How to Attract Butterflies in Your Backyard

Butterflies are very beautiful. They flutter and fly around, but they’re a lot more complicated than you might think. Butterflies need certain types of plants to survive in their environment; these plants provide food for the butterflies to eat while also acting as camouflage from predators looking for them. If you want your yard to be host

Butterflies are a colorful and beautiful insect. If you want to attract them, try planting flowers that don’t produce nectar, such as dandelions or clover.

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Butterflies always add to the beauty of a scene. One of the most enjoyable aspects of my garden is being able to see these fluttering companions buzzing all around me. Best of all, it’s really straightforward to implement.

Bringing butterflies to your yard is a simple and enjoyable way to assist the environment while admiring their beauty. If you want a garden full of gorgeous monarchs and swallowtails, you’ll need more than pollen. Continue reading to learn how to attract butterflies to visit throughout the season.


Contents Table of Contents


  • Choose the Ideal Butterfly Garden Location 
  • Choose Butterfly-Friendly Plants
  • Butterflies Attract Butterflies by Flower Color
  • In Your Backyard, Plant Native Plants
  • In Your Backyard, Plant Host Plants
  • Create a puddle for your butterflies.
  • Protect Your Butterflies from the Wind and Other Dangers
  • Insecticides and pesticides should not be used.
  • During the winter, provide a safe haven for butterflies.
  • Blooming Cycles Should Be Spaced Out
  • Conclusion


Choose the Ideal Butterfly Garden Location 

The sun is revered by butterflies. Choose a site with lots of sunshine to attract butterflies to your lawn. For a suitable basking site, choose the sunniest position in your yard.

When it comes to attracting butterflies, a location with plenty of sunshine and good soil is always the best option. 

Butterflies eat nectar plants, which thrive best in rich soil with partial to full sunshine. If your area receives at least half of the day’s worth of sunlight, you may want to consider adding rich topsoil or compost to enhance the soil quality.  

Flat stones in the sun may provide wonderful places for butterflies to rest and bathe in the sun.

Choose Butterfly-Friendly Plants

Butterflies need native and host plants to survive. When it comes to attracting butterflies, choosing the proper plants is crucial. It’s possible that you’ll need to conduct some study to find out what plants grow naturally in your area. 


Taking a walk around your area to see what kinds of butterflies and plants are already there may be a lot of fun. You might also go to a local nursery to learn more about local plant sources in your region.

You’ll need to plant both host and nectar plants to attract butterflies to your yard and keep them there longer. The good news is that most host plants also serve as nectar providers, and nectar may be produced by any blooming plant.

It’s crucial to attempt to grow the correct kinds of plants so that when one finishes flowering, another starts. Below, we’ll go through the many sorts of plants in further detail.

Butterflies Attract Butterflies by Flower Color

Because butterflies like brilliant, rich colors, the color of plants attracts them. When butterflies notice these hues in your yard, they are drawn in because they know the nectar would be wonderful.

  • When selecting the correct plants, it’s important to think about color and plant kind.
  • Adult butterflies are drawn to yellow, red, pink, orange, and purple blooms with flat-topped or clustered flower tubes.
  • Butterflies choose flowers with a colorful landing pad because they like to sit and feast.
  • Plants with long, luxuriant, colorful flowers, such as peonies, zinnias, and yarrow, are tempting to butterflies because they are beautiful and simple to feed on. If you want to see a lot of butterflies, consider adding them.  

In Your Backyard, Plant Native Plants

Adult butterflies need natural plants in order to survive. However, it’s important to choose plants that grow naturally in your location. Butterflies rely on blooming plants local to their area to reproduce and thrive. 

Butterflies, both as caterpillars and adults, need nectar from native plants to thrive. Plant your native blooming plants in regions that get full sunshine from mid-morning to mid-afternoon, since mature butterflies like to dine in the sun.

Consider the natives.

  • Butterflies need nectar throughout their adult stage of development. 
  • Echinacea, Aster, and Black-eyed Susan are typical native wildflowers that offer a great supply of nectar for butterflies in most locations. 
  • Growing native plants in your yard makes it simpler to maintain and attracts butterflies. 
  • Native plants thrive in your climate and bring pollinators to your yard.

In Your Backyard, Plant Host Plants

Plant host plants where butterflies may deposit their eggs to encourage them to remain longer in your yard. Adult butterflies look for plants where they can deposit their eggs. 

