Gardening for Butterflies

Fluttering from flower to flower, butterflies are shortlived beauties that bring exciting colour and movement to our summer gardens. Choosing and growing the right perennials and annuals will supply the food they need throughout their lives. Plants with short tubular, brightly coloured flowers are especially popular with butterflies.

Along with growing their favourite plants for nectar, you can also take a few easy steps to encourage butterflies to stay in your yard. Provide a shallow bowl filled with water and a sheltered sunny spot for basking (ie a rock ). You also need to avoid using pesticides of any kind. Use safer techniques such as handpicking and sprays of water to remove pests from your plants. Floating row covers will protect your prized veggies.

Most butterflies have very specific tastes, and increasing the variety of flowering plants gives a dazzling smorgasbord of food and nectar sources.

Perennials loved by butterflies

  • Achillea varieties
  • Aster nova-belgii
  • Aquilegia
  • Asclepias tuberosa
  • Dianthus varieties
  • Echinacea purpurpea
  • Gaillardia grandiflora
  • Iberis
  • Liatris spicata
  • Monarda varieties
  • Rudbeckia hirta
  • Solidago
  • Verbena bonariensis
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