Plants To Attract Butterflies

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As gardeners we have the opportunity to grow many plants which will provide a nectar source for these beautiful insects. This also helps towards their conservation since many natural butterfly habitats have been lost to urban development. To increase the number of species that visit, plant lots of different nectar plants. Plant several of the same species together and deadhead regularly. This helps provide nectar for longer. Mulching plants and ensuring healthy growth will not only benefit you the gardener but helps the butterflies too as plants that have sufficient moisture produce far more nectar than those growing under parched conditions. Sunny, sheltered areas in the garden are ideal places to grow nectar plants as butterflies like warmth. Try to provide nectar from spring to autumn, as this will feed them throughout the season. Butterflies that hibernate need spring flowers on which to feed after their winter sleep and autumn flowers to allow them to build up reserves for winter. Try to avoid spraying chemicals, as butterflies are very susceptible to insecticides and pesticides. Find out more about butterfly conservation at

The following are a list of plants we would recommend as a good nectar source.

  • Achillea
  • Agastache
  • Ajuga
  • Armeria
  • Aster
  • astrantia
  • Aubretia
  • Bergenia
  • Calamintha
  • Centaurea
  • Centranthus (Red flowered)
  • Cephalaria
  • Ceratostigma
  • Cynara
  • Dahlia (Single flowered)
  • Dianthus deltoides
  • Echinacea
  • Echinops
  • Erigeron
  • Eryngium
  • Erysimum
  • Eupatorium
  • Hesperis
  • Hyssopus
  • Iberis
  • Inula
  • Knautia
  • Lavandula
  • Liatris
  • Ligularia
  • Lunaria
  • Lychnis
  • Lysimachia
  • Lythrum
  • Melissa
  • Mentha
  • Nepeta
  • Origanum
  • Persicaria
  • Phlox
  • Polemonium
  • Primula
  • Scabiosa
  • Sedum  
  • Solidago
  • Thymus
  • Verbena
  • Viola

And finally.....

Please don’t forget about MOTHS. Many are equally beautiful and in the UK we have many more moth species than butterflies. Our garden birds rely on them as a food source too. Moths love plants which provide their scent late in the day and evening e.g. tobacco plants, night scented stocks, jasmine and honeysuckle.


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