or reddish flowers in summer. Shear back after first flowering to promote second flush. Grows to l' to 3' depending on variety.
Cosmos (Cosmos spp.) - Annual. Showy, daisy-like summer flowers in magenta, pink, white, orange, and yellow. Grows to 3' to 6'. Plant in sun.
Cupid's Dart (Catananche caerulea) - Perennial. lavender-blue flowers surrounded by strawlike bracts.
Gaura (Gaura lindheimenl - Perennial. Pink or white flowers resemble small butterflies on slender stems with an airy effect. Very free flowering. Grows to 2 1/2' to 4'.
Gazania- Annual. Striped or banded multi-hued daisy-like flowers in red, orange, yellow, burgundy, bronze, and more. Plant in sun.
Globe Thistle (Echinops spp.) - Perennial. Globe-shaped purple flower heads over deeply cut gray green leaves add a great shape element to a perennial border. Grows to 2' to 4'. Plant in sun.
Heliotrope (Heliotropium arborescens) - Annual. Small clusters of purple, vanilla-scented flowers over attractive dark green, textured foliage. .
Joe·Pve Weed (Eupatorium purpureum) - Perennial. Dome-shaped clusters of small, dusty rose flowers in late summer and autumn. Grows to 3' to 9' depending on cultivar. Plant in sun to light shade.
Lantana (Lantana spp.) - Tender perennial. Many clusters of tiny purple, yellow, orange, pink, or multi-hued flowers in summer to frost. 'Ms. Huff' cultivar is generally cold-hardy in our area. Grows to 2' to 4'. Plant in sun.
Lavender (Lavandula spp.) Perennial. Small spikes of purple or lavender flowers over gray-green foliage. Both flowers and foliage are strongly scented and can be used in sachets or dried bouquets. Plant in sun.
Lilac (Syringa spp.)- Shrub. Large clusters of extremely fragrant, pink, purple, lilac, blue, white, or lavender flowers in spring. Grows to 8' to 15'.
Marigold (Tagetes hybrids) - Annual. Globe-shaped flowers in orange and yellow from early summer to frost. Grows to 6" to 18" depending on hybrid. Plant in sun.
Mexican Sunflower (7ithonia rotundifolia) - Grown as an annual. Orange-scarlet, daisy-like flowers with tufted yellow centers from summer to frost. Grows to 3' to 6' depending on cultivar. Plant in sun.
Nasturtium (Tropaeolum hybrids) - Annual. Broad, long-spurred, orange, yellow, red, cream, -pink, or peach flowers with pretty rounded leaves. Dwarf varieties grow to 15" tall. Climbers can grow to 6'. Plant in full sun to light shade.
Pincushion Flower (Scabiosa caucasia) - Perennial. Pink or lavender-blue pincushion shaped flowers in summer. Plant in sun to part shade. Grows to 11/2' to 2 1/2' tall.
Phlox (Phlox spp.) - Perennial. Creeping and upright plants with flowers in pink, rose, red, lavender, purple, white, or blue summer flowers. Plant P. divartcata and P. stolonlfera in light shade. P. panicufata does best in sun.
Poker Plant (Kniphofia uvaria) - Perennial. Spikes of orange, red, and yellow flowers look like red-hot pokers above light green strappv foliage. Grows to 2' to 6' depending on cultivar. Plant in full sun.
Petunia (Petunia hybrids) - Annual. low-growing plants with funnel-shaped flowers in an array of colors and bicolors. Plant in sun.
Rose-of-Sharon (Hibiscus syriacus) - Shrub. Purple, pink, rose, or violet-blue hibiscus-like flowers in summer on spreading, open plants. Grows to 10' to 12'. Plant in sun.
Sage/Salvia (Salvia spp.) - Perennial. Lipped summer flowers in many colors: red, pink, bright blue, yellow, and white. Generally, grows to 2' to 4' depending on cultivar. Plant in sun.
Sedum/Stonecrop (Sedum spectobite, S. telephium) - Perennial. Pink, coppery, or salmon-colored flowers in dense, dome-shaped clusters in late summer to autumn. Grows to 11/2' to 2'. Plant in sun.
Sunflower (Helianthus ann us) - Annual. Orange, yellow, or bronze flowers with small rays and large center "cushions". Grows to 2' to 10' depending on cultivar. Plant in sun.
Sweet Alyssum (Lobularia maritima) - Annual. Low clusters of tiny white, purple, or pink honey-scented flowers. Plant in full sun to light shade.
Sweet Pea (Lothyrus odoratus) - Annual. Wonderfully fragrant, dainty flowers in many hues grow as vines or knee- high bushes. Great cut flower. Plant in sun.
Valerlan/lJupiter's Beard (Centranthus ruber) - Perennial. Pointed clusters of tiny, dusty crimson or rose-pink flowers over bushy foliage. Grows to 3'. Plant in sun to part shade.
Verbena (Verbena spp.) - Annuals and perennials. Clusters of small, pink, red, lavender, or white blossoms in summer. Generally, growing to 6" to 12". Plant in sun.
Yarrow (Achillea spp.) - Perennial. Flat-topped umbels of yellow, white, pink, or crimson summer flowers over light green or gray green finely cut foliage. Grows to 2' to 4' depending on cultivar. Plant in sun.
Zinnia (Zinnia hybrids) - Annual. Cactus-flowered, dahlia-flowered, or crested summer flowers in many colors. Grows to l' to 3'. Plant in sun.