Butterfly Garden

March 1, 2018

Looking to start a butterfly garden?

We have a list of the top 15 plants we carry that will help bring butterflies to your garden!

There are two groups to classify butterfly plants. 


Host Plants & Nectar Plants 


Host Plants - attract female butterflies who lay their eggs on the plant. 


Nectar Plants - provide food and nutrients needed for butterflies, moths, and other wildlife to sustain life. 


1.  Butterfly Bush  / Buddleia


 Butterfly bush is a nectar plant that is great for full sun and blooms on and off throughout the year.


Buddleia attracts : 


Black Swallowtail, Giant Swallowtail, Monarch, Painted Lady,

Pipevine Swallowtail, Queen, Question Mark, Red Admiral,

Red-spotted Purple, Zebra Longwing, Zebra Swallowtail,

Spicebush Swallowtail, Eastern Tiger,

Swallowtail, Variegated Fritillary,Eastern Comma, Gulf Fritillary,

Mourning Cloak, Anise Swallowtail

2.  Bottle Brush Tree 



The Bottle Brush Tree is a nectar plant that attracts various butterflies, honeybees  and hummingbirds. If you are looking for a tree that will grow about 15 feet, attract a copious amount of wildlife, and blooms frequently then the bottle brush tree is the perfect choice. 

3.  Dianthus


Dianthus is a low growing, sun loving nectar plant that attracts:


The Giant Swallowtail and the Eastern Tiger Swallowtail

4.  Lantana



Lantana is a nectar plant that comes in a variety of colors from red, to yellow, to a mixture of hot pink and purple. Butterflies will love this plant due to its continuous blooms throughout the year. 

Lantana attracts: 


       Cabbage White, Fiery Skipper, Great Swallowtail, Gray Hairstreak,           

 Hayhurst’s Scallopwing, Little Glassywing, Monarch, Red Admiral, Sachem, Silver-Spotted Skipper, Skipper, Spicebush Swallowtail, Wild Indigo Duskywing, Zebra Longwing

5.  Jatropha

 Jatropha is a nectar plant that butterflies will flock to because it literally blooms all year round.


This low maintenance, sun loving shrub / tree attracts :


Monarch Butterfly and the Zebra Heliconius Butterfly

6.  Marigold

 Marigold is a nectar plant with leaves that contain a unique fragrance.  


Marigold attracts:


  American Lady, Sleepy Orange, and Sachem

7. Stonecrop 



Stonecrop is a low maintenance nectar plant with succulent like leaves. Stonecrop is great option if your looking for a drought tolerant plant to attract wildlife. 


Stonecrop attracts: 


American painted ladies, buckeyes, gray hairstreaks, monarchs, painted ladies, pearl crescents, pepper and salt skippers, silver-spotted skippers, and fritillaries.

8. Penta  

Penta is a nectar plant that is considered to be an annual in most places, but here in Florida we are lucky enough to enjoy it as a perennial. 


Pentas attract: 


White Peacock Butterflies, Julia Butterflies

9.  Phlox



 Phlox is a nectar plant that is the perfect choice for your butterfly garden if you want something with showy flowers that stays low to the ground . 


Phlox attracts:


Sachem, Silver-Spotted Skipper, Silvery Checkerspot , Swallowtail, Spicebush Swallowtail, Tiger Swallowtail, Zabulon

10.  Plumbago

Plumbago is nectar plant that is a South Florida favorite because of its vivid blue flowers that love the sun and require very little maintenance.  


 Plumbago attracts: 


Cassius Blue Butterflies, Soybean Looper Moth, Polydamas Swallowtail Butterfly, Monk Skipper Butterflies

11.  Porterweed


 Porterweed is a fast growing nectar plant that flowers frequently throughout the year and even more during the warmer months. 


Porterweed attracts: 


Tropical Buckeye. Three Spotted Skipper Butterfly, White Peacock Butterfly, Gulf Fritillary , Long-tailed Skipper Butterfly

12.  Milkweed



 Milkweed is both a nectar plant and a host plant most known for its hosting of the monarch butterfly.

No matter the variety this plant is pretty much a must have for any one looking to begin a butterfly garden. 

Not only does having a milkweed bring an array of various butterflies it will help increase the population of Monarch Butterflies, which has decreased drastically over the past several years. 


Milkweed attracts: 


American Copper, American Lady, Baltimore Checkerspot, Banded Hairstreak, Black Swallowtail, Bronze Copper, Cabbage White, Common Buckeye, Delaware Skipper, Eastern Tailed-Blue, Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, Fiery Skipper, Giant Swallowtail, Gray Hairstreak , Great Spangled Fritillary, Hoary Edge, Little Glassywing, Lorquin Admiral, Monarch, Mourning Cloak, Orange Sulphur, Painted Lady, Pearl Crescent, Peck's Skipper, Pipevine Swallowtail, Queen, Question Mark, Red Admiral, Red-banded Hairstreak, Red-spotted Purple, Sachem, Silver-spotted Skipper, Silvery Checkerspot, Sleepy Orange, Southern Cloudywing, Spicebush Swallowtail, Spring Azure, Two-tailed Swallowtail , Variegated Fritillary, Viceroy, Zabulon, Zebra Longwing, Zebra Swallowtail

13.  Passion Flower Vine





The Passion Flower Vine is a nectar plant that grows quickly around any surface it can attach to. 


Passion Flower Vine attracts: 


Great Spangled Fritillary, Zebra Longwing, Variegated Fritillary, Julia Heliconian, Checkered White, Cloudless Sulphur, Gray Hairstreak , Gulf Fritillary

14.  Rue Plant


Rue Plant is a herb that is both a host plant and a nectar plant. Rue is commonly used for cooing, making tea and medicinal purposes. 


 Rue plant is a host plant that attracts: 


Black Swallowtail and Giant Swallowtail

15.  Ruellia / Mexican Petunia 



Ruellia also known as Mexican Petunia is a sun loving nectar plant that  constantly blooms but can be considered invasive. 


Ruellia attracts: 


Malachite & The Common Buckeye  

1. Butterfly Bush  / Buddleia 

2. Bottle Brush Tree

3. Dianthus 

4. Lantana

5. Jatropha 

6. Marigold 

7. Stonecrop 

8. Penta

9. Phlox

10. Plumbago 

11. Porterweed 

12. Milkweed 

13. Passion Flower Vine 

14. Rue Plant 

15. Ruellia / Mexican Petunia 


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