Seeds, Fertilizer, Varieties, Spring, Fall
Whether it’s for wedding bouquets or to show sympathy, there is a flower for every occasion. Many popular flowers have special interpretations like roses that represent love and compassion or daffodils representing hope and new beginnings.
There’s little doubt that beautiful flowers attract butterflies. Since butterflies are effective pollinators, landing on a flower is as natural to them as eating is to us. You can probably count on one hand the number of people in the world that don’t like butterflies.
They are one of those species that simply lack distinguishing, negative characteristics. Besides, butterflies are beautiful insects, often stunning, with patterns and colorations that defy belief. With 20% of all butterfly species facing extinction, to one degree or another, gardeners are taking action, creating huge flower gardens to attract butterflies.
The good thing about gardening is anybody can do it. If you live in an apartment with a small balcony, you can still contribute with potted plants and flowers that butterflies love. However, some flowers stand out more than others when it comes to attracting butterflies. Make sure you include these as you build your butterfly paradise.
1. Bee Balm
Bee balm is a stunning little flower and surprisingly so, given the simplicity of its features. It’s a perennial flower that blooms tubular, bright red pedals in a small patch. Bee balm will attract more than just butterflies as well since hummingbirds love this particular plant. Its tubular petals are perfect for the hummingbird’s long and narrow beak.
There are many advantages to growing bee balm, besides its ability to draw butterflies. It’s easy to grow and maintain, has a minty sweet aroma (in the mint family), and its petals are great for making tea. Not bad for a plant that will help fill the area with butterflies, lazy bumble bees, and hummingbirds!
It’s hard not to love this gorgeous flowering plant since it offers so many benefits. First and foremost, it’s high on the list of beautiful flowers that attract butterflies. As another member of the mint family, lavender flowers feature a sweat aroma that is thought to create an ambient atmosphere of relaxation and slumber.
They grow best in hardiness zones 5 to 10, need plenty of sunlight, and light drainage. Butterflies love the faded purple flowers that grow in a stack-like stalk projection. Plus, you can keep the petals for drying, for a DIY potpourri inside your home.
If you’re looking to stick with a purple theme, lavender and floss flowers make an excellent pairing. Floss grow in patch-like blooms, similar to bee balm, but with faded purple colorations and flat, narrow petals. Since floss maintains its bloom well into the cooler months, butterflies tend to seek them out just prior to winter.
Floss flowers are very easy to grow and maintain and you can grow them just about anywhere, with a hardiness factor that includes zones 2 through 11. They’re also very versatile. You can grow them in pots, gardens, long narrow containers, or even in rock gardens. All they need is about 3 parts sun to 2 parts shade, along with a moderate volume of water in the morning.
4. Russian Sage
Sticking with the faded purple theme, Russian sage is another butterfly favorite. However, these flowers are best when grown in a garden with plenty of room all to themselves. As you can see by the above picture, this plant would struggle in a pot on a porch.
Their long, bristly petals will attract butterflies all day long and then some. These perennial growers are very showy and, if you catch them in the right light, reflect a silvery sheen laced in faded purple. Butterflies and bees of every variety will practically swarm to Russian sage in its full splendor.
Purple and silver colors aren’t the only beautiful flowers that attract butterflies. The Daylily is exactly what it sounds like and its fiery blossoms draw the eye immediately. The term ‘daylily’ might elicit comparisons between its flame-orange colorations but it really means the amount of time the blossoms last.
That’s right—a single day. However, the blossoms just keep coming even as the one before it fades away. Daylilies thrive in zones 4 through 9 and are fiercely attractive to both butterflies and bees throughout the spring and summer. However, if you happen to own cats, keep them away from your daylilies as they are poisonous to your furry felines.
6. Black-Eyed Susan
One of the most simplistic yet highly attractive flowers on our list is the black-eyed susan. It’s an apt name since the dark (nearly black) center juxtaposed against bright, yellow petals is highly attractive. Not only are they appreciated by humans but butterflies love them as well.
Another reason black-eyed susans made the list is how easy they are to grow and maintain. You can have these pretty flowers on your front porch, back deck, on the window sill, or in the garden. Wherever it is, black-eyed susans will draw in butterflies like light draws bugs in the dark.
It may sound like something you cook in the oven but the hibiscus plant blooms blazing yellow flowers that fade into a glowing orange center. Like Russian sage, hibiscus is best when allowed plenty of breathing room to grow. They can reach up to 8′ in length and the flowers are huge.
Hibiscus is one of the most beautiful flowers to attract butterflies with and they are easy to grow and easier to maintain. Hibiscus does well in full sunlight. However, if shade reaches them in the latter part of the day for an hour or two, it will do fine.
Dahlia is another huge flower, with fiery red petals packed into a dense, half-sphere. They’re a little limited on where they can grow, however, with zones 9 through 11 being the limit in either direction. It’s also a more difficult plant to maintain.
To keep this enormous flower going each year, gardeners have to dig up the tubers once the flower is done for the year and replant them in the springtime. Like many of the larger flowers on this list, dahlia draws in hummingbirds and butterflies amazingly well.
While it doesn’t sound like the most beautiful flower to attract butterflies with, milkweed is far more than its name suggests. Not only is it a stunningly beautiful, flowering plant, but it’s also a major necessity for monarch butterflies. Their petals are capable of blooming in clusters of 50 to 100, in a wide variety of colors as well.
Milkweed is known to be somewhat toxic, so it’s a good idea to keep pets away from the flower if they show any interest in the flowers. It’s certainly not poisonous to butterflies and, once it’s in full bloom, caterpillars, butterflies and (more importantly) monarch butterflies will become common sights.
Snapdragons have a unique shape and are abundant in a wide number of colors, including purple, pink, yellow, red, orange, and more. Snapdragons grow best in zones 7 through 10 and they are surprisingly easy to grow and maintain.
However, they do require premium soil and the rest of their care involves simple, daily watering. Since butterflies are highly attracted to bright, vivacious colors, they won’t be able to help themselves if they come across freshly blooming snapdragons in your garden.
Final Thoughts On Beautiful Flowers That Attract Butterflies
Butterflies love color—the bigger and grander, the better—and are highly attracted to these sorts of flowers. Since many butterflies are awash in their own bright colors, a diverse flower garden is capable of becoming a playground of shifting, vibrant colors.
Many butterflies are also endangered, so growing a garden to attract butterflies will do much to continue propagating the species.