Top 10 Butterfly Host Plants

Ready to take butterfly gardening to the next level? Plant butterfly host plants to give caterpillars a place to grow!

Nectar plants give butterfly gardens a powerful boost. But they’re not the only key to drawing pretty pollinators to your yard. As your favorite winged beauties transition through their life cycle, many lay eggs on the undersides of specific plants—hosts. Many people know monarchs need milkweed, but there are many other butterfly host plants you should consider adding to your garden. By incorporating some of these, you’ll attract a wider variety of butterflies to your backyard. And now they just might stick around!

Passionflower (Passiflora), Zones 5 to 9

Passionflower is a perfect butterfly-friendly vine. It climbs 15 to 50 feet and will thrive in full sun or part shade. If you’re starting this beauty from seed or small nursery plants, be prepared to provide support for its tendrils to cling and wind. After that, you won’t need to put in much effort to enjoy the blooms of this climber.

Butterfly benefits: Several fritillary caterpillars mow down on passionflower. A couple of common ones are the gulf fritillary and the variegated fritillary. Zebra longwings also use this butterfly host plant.

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  1. says

    Beware when planting Passion Flower. It is so invasive. It grows over top every other plant even 8ft. away. I had to finally pull all the plants up. I may have to apply weed killer to kill it.

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