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!

Violet (Viola), Zones 3 to 10

Try this pretty option if you’ve got partial shade. Perennial violets bloom in spring and prefer partial shade. Annual violas actually prefer full sun but will thrive in cooler temperatures of partial shade. They’re dainty plants with a maximum height of only about 6 inches.

Butterfly benefits: Violets are the host plants for the widespread great spangled fritillary, as well as western fritillaries like Mormon, callippe and zerene.

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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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