Adding a touch of graceful colour to your garden, butterflies are wonderful to watch – and great plant pollinators. Attracting them to your garden is therefore both helpful and likely to bring a lot of joy.  Here are some of the best plants for butterflies.

Butterflies in Britain

Before looking at the best plants for butterflies, let’s consider which species you are likely to see…

Britain has 59 different species of resident butterflies. Another 30 species migrate here either regularly or occasionally from other European countries. Many of these species require highly specialised habitats (coppiced woodland, chalk down-lands, etc.) and are rarely spotted in gardens. Others are common garden visitors. These common visitors include the:

  • Cabbage White (Large and Small)
  • Red Admiral
  • Painted Lady
  • Peacock
  • Green-Veined White
  • Brimstone
  • Comma
  • Small Tortoiseshell

Occasional, though much less frequent visitors may include the:

  • Orange-Tip
  • Small Copper
  • Common Blue
  • Meadow Brown
  • Speckled Wood
  • Holly Blue


Only the cabbage whites are potential pests, as their caterpillars like to munch on nasturtiums, cabbages and other brassicas.

Best Plants for Butterflies

Adult butterflies take the nectar they feed on from many different garden and wild flowers. You can encourage them to visit your garden by growing suitable flowers all the way from March through to October/November. So, what are the best plants for butterflies?

One of the best plants for butterflies is, of course, Buddleia davidii. Aptly known as ‘Butterfly Bushes’, Buddleias attract many butterfly species – and fill your garden with a delicious scent of honey. Other garden plants great for attracting butterflies include, among many others:

  • Bee Balm or Bergamot (Monarda didyma)
  • Caryopteris (Caryopteris x clandonensis)
  • Common Jasmine (Jasminum officinale)
  • Dame’s Violet (Hesperis matronalis)
  • English Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)
  • Hyssop (Hyssopus officinalis)
  • Purple Top (Verbena bonariensis)
  • Rose Campion (Lychnis coronaria)
  • Sweet William (Dianthus barbatus)
  • Weigelia (Weigela florida)

Great wild flowers to start attracting butterflies with include:

  • Common Foxglove (Digitalis purpurea)
  • Common Honeysuckle (Lonicera periclymenum)
  • Common Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)
  • Dark Mullein (Verbascum nigrum)
  • Greater Knapweed (Cantaurea scabiosa)
  • Guelder rose (Viburnum opulus)
  • Hemp Agrimony (Eupatorium cannabinum)
  • Large Thyme (Thymus pulegioides)
  • White Clover (Trifolium repens)
  • Wild Marjoram (Origanum vulgare)

Complete lists of garden plants and wild plants for butterflies are available from

Watching Butterflies

Make the most out of your butterfly garden with one of our gorgeous, comfortable garden benches, duo or companion seats.

There’s nothing more relaxing and enjoyable than watching butterflies flutter by with a loved one – so why not browse the range now?!

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