Attracting Butterflies

How To Attract Butterflies Into Your Garden


Butterflies like warmth so choose sunny, sheltered spots when planting nectar plants.
Choose different plants to attract a wider variety of species. Place the same types of plant together in blocks.


Try to grow flowers right through the butterfly season. Spring flowers are vital for butterflies coming out of hibernation.

Autumn flowers help butterflies build up their winter reserves.


Prolong flowering by deadheading flowers, mulching with organic compost, and watering well to keep the plants healthy. Plants that are well-watered will produce far more nectar for hungry butterflies.
Don’t use insecticides and pesticides. They kill butterflies and many pollinating insects as well as ladybirds, ground beetles and spiders.
Don’t buy peat compost. Peat bogs are home to many special animals and plants, including the Large Heath butterfly, which is declining across Europe. There are now good alternatives available from garden centres.

If you want to know more – visit Butterfly Conservation

Best Plants To Attract Butterflies
Best Plants For Summer Nectar

Buddleia (The butterfly bush)

Very easy to grow in almost any soil. Different varieties will flower in pink, red, purple, and white. Usually in bloom through July and August. These shrubs need pruning well in Spring as they can grow 5′ to 8′ from the ground in a single season.

Verbena Bonariensis

Stems up to a metre tall support heads of lavender flowers from August to October. Easy to grow from seed, plant March-April in well-drained soil. Can provide useful height at the back of a border. Only half hardy so can be a short lived perennial.


Flowers are lilac-blue in color and grow on spikes through the summer. Plants can be used for edging beds or grown to form an attractive, low-growing hedge. It will thrive in a sunny, sheltered position in well-drained soil. Lavender should be planted in April or May and pruned back to encourage bushy growth.

Perennial Wallflower (Bowles Mauve)

Produces a profusion of sweet-scented purple flowers from April all through the summer. Wallflowers make great bedding plants and will grow well in full sun or light shade. Plant in well drained soil.

Marjoram (Oregano)

A perennial herb, growing from 20 to 80 cm tall. White, pink or purple flowers grow on spikes from June to September. A good edging plant and useful ground cover, requiring little maintenance. The smaller varieties also do well in rock and alpine gardens.