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What can you plant to attract butterflies?

Butterfly.jpegThe best way to attract butterflies to your garden is by growing a variety of flowers which they find irresistible.


A great place to start would be with Mr Fothergill's Bee Butterfly Flower Mixed Seeds or Mr Fothergill's Butterfly Friendly Flower Mix Shaker. You then might like to provide them with a Mr Fothergill's Butterfly House to shelter in.


They also need sources of water, so shallow dishes can be left out for them to drink from. Butterflies are not fond of herbicides, insecticides and pesticides so look for natural alternatives in our product range if you need to use them.


If you were looking for native plants for your backyard Leptospermums, Grevilleas, Melaleucas and Brachyscomes would be great options from our range. If you would like low-maintenance plants I would encourage you to go with natives. - MitchellMc


You need to cater to all stages of a butterfly's life - egg, caterpillar, butterfly. Caterpillars like food plants, while butterflies love nectar. Wattles can offer both. You also will need to avoid using any chemicals. - greygardener


Get the ball rolling by planting a heap of flowering annuals and then look at your longer term plantings. Basically you're looking for the plants that have long flowering seasons and have good, nectar-rich flowers.


The annuals fill that area well so even once other things are established they can still serve a useful purpose. At our last place, for example, I found that marigolds were a butterfly fave.


Worth finding out what butterflies to expect in your area as many of them are fussy eaters so plant what they like and you'll have more success. Your local Landcare group or similar should be able to help with that sort of info or point you the right direction.


Definitely worth the effort. Hard buggers to photograph but here's a few I've shot over the years in our gardens for you. - Adam_W


Here is a list I put together for a small garden. A mix of colourful perennial plants that are rich in nectar that is so important to attract the butterflies, bees and beneficial insects into your garden. You will provide plenty of fodder for them to forage on. Also make sure you have shallow trays of water with pebbles and sticks so they can get a drink and not drown.


Here is my list:

  • Buddleya butterfly bush
  • Heliotrope
  • Borage
  • Elderflower
  • Pentas
  • Ageratum
  • Marigold
  • Alyssum
  • Verbena
  • Coreopsis
  • Yarrow
  • Aster
  • Echinacea
  • Perennial Salvias
  • Perennial Basil
  • Tagetes
  • lavender
  • Scabiosa.


I highly recommend planting perennial basil. We have a lot growing in the garden and it certainly is nectar rich. We always have bees and even have Blue Banded Bees foraging on the flowers. Also Borage is a popular plant in our garden too.


If you have a larger garden you can plant Australian Natives like Grevilleas, Melaleucas, Hardenbegias, Eucalyptus, Eremophilas, these are also great bird attracting plants. - mich1972


Flowers that typically have tubular or long flowers are pollinated by butterflies.


Try these:

  • Bottlebrush
  • Buddleia
  • Daisies
  • Grevillea
  • Kangaroo paw
  • Lantana
  • Lavender
  • Melaleuca
  • Purple-top verbena
  • Tea tree
  • Wattle.



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Oh yes, do plant some Buddliea’s they’re definitely a draw card for Butterflies. A most attractive flower spike and a very hardy shrub, easy to grow in most areas. 

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