First, before you start selecting your butterfly garden plants, there are a few basics you should keep in mind. Butterflies tend to be most active in the mid summertime, so choosing plants that bloom is ideal. You want to pick plants that produce a lot of nectar – this will keep many different colonies of butterflies passing through your garden. Plants that require full sun are the best choice – butterflies prefer to stay in the sun in this way and don’t tend to go in the shade to feed. Above all else, remember to avoid using any chemicals on your plants. Chemicals like pesticides and insecticides are toxic to butterflies, so you’ll end up killing the creatures you want to attract.
There are hundreds of options for a butterfly-attracting garden. Five plants you should make a priority are Butterfly Weed (Asclepias tuberosa), Butterfly Bush (Buddleia davidii), Butterfly Lily (Hedychium coronarium), Butterfly Peas (Clitoria ternatea) and Passion Flower (Passiflora incarnate). These flowers are all favorites of butterflies and have shown themselves time and time again to be ideal for a butterfly garden. They are all perennial flowers.
The five plants listed above may have a proven track record of being top butterfly attractions, but that doesn’t mean they are right for your garden. When you are picking your plants as a priority, you have to choose plants that thrive in your geographic region. Weather conditions are a paramount consideration – even if a plant does an excellent job of attracting butterflies, if it doesn’t grow well where you live, you will be fighting a losing battle. Any gardening center or greenhouse in your town should be able to give you advice about the best butterfly plants to add to your garden for your area.
Another thing to keep in mind when planting a butterfly garden is that for maximum benefit, you don’t want, but you want to attract caterpillars as well. Caterpillars are the bane of many a gardener because they chew on your plants. However, from caterpillars come butterflies, so if you can attract the larvae and then the caterpillars to your garden, you will keep the butterflies