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Attract Hummingbirds and Butterflies With These Flowers

Butterflies and hummingbirds make excellent visitors to any garden. You can attract these beautiful creatures to your property with bird feeders and food, but it is also possible to grow specific flowers. Some flowers are known to be favorites of hummingbirds, butterflies, or even both.  While getting started can be difficult because there are endless options, you can never go wrong with many of these plants included in our list. You can enjoy their beautiful sights and scents while saying hello to plenty of visitors flying into your yard.

Planning Out Your Garden Area

There are a variety of ways you can design a hummingbird and butterfly garden. Think about your property, especially open spaces. You may have empty landscaping beds that you want to fill or a big area in your backyard that you want to turn into an outdoor escape. Adding levels to a garden structure is a good direction. Levels or tiers allow you to use multiple plants strategically and maximize the amount of appeal to hummingbirds and butterflies.

Consider the Local Climate

Plan your garden out based on your location. You can get a lot of clues from your environment about which flowers to use. Native plants will do better in this type of garden because local butterflies and hummingbirds will be drawn to them. It is also easier for native plants to produce nectar in their ideal climate.

Flowers to Attract Hummingbirds

It may be tempting to fill your garden with red flowers to attract hummingbirds. But you should not be shy when it comes to flowers in other colors. Hummingbirds love all kinds of colors, including pink, white, purple, blue and orange. As long as there is nectar in abundance, the birds will come to visit. Check out these lists for the best perennials, biennials and annuals to plant on your property.


  • Bee Balm
  • Butterfly bush
  • Columbine
  • Daylily
  • Iris
  • Lupine
  • Scarlet Sage
  • Scarlet Trumpet Honeysuckle


  • Hollyhock
  • Foxglove
  • Impatiens
  • Larkspur
  • Petunia


  • Cleome
  • Fuchsia

Flowers to Attract Butterflies

Butterflies love bright colors including red, pink, yellow and orange and lots of nectar. Several flowers and plants that are popular with hummingbirds that also attract butterflies. For example, bee balm and butterfly bush draw in both. Check out the different perennials, biennials and annuals that make excellent butterfly magnets below.


  • Bee Balm
  • Butterfly bush
  • Columbine
  • Aster
  • Lupine
  • Scarlet Sage
  • Goldenrod
  • Lavender
  • Liatris
  • Musk Mallow
  • Oregano
  • Phlox
  • Purple Coneflower
  • Scabiosa
  • Yarrow
  • Shasta Daisy
  • Stonecrop


  • Hollyhock
  • Queen Anne’s lace


  • Alyssum
  • Cosmos
  • Fennel
  • Nasturtium
  • Calendula
  • Sage
  • Marigold
  • Zinnia

Depends on Species

  • Dianthus
  • Verbena

You can also design your garden in such a way that butterflies want to call it home permanently. Do not focus only on adult butterflies, but consider the needs of their offspring. Several common plants are popular with caterpillars and would make great companions to butterfly bush, bee balm, and other species. Pick one or two of the plants below to help foster the next generation of butterflies in your garden.

Think Outside the Box

Break up an endless sea of flowers with several beautiful bushes. Bushes and shrubs can provide food and shelter to hummingbirds and butterflies. When planning your garden, you can add a shrub or two for a border or as a means to fill an awkward space. The following list offers some of the best bushes for hummingbirds and butterflies.

Popular Bushes and Shrubs to Attract Butterflies and Hummingbirds

  • Butterfly bush
  • Summersweet
  • French lilac
  • Bluebeard
  • Bush Honeysuckle
  • Rose of Sharon
  • Columbine
  • Buttonbush
  • Elderberry
  • Meadowsweet
  • Fuchsia
  • Spicebush
  • Rabbitbrush
  • Firebush
  • Virginia Sweetspire
  • New Jersey Tea
  • Weigela

Make It Your Own

Let your butterfly and hummingbird garden take shape naturally. If you see one of your favorite flowers on one of these lists, try to make it a focal point. One last note, since many do not have a lot of time to spend maintaining their garden, if that is the case for you, it’s best to seek out more perennial plants. In the end, the goal is create an attractive landscape that will allow hummingbirds, butterflies and others to thrive. If you have a property in the northwest Twin Cities metro, get in touch with Northwood Outdoor Services today.

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