Plants for Butterflies


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Shrubs

Shrubs are used to add structure to a garden and can provide interest all year round. The shrub most loved by butterflies is Buddleia but they also like Choisya, Ceanothus, Ceratostigma, Hebe and Lavender. For acid soil try Hydrangea.

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Herbs

Butterflies love lots of herbs including Hyssop, Chives, Thyme, Marjoram and Mint.

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Fruit

In the Autumn leave a few fallen fruits for the late butterflies to feed on. They also like autumn-fruiting raspberries and blackberries.

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Annuals

Annuals are a great source of food for butterflies. They particularly like Candytuft and Virginia Stock. Sow annual seeds directly in the ground every few weeks from March to May to ensure a succession of flowers throughout the summer. Half hardy annuals will have to be sown indoors and planted out once the risk of frost has passed. If you don’t have the time or space to sow seeds, plant plug-plants when the weather warms up. These are now readily available from most garden centres and larger DIY stores.

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Perennials

Perennials can live happily in your garden for many years and require very little maintenance. Most will die down during the winter and re-emerge in the spring with an abundance of new growth. Many of these are loved by butterflies, some of their favourites are; Sedum, Verbena Bonariensis, Red Valerian and Aubretia.

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Biennials

Biennials are sown one year and flower the following year but you tend to find that they will continually self-seed so once you have them they are there forever! An excellent source of food is Forget-me-not and Sweet William.

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Wildflowers

Butterflies, in general, tend to prefer wildflowers to cultivated ones. If you have the space provide a small wildflower meadow. Once sown it only requires to but cut down at the end of the year. The flowers will self-seed and produce more the following year.


To find out more about Butterflies visit our articles The Butterfly Year and Butterflies in your Garden.

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