Flowers That Attract Butterflies - by Lily's Florist Santa Clarita

Nectar and Pollen-Rich Flowers That Attract Butterflies

What should you grow to attract butterflies in your garden? Here is a fine list of must-have plants that are irresistible to butterflies.


Commonly known as gayfeather or blazing star, Liatris is an ornamental plant within the sunflower family. This perennial is the top nectar plant favorite of monarch butterflies. It’s long lasting, showy flowers also attracts flower moth. In fact,  Schinia sanguine and Schinia gloriosa flower moths feed exclusively on Liatris. The tall stalks of Liatris make it easy for growers to see butterflies feeding on Liatris blossoms.


Attract migrating butterflies during spring and fall with azaleas. These showy blossoms feature bright pink, red, purple and elegant white flowers. It has a woody base and requires a well-drained soil. While it needs partial to full sun, azaleas are sensitive to extreme heat so avoid placing them on areas where heat can build up. The Azalea Lights hybrids are designed to thrive in colder areas.

Bee Balm

Also known as wild bergamot, bee balms or Monarda fistulosa is a famous butterfly plant. This is the favorite flower of melissa blues, fritillaries, swallowtails and checkered white butterflies. It attracts not just butterflies but also various pollinators like bees and hummingbirds. It features colorful, nectar-rich blooms and fragrant leaves. Bee balms make great cutflowers.

Buddleia Buzz

Like all nectar-rich Buddleias, this particular variety of Buddleia Bush has elegant and honey-scented blossoms that are guaranteed to lure butterflies. But unlike other Buddleias, the Buddleia Buzz is more compact and easier to grow making them perfect for smaller gardens. This hybrid grows between 3 to 5 feet tall and responds very well to shaping.

Mexican Flame Vine

From the Asteraceae family and Senecio genus, the Mexican Flame Vine is a perennial flower that features vibrant orange blooms. It flowers prolifically and is attractive to monarch butterflies, bees, and swallowtails, and hummingbirds. Mexican Flame Vines has dark green leaves that create an attractive contrast against its bright orange flowers.

Purple Coneflower

This particular flower will not just bring you butterflies, it will also give you the ease of low-maintenance gardening. The purple coneflower or Echinacea purpurea is a well-known medicinal plant with large purple blooms that feature drooping petals. Because of their daisy-like structure, monarch butterflies and swallowtails can easily and effortlessly land on purple coneflowers. This long-blooming, drought-tolerant, hardy perennial can be grown in deep containers.

Cosmic Orange Cosmos

Cosmos sulphureus is a half-hardy annual that attracts painted lady and monarch butterflies. The Cosmic Orange variety features bold, vibrant orange blooms sure to make your garden worthy of a second look. This low maintenance garden charm may be added to beds and borders or grown in containers or in cottage gardens. They bloom best under full sun, in well-drained soil with medium moisture.


Get to see swallowtails and skippers visit your garden when you plant phlox. This old-fashioned beauty bears gorgeous clusters of white, salmon, pink, red or lavender blooms with lovely scent. Nectar-hungry butterflies are guaranteed to be tempted. Phlox requires full sun and a well-drained soil. You can grow it together with purple coneflowers.


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