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Just living is not enough,” said the butterfly, “one must have sunshine, freedom and a little flower.”
-Hans Christian Andersen

Butterflies in the Garden

Have you ever wondered what makes a country garden so resplendent with butterflies?
How about what flowers to plant to attract them? Well, we’ve got your covered; for a garden filled with beautiful butterflies flitting around the flowers, try planting these:

  • Butterfly Weed: this sunset orange flower is no weed, but a wildflower. A species of milkweed, the plant attracts butterflies with its vivid color and plentiful nectar.
  • Milkweed: the quintessential wildflower. There are all kinds of milkweed—common, swamp, showy, whorled, and narrowleaf—and all provide nectar for pollinators.
  • Coneflowers or “echinacea” are daisy-like flowers that bloom primarily in yellow and purple.
  • Heliotropes, although poisonous, are known for their heavily perfumed blossoms.
  • Liatris: tall and purple…how could a butterfly resist? Its most common name is “blazing star” and, when cut, lasts for ages and dries beautifully.


  • Black-Eyed Susans are perennial flowers that come back every year. A summer staple, these flowers spread easily and are abundant in country pastures and meadows.
  • Zinnias are likened to sunflowers and are in the daisy family. Known for their deliriously bright colors, these are a summer favorite.
  • Asters: These star-shaped summer favorites are great for attracting busy bees and butterflies alike.
  • Lavender: Imagine you’re in the south of France surrounded by fields of lavender. These tall spikes of fragrant purple blooms will drive the butterflies wild. A perennial favorite that evokes the landscape of the Mediterranean coast.

“The butterfly is a flying flower; The flower a tethered butterfly.”
-Ponce Denis Écouchard Lebrun

Why Butterflies and Wildflowers are Important

  • Butterflies are essential to the life of flowers. Just like bees, they are brilliant pollinators. As they are attracted to the nectar in a plant, an abundance of butterflies means that there’s probably a thriving ecosystem. Of course, caterpillars are a source of food for birds and other animals as well.

For more flower tips (as well as beautiful floral arrangements and gifts) visit Chelsea Flowers’ website and blog.

For more information on the flowers mentioned in this blog, consult the followig website:

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