How to Attract Butterflies with Plants They Love

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- There's nothing like a colorful butterfly fluttering around fragrant flowers on a summer evening. However, butterfly populations are currently down in the Midwest due to an extremely warm winter.

Matt Stueck from Suburban Lawn and Garden says there is a way to boost butterfly populations and that's to plant a butterfly garden -- or at the very least add a few plants to your garden that butterflies like.

Finding the right plants

There are two types of plants that attract butterflies: host plants and nectar plants. Host plants are where butterflies lay their eggs. Once the eggs hatch, caterpillars use the plant as a food source. Nectar plants attract adult butterflies and help pollinate them.

Host Plants Native to Missouri

  • Golden Alexander
  • Spicebush
  • Tulip Tree
  • Pussy Toes
  • Columbine
  • Any willow tree species


Host Plants Not Native to Missouri

  • Parsley
  • Dill
  • Bronze Leaf Fennel
  • Silver Mound Artemisia
  • Milkweed -- (also a host plant for Monarch butterflies)

Nectar Plants

  • Purple Coneflower
  • Milkweed (swamp, common, butterfly)
  • Joe-pye weed
  • Liatris
  • Iron Weed
  • Black-eyed Susans
  • Goldenrods


For more information on creating a butterfly garden, visit your local Suburban Lawn and Garden store or visit their website.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.