38 Beautiful Flowers that Attract Butterflies

Raul is an Editor at BalconyGardenWeb and an expert in flower and herb cultivation based in Phoenix, Arizona. A frequent speaker at horticultural events, he is also an active contributor to Facebook flower groups. Holding an MBA degree, Raul blends his gardening skills with strong leadership and analytical abilities.
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Here are the most colorful Flowers that Attract Butterflies, which you can easily grow in your garden to watch them fluttering around!

If you love butterflies, there are some wonderful blooming plants that can invite them into your garden. Here’s a list of such pretty Flowers that Attract Butterflies for you to start with!

Check out our Tips to Start a Balcony Flower Garden here

Flowers that Attract Butterflies

The best way to attract butterflies to the garden is to grow warm color flowers like red, yellow, orange, pink, and purple. Also, pick the ones that are flat-topped or clustered and have short flower tubes. Butterflies love to feed on the nectar in full sun, so make sure you plant the flowers in ample sun.

1. Joe Pye Weed

Flowers that Attract Butterflies

Botanical Name: Eupatorium purpureum

USDA Zones: 3 to 9

This tall perennial grows large medium pink flowers that smell like vanilla. For being such a beauty, it is no wonder that the plant works so well at attracting butterflies.

2. Sunflower


Botanical Name: Helianthus annuus

USDA Zones: 2–11

The huge, bright flowers with an abundance of nectar attract all the butterflies. It’s a bonus that’s its foliage is also a good source of caterpillar food.

Check out flowers that look like Sunflowers here

3. Cornflower

Flowers that Attract Butterflies 2

Botanical Name: Centaurea cyanus

USDA Zones: 2-11

Butterflies seem to be in love with this brightly-colored, easy-to-care flower. It also self-seeds, which means it will continue to reappear in the garden year after year.

4. Beebalm

Botanical Name: Monarda

USDA Zones: 3-9

It is also popular as the wild bergamot, it looks lovely in flower beds with beautiful blooms of pink, red, white, or purple. Flowers, with fragrant foliage, attract butterflies easily.

5. Russian Sage

Flowers that Attract Butterflies 3

Botanical Name: Perovskia

USDA Zones: 4-9

Big and ornamental, the Russian sage’s purple blooms act like magnets for butterflies. Only one single plant in the garden is enough to make a difference.

6. Chrysanthemum


Botanical Name: Chrysanthemum

USDA Zones: 5-8 or annual

Another tall flowering plant, chrysanthemums are one of the last blooms that attract butterflies even in the fall. The plant comes in many beautiful shades of colors.

Learn how to grow Chrysanthemum here

7. Aster

Flowers that Attract Butterflies 4

Botanical Name: Aster

USDA Zones: 3-9

The star-shaped flowers of Aster are known to attract butterflies around them. Therefore, if you plant them early in the season, they will have enough time to get established for winters.

8. Tickseed


Botanical Name: Coreopsis

USDA Zones: 3-11

The two-for-one flowering plant attracts both butterflies and seed-eating birds. Butterflies like Buckeyes, Painted ladies, and Skippers, visit the plant often for its sweet nectar.

9. Cosmos

Flowers that Attract Butterflies 5

Botanical Name: Cosmos bipinnatus

USDA Zones: 7-11

This beauty can be found in white, red, pink, and purple shades that can grow up to 5-6 feet tall. It is like a bright beacon to butterflies and hummingbirds.

10. Zinnia

Botanical Name: Zinnia

USDA Zones: 3-10

This gorgeous flowering plant guarantees an extended season until the first frost. The daisy or dahlia-like shaped flowers in just about every color are excellent in attracting birds and butterflies.

11. Black-Eyed Susan

Flowers that Attract Butterflies 6

Botanical Name: Rudbeckia

USDA Zones: 3-9

Also popular as Coneflowers, it is a common wildflower with daisy-like blooms in gold, mahogany, yellow, bronze shade. It can brighten up your garden while attracting butterflies.

12. Button Bush


Botanical Name: Cephalanthus occidentalis

USDA Zones: 5-9

With showy, fragrant blooms, the button bush is a magnet for several butterfly species, including monarchs, skippers, swallowtails, and moths.

13. Catmint

Flowers that Attract Butterflies 7

Botanical Name: Nepeta

USDA Zones: 3-9

This easy-to-care mint relative produces flowers over an exceptionally long time, making it a good season-long nectar source for many types of butterflies, honey bees, and hummingbirds.

14. Pentas

Botanical Name: Pentas

USDA Zones: 10-11

Its flower clusters bloom for the entire summer, providing a consistent nectar source for pollinators. Butterflies are easily attracted to mesmerizing star-shaped red, pink, white, or lavender-colored flowers.

15. Hollyhock

Botanical Name: Alcea

USDA Zones: 3-8

The huge open-faced flowers allure in a wide range of butterflies. This well-known cottage garden staple is also a host plant for painted lady caterpillars and checkered skippers.

16. Lantana

Botanical Name: Lantana

USDA Zones: 9-11

Lantanas are one of the best flowers that attract a whole wide range of butterflies. The single, bi, or multi-colored shades of orange, pink, red, purple, coral, yellow, and white can brighten up any space in your garden with their long-lasting blooms.

17. Phlox

Flowers that Attract Butterflies 9

Botanical Name: Phlox

USDA Zones: 4-8

The large group of flowering plants with a range of flower forms, colors, and sizes, provides a reliable nectar source. Clusters of these long-blooming star-shaped flowers are no secret and are very appealing to many butterflies.

