Bring butterflies into your garden

Bring butterflies into your garden

Common blue butterfly

Butterflies bring beauty to any garden. You can attract them by choosing nectar-rich plants that they love and that caterpillars can feed on.

Tips and plant suggestions

Plants with simple flowers make it easy for butterflies to get to the nectar.

Choose plants that will provide flowers throughout the season and plant in a sheltered sunny spot if possible for maximum effect. Don't use insecticides and pesticides. They kill butterflies!

Butterfly Food plant for caterpillar
Meadow brown, hedge brown, marbled white, large skipper Grasses including meadow grass, false brome, cocksfoot, Yorkshire fog
Large and small white Wild/cultivated cabbages
Green veined white, orange tip Lady’s smock, hedge garlic, hedge mustard
Brimstone Alder buckthorn, purging buckthorn
Common blue Bird’s foot trefoil
Painted lady Thistles


Good plants for attracting butterflies include:

  • Verbena bonariensis
  • Lavender
  • Perennial wallflowers
  • Marjoram
  • Common fleabane
  • Ice plant (sedum)
  • Ivy (excellent for late season nectar)
  • Primrose
  • Aubretia
  • Sweet rocket
  • Hebe
  • Thyme
  • Buddleja – but should be deadheaded after flowering to prevent seeding and promote a second round of flowering (can be a problem as an invasive non-native species)

Share your butterflies with us

If your garden is a butterfly paradise, we’d love to hear from you. Share your garden butterfly photos with us on Twitter and Facebook, and let us know your favourite butterfly plants.

Enjoy gardening for wildlife?

Why not consider taking part in our Wild About Gardens Awards 2017? It’s free to enter and anyone who has, or is developing, a wildlife-friendly garden in Kent is welcome to take part, however large or small their plot and whether they are a business, community group, school, college, allotment, private garden or even a collection of adjoining gardens.

For more information, visit our Wild About Gardens Awards page.