8 Native Plants Perfect for Your Butterfly Garden

Nectar Plants

Native to the eastern and central U.S., Joe Pye weed produces tall purple blooms with a vanilla scent. It's particularly attractive to monarch, tiger swallowtail, and viceroy butterflies.

Blue Vervain

Blue vervain is known for attracting buckeye and monarch butterflies. It also has medicinal uses ranging from improving sleep to curing acne and headaches.


Native to the Southwest, zinnias are drought-resistant and come in many colors. They attract monarch and swallowtail butterflies, as well as natural garden predators like wasps and ladybugs.


Host plants provide food for caterpillars and sites for egg-laying and chrysalis formation, making your garden a place where butterflies can thrive. Milkweed is the host plant for monarch butterflies and attracts other species and beneficial predators.


Hollyhock flowers are host plants for painted lady butterflies. These biennials bloom on tall spikes with large flowers that also attract bees and hummingbirds.

Wild Violet

Wild violet is the primary host plant for the fritillary butterfly family and makes excellent ground cover.


These flowering shrubs provide nectar and food for larvae while also offering shelter for butterflies. Buttonbush attracts monarchs and other butterflies with its distinctive blooms. It s a hardy wetland shrub native to many parts of the U.S.


Serviceberry provides food and shelter for various butterflies and moths. The edible berries are delicious for humans and songbirds.