18. Snapdragon

Botanical Name: Antirrhinum majus

USDA Zones: 7-11

The popular cottage garden type is another magnet for the butterflies. The tubular Snapdragon flowers come in a wide range of colors.

19. Yarrow

Flowers that Attract Butterflies 10

Botanical Name: Achillea

USDA Zones: 3-9

The clusters of flowers make it one of the most favorite nectar sources for many butterflies. The plant blooms from summer to early fall in shades of yellow, red, purple, pink, coral, orange, white, and any color in between.

20. Stonecrop


Botanical Name: Sedum

USDA Zones: 3-8

It is a diverse group of drought-hardy flowering plants and a great source of nectar. Stonecrop with its pink, red, yellow, white, purple, and orange blooms are often used as ground covers.

21. Milkweed

Flowers that Attract Butterflies 11

Botanical Name: Asclepias

USDA Zones: 5-9

Milkweed is the source of food for monarch larvae. It flowers in purple, pink, yellow, orange, and white colors, which also attract many butterfly species like fritillaries, admirals, swallowtails, skippers, and more.

22. Lavender

Botanical Name: Lavandula

USDA Zones: 5-9

The butterflies are attracted to these spiky fragrant flowers that are also a favorite summer food source for them. Lavender is an ideal perennial for creating informal hedges for a butterfly garden.

23. Goldenrods


Botanical Name: Solidago

USDA Zones: 3-9

This is a vigorous wildflower with showy plume-shaped flowers. The white, yellow blooms are an important late-season nectar source for many butterfly species.

24. Blue False Indigo

Botanical Name: Baptisia

USDA Zones: 3-10

False Indigo is hardy in most regions, and this prairie native is a host plant for silver-spotted skipper larvae and California dogface. The tall spiky flowers are an early season source of nectar for many butterflies.

25. Coneflower

Flowers that Attract Butterflies 13

Botanical Name: Echinacea

USDA Zones: 5-8

This flowering plant, with bicolored and single-colored pink, white, purple, yellow, orange, green, red flowers, is native to fields, prairies, and open woodlands of North America. Coneflower attracts a variety of butterfly species, including monarchs.

26. Blazing Stars


Botanical Name: Liatris

USDA Zones: 3-9

Blazing Star is also called gayfeather, and this sturdy North American native has spiky flowers throughout summer. Another good source of nectar, which attracts swallowtails, buckeyes, monarchs, and many other butterflies.

27. Petunia


Botanical Name: Petunia

USDA Zones: 9-11

It comes in pretty shades of red, pale yellow, violet-blue, white, and pink. The flower is also considered by many gardeners to be a favorite for a hanging garden that attracts butterflies and hummingbirds in late summer and early fall.

28. Pansy

Botanical Name: Viola x wittrockiana

USDA Zones: 7-11

If you live in a cooler zone, pansies could be the perfect choice for your garden. Many cultivars are specifically grown to survive the spring and autumn temperatures that attract different varieties of butterflies in the garden.

29. Floss Flower

Flowers that Attract Butterflies 15

Botanical Name: Ageratum

USDA Zones: 9-10

The old-fashioned heirloom with clusters of puffy flowers is loved by many species of adult butterflies. Exceptionally long blooming, easy-to-care plants with colorful flowers are best grown in containers or beds.

30. Marigold


Botanical Name: Tagetes

USDA Zones: 3-11

The edible marigolds look attractive with lacy leaves and single, small, daisy-like flowers. They come in yellow and orange hues and attract bees and butterflies in the garden.

31. Bluestar 

Flowers that Attract Butterflies 16

Botanical Name: Amsonia hubrichtii

USDA Zones: 3-11

It is a perennial that can grow up 2-3 feet in height and derives its name from the blue, star-shaped spring blooms. If you grow it as a border plant or in a rock garden, it can allure in many species of adult butterflies.

32. Heliotrope


Botanical Name: Heliotropium

USDA Zones: 10-11

It has a sweet, pungent scent that some people link to the smell of a cherry pie. The ‘Dwarf Marine’ features a royal purple color. It is large-flower yet compact with attractive, dark green foliage loved by butterflies.

33.  African Lily

Flowers that Attract Butterflies 17

Botanical Name: Agapanthus africanus

USDA Zones: 6-10

This plant with large, beautiful, deep blue bell-shaped, clustered flowers blooms in late summer. The showy flower heads that stand above the tall, sturdy stems make butterflies flock around it.

34. Dandelion

Botanical Name: Taraxacum

USDA Zones: 3-10

Butterflies love the nectar of dandelions, and they are also one of the very few plants that act as the only food source available for the early-season pollinators. It also attracts bees too.

35. Butterfly Bush

Botanical Name: Buddleja

USDA Zones: 5-9

These easy to care and fast-growing shrubs are simply irresistible to butterflies, the reason why these plants are aptly named! The plant is also going to fill your garden with vibrant colors!

36. Rose


Botanical Name: Rosa

USDA Zones: 5-9

Colorful roses are also a good option to attract butterflies, especially the Monarch butterfly to the garden. There are also climbing varieties that you can train over trellis and arbors.

37. Delphinium


Botanical Name: Delphinium

USDA Zones: 3-7

These early blooming plants have stunning true blue flowers with a lavender-pink accent. You will get lots of butterflies flying around them, and you can also pair these flowers with roses to get more winged friends!

38. Allium


Botanical Name: Allium

USDA Zones: 3-9

It is a member of the onion family and produces large, beautiful flowers on tall stems. You can opt to plant the Allium bulbs in the fall for a spectacular spring show of colors and butterflies.

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