Fields of Dreams

Build your own thriving butterfly habitat in a small 10-foot by 10-foot bed, using these tried-and-true plants.
If you plant it, they will come. Butterflies, those quick-change artists that morph from slinky leaf-devouring caterpillars to fluttering, nectar-sipping beauties are seeking habitats to call their own. If your landscape includes just the right mix of nectar-producing food plants and suitable-for-egg-laying host plants, you’ve got a butterfly garden.

Beginners are in luck: It isn’t difficult to build and maintain a thriving butterfly habitat. Start small, though; one or two 10-by10-foot beds is enough. For a simple, effective use of space, plant a bed with a variety of color and forms, using these tried-and-true plants:

Nectar Plants for Feeding

Bee Balm
Butterfly Bush
Coneflowers
Daisies
Dandelion
Daylilies
Lantana
Lavender
Lupine
Mexican Sunflowers
Milkweed
Passionflowers
Sunflowers
Tall Verbena
Zinnia


Host Plants for Egg-Laying

Dill
Dogwood
Dutchman’s-Pipe
Fennel
Hops
Milkweed
Pawpaw Tree
Prickly Ash Tree
Pussytoes
Pussy Willow
Queen Anne’s Lace
Redbud
Rue
Spicebush
Sweet Bay Magnolia
Viburnum
Wafer-Ash Tree
White Clover
Wild Cherry Tree
Wild Violets

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