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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.