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10 Best Flowers to Plant for Butterflies

10 of Best Flowers to Plant for Butterflies

You can have butterfly flowers in your garden just for the pleasure of seeing these insects twirl around. It can also be done for an ecological and environmental purpose. Whatever your approach, here is a selection of 10 flowers to plant in the garden to attract them permanently.

The role of butterflies

Butterflies are pollinators, as are bees. Visiting flowers to feed, they involuntarily carry and deposit pollen grains. Because of this, they play an important role in the reproduction of plants.

Their caterpillars also play an important role for biodiversity because many birds feed on them.

To sustainably attract butterflies, make your garden a welcoming place:

  • Leave a flowery fallow space to see wildflowers grow or plant shrubs and plants that produce nectar, their favorite food source;
  • Install a small corner sheltered from the wind with a water point;
  • Build a pile of dead wood that will serve as a refuge for them in winter;
  • Use phytosanitary products as little as possible, even if they are authorized in organic farming.

Top 10 flowers that butterflies love!

There are a multitude of flowers that butterflies like. They are generally plants that like full sun . Here are 10 of them, selected for their ease of cultivation.

Garden valerian

Botanical name : Centranthus ruber
Height : 100 to 150 cm
Exposure : Sun
Flowering : May to September

10 of Best Flowers to Plant for Butterflies

A perennial plant of the Valerianaceae family, garden valerian forms woody clumps. Easy to grow, it grows on all types of drained land and is drought resistant.

It exists in two varieties: with white flowers (Albus) or with red flowers (Coccineus). Both are melliferous and offer large clusters of flowers that attract day butterflies.


Botanical name : Erysimum cheiri
Height : 20 to 80 cm
Exposure : Sun
Flowering : April to June, very fragrant

10 of Best Flowers to Plant for Butterflies

Originally from southern Europe, wallflower is a biennial butterfly flower. It has been given the name wallflower because of its clove-scented flowers.

Yellow, purple, orange, brown… there are several very colorful varieties. They grow in any healthy soil provided it is well prepared.

The small clusters of flowers hold plenty of nectar, and their bright colors attract pollinating insects like butterflies.

The butterfly bush (Buddleia)

Botanical name : Buddleia davidii
Height : 4 to 5 m
Exposure : Sun
Flowering : May to July

10 of Best Flowers to Plant for Butterflies

Native to Asia, buddleia davidii is a shrub also known as summer lilac because of its flowering period.

The uplifting scent of this mauve-blue flower makes it irresistible, so it attracts many species of butterflies, hence the name butterfly bush.

The great Sedum or Stonecrop

Botanical name : Sedum spectabile
Height : 30 to 50 cm
Exposure : Sun
Flowering : August to October

10 of Best Flowers to Plant for Butterflies

This succulent is part of the Crassulaceae family. It is distinguished by its bright pink flowers full of nectar that all butterflies love. This large sedum forms beautiful clumps of upright stems, covered with beautiful edible succulent leaves.

To flower well, it needs a lot of light and likes sandy, very well-drained soil.

The verveine of Buenos Aires

Botanical name : Verbena bonariensis
Height : 2 to 3 m tall
Exposure : Sun or partial shade
Flowering : All summer, from June to October

Originally from South America (Argentina, Brazil), this perennial plant of the Verbenaceae family is invasive in nature, which is why it is sometimes considered a weed. It can reach a height of about 2.5 m! But there are also dwarf varieties.

Buenos Aires verbena is a bee plant (it produces nectar and pollen in quantity and quality) . It therefore attracts butterflies, in particular the swallowtail swallowtail, and many other pollinating insects.

The goldenrod

Botanical name : Solidago virgaurea
Height : 80 cm to 1.50 m
Exposure : Sun
Flowering : All summer and autumn, from June to November

10  Best Flowers to Plant for Butterflies

The English call this perennial Solidago “Goldenrod”, literally golden rod. That is to say if this flower is bright! There are several varieties, but the classic Solidago is distinguished by its elongated clusters of yellow flower heads. In adulthood, it can reach a height of about 80 cm.


Botanical name : Echinacea purpurea
Height : 1 m to 1.50 m
Exposure : Sun
Flowering : From June to September

10 Best Flowers to Plant for Butterflies

With their petals that fall on either side of a large heart, they are perennials very popular with gardeners. It must be said that Echinacea flower for a long time (all summer) and come in different colors (yellow, orange, pink, red), their flowers offering precious nectar to butterflies.

The Lilac

Botanical name : Syringa vulgaris
Height : 1.50 m to 4 m when adult
Exposure : Sun
Flowering : From April to June

10 Best Flowers to Plant for Butterflies

Lilac is a spring flowering shrub. Its fresh and powerful fragrance is a real attraction for butterflies.

The Pope’s Currency

Botanical name : Lunaria annua
Height : about 1 m
Exposure : Sun
Flowering : April, May, June

10 Best Flowers to Plant for Butterflies

This biennial plant likes acidic or calcareous, fresh, rich, but well-drained soils. Its large oval leaves are very decorative and the nectar from its beautiful cross-shaped flowers attracts butterflies.

The hollyhock

Botanical name : Alcea rosea
Height : 1.80 m to 2.50 m
Exposure : Sun
Flowering : All summer, from June to November

10 Best Flowers to Plant for Butterflies

The hollyhock is a perennial and hardy plant. Its high stem is covered with flower buds that gradually open upwards. It appreciates limestone soils and tends to find its place at the bottom of the massif.

Other flowers to see butterflies in the gardens again

Of course, the selection of previous plants is far from exhaustive. Many other flowers are pleasing to butterflies: blue passion flower, Queen Anne’s lace, milkweed, alfalfa, field knautia, sweet carnation , mustard, sunflower, daisy, flowers clerodendron…

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