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A garden filled with bold clusters of flowers makes for a breathtaking sight. But it becomes even more stunning with butterflies flitting from plant to plant, showing off their colourful wings.

Butterflies are highly beneficial to the environment. They’re chief pollinators, which means more opportunities for flowers to bloom and plants to grow. But as their numbers in the wild dwindle, we can do something about it – in our own gardens, too!

Some excellent plants to attract butterflies include bottlebrush, daisies, grevillea, lavender, and wattle. You can also entice them to lay eggs in plants such as crepe myrtle, snapdragons, and native violets.

Ready to make a successful butterfly garden? Attract your local butterfly species with fragrant foliage and watch your garden fill with pretty flowers – plus all the colour and life you could ask for.


Benefits of a Butterfly Garden

butterfly in a lavender garden

Butterflies are essential to the ecosystem. They’re natural pollinators, so they’re integral to the reproduction and spread of many plants. Butterflies do this by transferring pollen from one plant to another as they drink the nectar from flowers.

Moreover, with this pollination, more flowers mean more fruits – and also more seeds! If you grow fruit-bearing trees, you’ll adore having butterflies flit around. After all, it means a healthy garden and harvest.

Butterflies will also encourage a healthy garden with thriving flowers – and what gardener doesn’t want that?


How to Attract Butterflies to Your Garden

Make your garden attractive to butterflies by growing plants that act as both food and shelter at every stage of their life cycle.

Here are some of the best ways to bring in these insects!


1. Grow your butterfly gardens in full sun

butterfly garden

Butterflies love sunlight – you’ll rarely see them in shade.

Plant your flowers and shrubs in a sunny spot that gets plenty of early morning sun.


2. Provide food for caterpillars and mature butterflies

butterflies in the garden

By growing these plants, you’ll be providing food plants for both caterpillars and mature butterflies. Just learn to live with some chewed-up leaves – that means your little friends are happily munching away!

If you use a professional gardening service, you can request that they plant species that attract butterflies and provide food for larvae.


3. Have a ‘muddy puddle’ dish

It acts as a sort of “play space” for butterflies! They’ll come and flit around, and sip water from the muddy puddles.


4. Avoid pesticides

These will drive away butterflies and possibly even kill them or their larvae.

Instead, use natural pesticides like neem oil, which do not affect beneficial insects.


5. Get to know local or national butterfly groups

Search for a nearby butterfly conservation group – your city or state might have one!

They’ll have more knowledge about your local butterfly population, and what plants you can grow in your climate and the environment that is best for these insects.


Butterfly Attracting Plants

orchard swallowtail butterfly

If you’re looking to start a butterfly garden, then you’ll need to grow certain flowers or plants!

These even include native plants, so you won’t have to worry about not suiting the local environment.

FYI – certain native grasses such as kangaroo grass attract butterflies too!


Best plants for butterflies – egg-laying plants

With some plants, you can get mature butterflies to lay their eggs in your garden and attract larvae. These plants include:


Best plants for butterflies – nectar plants

Monarch Butterfly Isolated on Marigold Flower

To attract adult butterflies to your host plants and get them to pollinate, you’ll need to grow nectar plants (or food plants). These include:


Make Your Garden Attractive to Beautiful Butterflies

By growing these plants, you’ll create a stunning space that will let you watch butterflies flock to your garden. This benefits both you and the environment. You can even use the butterflies as a teaching moment for your kids!

Want thriving, flowering plants and a host of gorgeous butterflies – right in your backyard? Try out these butterfly attracting plants and ways to attract butterflies to your garden.

About Author

Jamie Donovan

Jamie is an Australian horticulturalist and landscape designer. He enjoys writing about landscape architecture, garden design and lifestyle topics.


About Author

Jamie Donovan

Jamie is an Australian horticulturalist and landscape designer. He enjoys writing about landscape architecture, garden design and lifestyle topics.