Special Gift Offer

Butterfly Garden Plan

By: Garden Gate staff
This colorful garden will be a big hit with butterflies.

Plant a butterfly garden

No one would ever say a butterfly garden is boring. Besides bright color, another thing you’ll notice about all the flowers below is the size. Large flowers, especially those with flat shapes, are the easiest for butterflies to land and feed on. Fragrance helps bring the butterflies in, as well. Plant flowers in groups of three to five (or more) for the most impact.

You Might Also Like:
Best Flowers for Butterflies
Use Flower Shapes to Attract Diverse Pollinators
How to Identify Different Types of Butterflies
Butterflies Love This Fall Container

Butterfly on pink zinnia: Zinnia flowers offer a perfect landing pad for butterflies.

Low-maintenance beauty

In the slideshow, we’ll take a look at five butterfly-friendly plants. In the illustration below, we’ll show you how to mix some of them together to create a gorgeous butterfly garden. But don’t feel locked into just these plants — if you like a taller goldenrod or a different zinnia color, go right ahead. The butterflies aren’t the least bit picky about cultivars! And a garden like this is low-maintenance, too. There aren’t too many kinds of plants, so you don’t have to remember a bunch of different plant care tips. Instead, you’ll have lots of time to pull up a chair, lean back in the sun and watch the butterflies enjoying your garden.

Get the look of the butterfly garden below:

  • Wide brick edging keeps the garden tidy and offers butterflies the perfect spot to sun themselves on cool, dewy mornings.
  • A privacy fence and evergreen shrubs, like ‘Holmstrup’ arborvitae, give delicate butterflies some protection from gusts of wind.
  • Mix butterfly-friendly annuals like zinnias into a perennial bed. You can change them out for a different look every year.
  • Cut butterfly bush back hard in early spring. By late summer, it’ll be back to full size, ready to delight you and the butterflies!

Products for Butterflies You Might Like:
Butterfly Hibernation House
Butterfly Puddler
Butterfly Feeder

Illustration butterfly garden plan by Carlie Hamilton: Illustration by Carlie Hamilton

Meet the plants

Click through the slideshow to learn about the corresponding plants in this beautiful butterfly garden plan.

Previous Next
Published: Feb. 28, 2018
Updated: Sept. 28, 2020
GDT Ad_PhoneCases_zone5

Product Recommendations

Here are some supplies and tools we find essential in our everyday work in the garden. We may receive a commission from sales referred by our links; however, we have carefully selected these products for their usefulness and quality.


Related Tags

butterflies island bed pollinator friendly sun

Also in This Newsletter

Garden Gate

Last Week’s Newsletter

September 11, 2012

Curb appeal

3 easy ways to make your front yard the best in the neighborhood!


A fall garden isn’t complete without our favorite fruiting plants and their colorful berries!