How to attract butterflies to your garden

Looking for a list of plants that attract butterflies or tips for making your garden attractive to these beautiful little creatures? Read on for everything you need to know.


person potting a plant

Butterflies are an important part of our ecosystem and an iconic symbol of summer. Having a garden filled with plants for bees and butterflies can be both great for them and lovely for you to be able to watch these creatures in their natural habitats. If you’ve ever wondered about flowers and plants that attract butterflies or how to make a butterfly friendly space, we’ve got everything you need to know.

Cultivate a ‘wild area’ in your garden where weeds grow freely to encourage butterflies to spend time there.

What plants attract butterflies?

What are the plants butterflies like? The answer to this is any which are nectar-rich. Flowers that attract butterflies are those which have lots of the lovely nectar that butterflies like to drink. So if you want to get some in your garden here are some butterfly-friendly plants you could try:

  • Lavender
  • Bluebells
  • Marigolds
  • Buttercups
  • Oregano
  • Buddleia (also known as the butterfly bush!)
  • Hyacinth
  • Clover
  • Blackberry bushes

How to attract butterflies to your garden

Getting butterflies and other insects into your garden isn’t just about picking plants that attract butterflies, however. There are other things you can do to make it somewhere attractive to these beautiful little creatures. Here are a few other ideas to try:

  1. Avoid pesticides and insecticides, and buy organic plants as much as possible as they won’t have any on their leaves.
  2. Ensure there are some sunny spots in your garden which butterflies will enjoy.
  3. Combine flower beds with open spaces where butterflies have room to fly
  4. Always cultivate a wide range of plants
  5. Leave fallen fruit on the ground as butterflies feed on the sugar.
  6. Let weeds grow at least in one section of the garden.
  7. Chose a selection of flowers that will bloom throughout the year.
  8. Keep plants well-watered, as this helps them to produce more nectar.
  9. Look up the type of butterflies in your local areas and research how to attract these butterflies.
  10. Even if you don’t have a garden, a window box or patio can help attract butterflies. Put flowers that attract butterflies like marigolds, yarrow and lavender in the boxes.

Now you know how to attract butterflies, follow these simple ideas, plant some plants for bees and butterflies in your garden and watch your nature paradise develop!

Key steps

  1. Plant lots of butterfly-friendly plants which are rich in nectar.
  2. Avoid pesticides and insecticide that could harm butterflies or their food.
  3. Cultivate a mixture of plants and flowers so something is blooming in your garden all year round.

Originally published