How to Attract Butterflies To Your Garden

Are you wondering how to attract butterflies to your garden? Hillary Truslow of Mass Audbon shares some butterfly facts and garden recommendations:

Part of what makes spring and summer so wonderful is the return of flowers and butterflies. But not just any flowers will do. Different species of butterflies flock to specific flowers. And some, like the Monarch, rely on one species for its existence (one that is showing signs of trouble). Here are some key facts to help you attract butterflies to your garden!

Butterfly + Garden Basic Facts

  • Between March and October, over 100 different butterflies can be found in Massachusetts, but not all at the same time. Mourning cloaks are seen mainly early spring, mid summer and fall; swallowtails are present late May to September; and monarchs June to October.

  • Over 60 different insects, including monarch butterflies, need milkweed to complete their life cycle. These insects not only have adapted to potent chemicals in milkweed, but some use them to repel predators.

  • Nothing blooms all season long, but by choosing plants that flower at different times you can attract a constant stream of butterflies.

Butterfly-Attracting Flowers By Season

Before you head to the garden store, check out this list of types of flowers to plant to attract butterflies depending on the season.

1. Spring Butterfly-Attracting Flowers

  • Chive Blossoms

  • Bleeding Heart

  • Siberian Wallflower

2. Early Summer Butterfly-Attracting Flowers

  • Milkweeds (swamp milkweed, butterflyweed, whorled milkweed, and poke milkweed)

  • Zinnias

  • Verbena

  • Blazing star

  • Garden Phlox

3. Late Summer Butterfly-Attracting Flowers

  • Asters

  • Sunflowers

  • Joe-Pye weed

  • New York Ironweed

Additional Butterfly Resources

Want to learn more about butterflies? Here are some great resources:

How to attract butterflies to your garden

How to attract butterflies to your garden