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!

Chokecherry (Prunus virginiana), Zones 2 to 6

In spring, long bloom clusters appear in a stunning display on the branches of chokecherry trees. Later in the season, the tree produces berries perfect for birds to munch on. This tree grows about 30 feet tall, so be sure to leave plenty of space for this beauty to mature.

Butterfly benefits: A western species, the two-tailed swallowtail caterpillar enjoys feeding on the foliage of the chokecherry tree.

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