Creating a Butterfly Haven: Top Plants for Your Butterfly Garden

Creating a Butterfly Haven: Top Plants for Your Butterfly Garden

Here’s a Butterfly Garden Guide for Creating a butterfly-friendly garden is a great way to attract these beautiful pollinators while also supporting their habitats. Here are some butterfly-friendly plants that thrive well in Idaho and can be featured on your gardening blog:


  1. Milkweed (Asclepias spp.) – Essential for monarch butterflies, milkweed serves as a host plant for their caterpillars and provides nectar for adult butterflies.
  2. Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea) – A hardy perennial that attracts various butterfly species with its nectar-rich flowers.
  3. Black-Eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta) – Bright yellow flowers that are attractive to butterflies and easy to grow.
  4. Bee Balm (Monarda didyma) – Known for its vibrant red, pink, or purple flowers, bee balm is a favorite of butterflies and hummingbirds.
  5. Liatris (Liatris spicata) – Also known as blazing star, this plant produces tall spikes of purple flowers that butterflies love.


  1. Zinnias (Zinnia spp.) – These colorful flowers are easy to grow and are highly attractive to butterflies.
  2. Marigolds (Tagetes spp.) – Bright and cheerful, marigolds are butterfly magnets and also help repel garden pests.
  3. Cosmos (Cosmos bipinnatus) – Delicate, daisy-like flowers that come in a variety of colors and attract butterflies and bees.
  4. Lantana (Lantana camara) – A sun-loving plant with clusters of brightly colored flowers that butterflies adore.
Annuals Butterfly Garden Guide

Shrubs and Trees

  1. Butterfly Bush (Buddleja davidii) – Aptly named, this shrub is highly attractive to butterflies with its long, fragrant flower spikes.
  2. Lilac (Syringa vulgaris) – Offers early-season nectar for butterflies and has a lovely fragrance.
  3. Spicebush (Lindera benzoin) – A host plant for the spicebush swallowtail butterfly and also provides nectar for other species.
Creating a Butterfly Haven: Top Plants for Your Butterfly Garden


  1. Lavender (Lavandula spp.) – Not only does lavender provide a calming scent, but its flowers are also a favorite of butterflies.
  2. Thyme (Thymus spp.) – This low-growing herb produces small flowers that attract butterflies and other pollinators.
  3. Dill (Anethum graveolens) – A host plant for swallowtail caterpillars, dill also attracts butterflies when in bloom.
butterfly garden guide

Tips for a Butterfly-Friendly Garden

  • Plant in Sunny Spots: Butterflies are cold-blooded and need the warmth of the sun to fly and feed.
  • Provide Water Sources: Create shallow water sources like birdbaths with rocks for butterflies to perch on.
  • Avoid Pesticides: Pesticides can harm butterflies at various stages of their life cycle. Opt for organic gardening practices.
  • Include Host Plants: Host plants are essential for caterpillars. Plant a variety of them to support the entire butterfly life cycle.
Creating a Butterfly Haven Top Plants for Your Butterfly Garden (4)