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Attracting Butterflies and Hummingbirds to Your Garden

Hummingbird and Butterfly Plants and Flowers

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Attracting butterflies and hummingbirds to your garden is as easy as planting the flowers they like. Plant enough of their favorites so that they can find them easily and return often. But hummingbirds and butterflies need more than just nectar, like water and shelter. One very important thing to remember about attracting hummingbirds, butterflies or anything that is going to be tasting the plants in your garden is to avoid using pesticides. Here are more tips for what to plant to attract butterflies and hummingbirds and how to keep them happy, healthy and returning to your yard.

1. Attracting Butterflies

Swallowtail on a Rose Bush
Photo: © Marie Iannotti

Every gardener loves butterflies, but to attract butterflies to your garden, you have to be willing to feed their offspring. That means putting up with some destruction from feeding caterpillars. If you can deal with this, then make butterflies at home in your garden with puddles for drinking and cooling off, logs for shelter, host plants for laying eggs and, of course, flowers for nectar. Here are more tips for attracting butterflies to your garden.

2. Attracting Hummingbirds

Hummingbird Diving into Galdioli.
Photo: Mark Wilson / Getty Images

There are several species of hummingbirds and they each have their preferences, but all hummingbirds need nectar rich plants and water. A gentle mist from a nearby fountain or waterfall is sure to attract them to your garden. Here are some more tips for attracting hummingbirds to your yard.

3. Butterfly Plants and Flowers

Butterfly Weed (Asclepias tuberosa)
Photo: © Marie Iannotti
Butterflies are partial to flowers with flat umbels, where they can stop and warm their wings as well as grab a snack on the fly. Bright colors will catch their eye in flight, so consider planting your butterfly plants in swaths larger enough for them to spot.

4. Hummingbird Plants and Flowers

Pink Four O'Clocks (Mirabilis jalapa)
Photo: © Marie Iannotti
Hummingbirds love tubular flowers that are rich in nectar. It takes a lot of energy to move as fast a hummingbirds do and they especially appreciate large clusters of their favorite plants, listed here.

5. A Butterfly Garden Design

How to Design a Butterfly Garden
Photo: © Marie Iannotti
This half-circle border of plants should have butterflies and even a few hummingbirds fluttering through it by mid-season. You can use the plant as is or tweak it with your favorite plants.

6. Herb Plants for Butterflies

Borage Blosso
Photo: © Marie Iannotti

Many favorite butterfly plants are herbs. Dill, parsley and fennel all have those wonderful flat, umbel landing pads butterflies love, as well as plenty of nectar. You can include them in a designated herb garden or incorporate these herbs into any border. Read on for more about attracting butterflies with herbs.

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