Grow flowers for butterflies
- Activity time:
- More than 2 hours
- Difficulty level:
- Suitable for:
- Balcony/roof, Small garden, Large garden, Medium garden
- To help:
- Bees, Creepy crawlies, Butterflies & moths
Butterflies herald the start of spring, but did you know they only regularly visit a few flowers?
So it is important to know what plants to grow, and how and where to grow them if butterflies are to thrive in your gardens and green spaces.
Our recommendations will give you the best chance of being visited by these gorgeous creatures.
If you're looking for somewhere to start, take a look at the butterfly attractor seed kit from our shop.
What you will need
- Butterfly-friendly flowers
- Butterfly-friendly shrubs
- Watering can
- Choose which flowers and shrubs to plant. Check out our recommendations of the very best to grow for butterflies, and decide which ones you would like in your garden.
- Spring flowers:
- Bugle (Ajuga reptans) - a ground-cover woodland perennial plant, with low spikes of purple flower
- Erysimum ‘Bowles mauve’ - a perennial wallflower with mauve flowers
- Goat willow (Salix caprea) - a shrubby tree, which can grow to 15 m tall, so it needs space and shouldn't be planted near houses because of its vigorous root
- Lady's-smock (Cardamine pratensis) - a delightful, slender plant with pink flowers for moist soils
- Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea) - a lovely perennial for the flower border, with large flowers with a central spiky cone surrounded by pink petals
- English lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) - the familiar Mediterranean herb, a short-lived subshrub that likes poor, dry soil
- Hemp agrimony (Eupatorium cannabinum) - a British native perennial, sending up lots of metre tall leafy stems topped with fluffy pink flowerheads
- Marjoram (Oreganum vulgare) - a British native of downs and grassland, about 30cm tall with lots of small pink flowers
- Verbena bonariensis - a trendy plant that is so dainty its tall stems topped with purple flowers can be slotted in among your existing border plants.
- Bugbane (Actaea simplex ) - A tall, upright spike with white flowers along it
- Devil's-bit scabious (Succisa pratensis) - a native wet meadow and downland flower with little lilac pompom flowers
- Iceplant (Sedum spectabile) - fleshy leaves and pink flat heads of flowers
- Ivy (Hedera helix) - the familiar climber, but allow it to get its head into the sun in order to flower
- Michaelmas daisy (Aster novae-angliae) - a perennial for the flower border with familiar pink and purple daisy-flowers.
Those plants that are herbaceous perennials can be left to grow again year after year. Leave the seedheads standing overwinter as extra homes for wildlife, before clearing the spent stems in spring and composting them.