5 Easy Ways to Attract and Help Butterflies

Attract more of these fluttering beauties to your backyard with a few simple steps. Plus learn tips to help butterflies by growing their favorite plants.

Grow Host Plants

We just can’t stress enough how important it is to have host plants in your garden plan to attract and help butterflies. Milkweed is important for monarchs, but don’t stop there. Check out our top 10 butterfly host plants.

Add Native Plants

Native plants are naturally better for birds, bees and butterflies. If you’re overwhelmed about where to start, look up a good native plant source in your area. Then ask them what they recommend.

Eliminate Pesticides

A caterpillar isn’t going to make it to the butterfly stage if you’re using pesticides in your yard. While it’s tempting to have weed-free, green lawns, to help butterflies it’s best to say no to all yard chemicals. Check out 10 natural ways to eliminate garden insect pests.

Pick Plants with Long Blooming Time

Butterflies are active as early as February and as late as November in many areas. (Of course, if you live in a warmer climate, you get an even longer butterfly season.) To help butterflies, offer plants with early and late season bloom times, so they always have something to eat. You can’t go wrong with this logic. It works great for attracting beneficial bees, too! Here’s 16 long-blooming flowers for attracting butterflies and hummingbirds.

Watch Butterflies

One of the best ways to discover which plants butterflies like is to watch them! Butterfly watching is best done in the heat of the day. You can learn a lot by observing the plants they visit most. If you don’t have a lot of butterfly activity in your own yard, go to a local park or botanical garden.

Have some fun attracting butterflies by making a butterfly-shaped garden!

Secrets to Growing Milkweed

  1. More is better. Milkweed can be surprisingly hard to get started, so overseed to increase your chance of success.
  2. If you can’t get milkweed seeds started, buy plants. Native gardening groups can point you in the right direction for suppliers.
  3. Look for variety. With more than 100 species of milkweed, what works for some might not work for others. Don’t be afraid to try a few.