Whether you are design a full butterfly garden or simply looking for a few good plant species to attract some of the fluttering miracles to your yard, there are many plant varieties that are famous for functioning as a magnet for butterflies.
Butterfly bush, or Buddleia, is the classic shrub for attracting butterflies to your garden. Butterfly bushes come in many varieties, but they are an absolute magnet as the centerpiece of a thriving butterfly garden. Butterfly bushes are also a great way to attract hummingbirds to your garden. Be aware that most varieties of butterfly bushes rapidly grow to quite a large size, so be sure that you know what you are getting into and have plenty of space wherever you choose to plant your butterfly bush.
A lavender bush is an attractive and aromatic herb that is very effective at attracting butterflies to your garden. While all cultivars of lavender are equally effective plant species for a butterfly garden, some varieties grow more gracefully than others. For instance, English lavender as a very pleasing, upright growth habit that retains healthy foilage so long as it is properly cared for, while varieties such as Melissa lavender grow somewhat more haphazardly and develop a ratty looking undergrowth as the plant spreads.
The short lived blossoms of daylilies are a dynamic addition to any flower or butterfly garden that can be very effective at attracting butterflies. These days, horticulturalists have become so efficient at breeding daylilies that many growers claim that they can take any request for color combinations and textures, and they will be able to grow a daylily that will have precisely those textures and colors in a matter of a couple crossbreeds. When looking for the ideal daylilly to add to your butterfly garden, consider speaking with an actual daylily breeder to find the ideal plant species that has the perfect flower blossoms for your garden while also attracting butterflies.
Sage is another herb that is known to attract butterflies en masse, but not all species of sage are equally effective. The best sage species for a butterfly garden include bee sage (Salvia apiana), Jame sage (Salvia x jamensis) and wooly sage (salvia leucantha). Bee sage has a very strong aroma with whorling, velvety foliage. Jame sage is a Mexican species with striking flowers that come in waves throughout its blooming season, attracting many species of butterflies in the process. Wooly sage is a classic addition to the butterfly garden with long lasting flowers that arrive in the late summer.
The Sage Garden. Lovejoy, Anne. Chronicle Books: San Francisco.