Milkweed, Pawpaw, Viburnum, and Dill are popular host plants for butterflies. Planting host plants encourages caterpillar growth and ensures the presence of adult butterflies in your yard.

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Because caterpillars can’t go far and rely on them for nourishment, host plants are critical to the butterfly’s life cycle and reproduction. Using host plants as caterpillar food increases the likelihood of attracting rare and unique butterflies.

You may save time and work by consulting a reliable list of caterpillar-hosting plants before planting them.

Create a puddle for your butterflies.

Butterflies need to sip water to survive. The majority of their water comes from mud puddles. Butterflies sip water and obtain minerals mostly through puddling on moist dirt and sand.

At least two puddling areas are required in your backyard. Sink a bucket or dish tub into the ground and fill it with sand to create a puddling location. 

The best method is to use coarse sand in shallow dishes and pans. Simply moisten the sand down with your garden hose every day to create an ideal water supply for your butterflies. 

Protect Your Butterflies from the Wind and Other Dangers

Butterflies are delicate organisms that may be harmed by strong winds. Wind protection may save them a lot of energy while they’re attempting to fly in windy conditions.

  • Wind currents in your lawn might make it difficult for butterflies to collect nectar.
  • You’ll need to come up with measures to shield your outside areas from the wind if they’re windy.
  • Plant nectar and blooming sources where there are huge bushes, a fence, a house, or tree lines to shield your butterflies from prevailing winds.

Considerations for Predators and Prey

You must examine the predator-prey dynamics in your garden in addition to safeguarding your butterflies from the wind. 

  • Because birds eat insects, keep any birdbaths or bird feeders away from areas where butterflies congregate. 
  • This will make it more difficult for birds to feast on your backyard’s buffet of caterpillars. 

Insecticides and pesticides should not be used.

Butterflies are often killed by herbicides and insecticides. Caterpillars need foliage to eat on, so expect to see plants with holes in their leaves.

Materials sold to kill caterpillars and other insects, such as diazinon, malathion, and Sevin, should not be used. 

Even though the insecticide or pesticide label claims that it is safe for butterflies, it may still kill them, particularly while they are in the caterpillar stage.

If you have plants in your yard that you don’t want to be defoliated, try planting some extras so that you and the caterpillars may share. The majority of butterfly caterpillars do not cause the leaf damage that gypsy moths and bagworms do.

To safeguard your butterflies, at the very least, employ non-toxic pest control measures.

During the winter, provide a safe haven for butterflies.

Butterflies aren’t only for the summer. Butterflies enter a condition of diapause throughout the winter and conceal until the weather warms up again.

In your backyard, you may give winter refuge for butterflies:

  • Don’t bag all of your autumn leaves; just leaving part of them as a shelter might provide a safe haven for caterpillars to hibernate. 
  • Firewood and brush piles that have been stored provide great refuge for overwintering butterflies.
  • Construct a butterfly aviary. 

Butterflies may overwinter throughout their life stage, depending on the genus or family. Tiger moths overwinter in the larval stage, whereas swallowtails stay in the pupal stage wrapped within a chrysalis. During the winter, most butterflies hibernate in a loose tree hollow or beneath loose bark.

Blooming Cycles Should Be Spaced Out

To ensure that butterflies come and stay in your backyard throughout the summer and into the winter, you’ll need a succession of blooming nectar and host plants to keep them safe from spring to autumn. 


It’s easy to attract butterflies to your garden. Following these simple guidelines, you’ll soon have a garden teeming with a diverse array of winged beauties.

Dragonflies, for example, are one of the many lovely species you may attract. On the other hand, if you need to get rid of particular pests, check out our articles to discover how to get rid of those pesky carpenter ants in your trees, as well as those pesky tiny flies.



Butterflies are a beautiful addition to any backyard. There are many things that attract butterflies to humans, but the most important thing is having flowers in your garden. Reference: what attracts butterflies to humans.

Frequently Asked Questions

What foods are butterflies attracted to?

A: Butterflies are attracted to a variety of foods like flowers, nectar, and rotting fruit.

How do I attract monarch butterflies to my yard?

A: If you have flowers in your yard, monarch butterflies will often come to the area. They like shade and they also enjoy nectar from plants such as milkweed or citrus trees.

What color attracts butterflies the most?

A: Blue is the most popular color for attracting butterflies.

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