Butterfly plants for your garden

Some suggestions provided by Rick Mikula


There are many choices of butterfly-friendly plants so think of your garden as a fresh canvas, your spades and pitch forks are brushes, and your choice of flowers whether they are annuals or perennials as your palate, and then paint yourself a masterpiece.


PERENNIALS

Asters
Bee Balm-Bergamot
Butterfly bush (buddleia)
Butterfly weed
Coreopsis
Hollyhock
Lavender
Lupine
Mints
Passionflower
Phlox
Purple coneflower
Salvia
Shasta daisy
Thistles
Violet
White or Red clover
Yarrow
BLOOMING PERIOD

late summer to fall
summer through fall
mid-summer to fall
summer through fall
all summer
summer
summer
late spring to early summer
all summer
summer to fall
all summer
late summer into fall
summer into fall
summer
late spring through fall
spring
summer
mid to late summer

BIENNIALS

Black-eyed-Susan
Red Clover
Queen Anne's lace
Sweet William
BLOOMING PERIOD

summer to fall
summer
late spring through fall
spring through early summer

ANNUALS

Alyssum
Candy Tuft
Common Stock
Cornflower
Cosmos
Dianthus
Heliotrope (perennial in South)
Impatiens
Lobelia
Marigold
Mexican sunflower
Nasturtium
Parsley
Sage
Salvia
Scabiosa
Sweet William
Verbena
Zinnia
BLOOMING PERIOD

summer to mid-fall
spring to summer
spring to summer
summer
late summer to fall
spring to fall
late spring to summer
summer through fall
summer into fall
summer into fall
summer into fall
late summer
green from spring to fall
summer to fall
summer through fall
summer through fall
summer into fall
spring to fall
mid-summer to fall

SHRUBS

Shrubs and trees are great for the butterfly habitat they can provide much needed protection from wind and predators. If you happen to live in a windy area place you higher growing plants in a position to block the garden from the wind. You will also notice that many tree are also host plants to many butterflies and a large population of moths.


Button Bush (Cephalanthus)
Caryopteris (Caryopteris)
Crown Flower (Calitropis)
Firebush (Hamelia)
Honeysuckle (Lonicera)
Lilac (Syringa)
Mock-Orange (Philadelphus)
New Jersey Tea (Ceanothus)
Powder-Puff (Calliandra)
Spicebush (Lindera)
Trumpet vine (Campsis)
Viburnum (Viburnum)

TREES

Trees serve many purposes for butterflies and many of the Swallowtails use then as host plants. They can add structure and aesthetic flow to your design. Can you center your garden around the existing trees provide shade and privacy? Trees are there for a long time and costly to remove later, so think about them before you plant. Willows should not be placed near water pipes. The roots will crush them as they search for water. Willows will also drip all over your car with messy dew that is horrible to remove. Many towns also have shade tree commissions with tons of rule and regulations concerning their plantings. Annuals are one thing, but a tree is going to hang around for a while. So decide and choose them cautiously.

Aspen
Bottlebrush
Cherry
Citrus
Elms
Eucalyptus
Hackberry
Live Oak
Oak
Sweet Bay
Tulip Popular
Willows

CONTAINER PLANTS FOR FULL SUN

Center
Heliotrope
Aster
Hibiscus flower
Lantana
Pentas
Globe Thistle
Foxglove
Lavender
Middle
Verbena
Snap dragon
Marigold
Zinnia
Nicotiana
Dahlia
Stonecrop
Thrift
Edge
Alyssum
Vinca vine
Straw
Portulaca
Gypsophila
Pincushion
Violet
Pansy

HERBS FOR BUTTERFLIES

Anise
Basil
Bee Balm
Borage and Burdock
Parsley/Caraway/Dill/Fennel/ Lavender
Yarrow

HOST PLANT TO:

Anise & Black swallowtail


Painted Lady
Black and Anise swallowtails

Sulphurs and White

Clover
Dock
Wild Ginger
Hop Vine
Hyssop (water)
Marjoram
Mallow
Mints
Mustards
Nasturtium
Nettle
Pennyroyal
Plantain

Rue
Sage
Sassafras
Thyme
Vervain
Violet
Coppers
Pipevine
Tortoise Shell, Red Admiral
White Peacock
Sootywings
Painted lady, Hairstreak, Skippers
Gray Hairstrerak, Smaller lantana
Orange Tips, Marblewings
Cabbage White, Spring Azure
Question Mark, Comma, Red Admiral

Variegrated Fritillary, Checkerspots, Buckeye,
Black and Giant Swallowtail

Spicebush and Palamedes Swallowtail


Checkerspot

Fritillaries

Here is a list for Alaska.

ALASKA FLOWERS

Indian potato (Hedysarum alpinum)
Dame's rocket (Hesperis matronalis)
Wild sweet pea (Hedysarum Mackenzii)
Shasta daisy (Chrysanthemum maximum)
Tall Jacob's ladder (Polemonium acutiflorum)
Shirley poppy (Papaver rhoeas)
Dwarf Jacob's ladder (Polemonium pulcherrimum)
California poppy (Eschscholzia californica)
Strawberry spinach (Chenopodium capitatum)
Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)
Yellow hawkweed (Hieracium scabruisculum)
Rocky Mountain penstemon (Penstemon
Goldenrod (Solidago multiradiata) strictus)
Burnet (Sanguisorba officinalis)
Wild chamomile(Tripleurospermum
Yarrow (Achillea borealis) inodoratum)
Siberian aster (Aster sibiricus)
Wild iris (Iris setosa)
Arctic lupine (Lupinus arcticus)
Arnica (Arnica alpina)

Here is a list that Hummingbirds and Butterflies will share


Butterfly Bush
Bee Balm
Flowering Tobacco
Trumpet Vine
Morning Glory
Verbena
Lupine
Scarlet Sage
Nasturium
Fox Glove
Hibiscus
Tulip Tree Popular
Lantana
Zinnia
Hollyhock
Butterfly Weed
Phlox
Sweet William
Scarlet Runner bean
Cardinal Flower
Honeysuckle
Azaleas

This information was provided by Rick Mikula our butterfly expert a.k.a. the Grandfather of Butterflies.

Thanks Rick for your expert knowledge.


See also:

Rain Gardens suggestions from Rick Mikula
(Ask a Mentor article - IBBA Member Password required)


butterflyding

gardending
butterfly graphic

butterfly graphic


International Butterfly Breeders Association, Inc.


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