Garden Plants That Attract Monarch Butterflies

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Are you interest in creating a butterfly garden to specifically attract Monarch butterflies?

In order to attract any pollinator, not just one specific type of butterfly, you will need to plant flowers that will attract them.

Butterfly gardens are a very popular thing among gardeners. Not only do you get a beautiful sight of flowers and butterflies, but you help get pollinators into your garden.

What Is Butterfly Gardening?

Butterfly gardening is just planting flowers that will attract colorful butterflies to your garden.

These gardens can be a delight to both you and your family.

You can design your butterfly garden to your personal tastes, but you do want to be sure to have plants that will attract butterflies specifically.

And if your goal is to attract monarch butterflies then below are some of the best flowers to plant in your garden to attract them.

Related Reading: Flowers That Attract Honey Bees

Flowers to Plant In The Garden To Attract Monarch Butterflies

  • Milkweed
  • Butterfly Bush
  • Lilac
  • Zinnia
  • Agastache ‘Ava’
  • Cosmos
  • Lantana
  • Purple Coneflower

What to Plant to Attract Monarch Butterflies


Planting milkweed in your garden will help you be a part of maintaining monarch migration. And you will also be supporting the lives of other pollinators too.

Milkweed is one of the most popular plants used in gardens to help attract monarch butterflies.

It’s the most popular because Milkweed is essential to the Monarch butterflies. Milkweed adds a chemical to the larvae that make them not appetizing to their predators. And monarch caterpillars only eat milkweed, as it provides all the nourishment that it needs to grow and transform into a Monarch butterfly.

Unfortunately due to the development of land and increasing use of weed killers, milkweed has been disappearing, hurting the Monarch population. So this should be the #1 plant you concentrate on adding to any butterfly flower garden.

A great place to get milkweed for your garden is Monarch Watch Milkweed Market. They are dedicated to helping grow the monarch population with their milkweed plants.

There are plenty of varieties of Milkweed, so it can be easy to find a Milkweed plant that can work with your climate.

Milkweed is also a perennial, so it will come back year after year and attract Monarch butterflies each year.

Butterfly Bush - Flowers and Plants that Attract Monarch Butterflies

Butterfly Bush

Butterfly Bush’s name says it all. It attracts butterflies like crazy.

Another name for Butterfly Bush is ‘Miss Molly’ Bush.

While this attractive flower does provide nectar for butterflies, they do not provide benefits to caterpillars. So it is important to make sure to have some Milkweed in addition to Butterfly Bushes so you can help support the full Monarch lifecycle.


Not only will Lilacs add fragrance to your garden, but it is also another popular flower with butterflies.

Lilacs are a flowering shrub that blooms in the spring.

There are also some varieties of Lilacs that will give you a longer time for blooms instead of just a few weeks.

The Bloomerang Lilac is one of these, this breed of lilac will give you months of blooms vs a few weeks with regular Lilacs. This gives even more time for butterflies to come in and enjoy the nectar.

Zinnia - Flowers that attract Monarch butterflies


Zinnia is another flower you can plant to attract Monarch butterflies.

Using Zinnia can be a cheaper way to get flowers for your butterfly garden. And they are easily grown from seed.

Zinnia grows quickly and has a lot of blooms for butterflies to use to get nectar.

They are annuals, so you will have to plant new ones each year.

Agastache ‘Ava’

Also known as Hummingbird Mint. This plant is known for its ability to attract hummingbirds to the garden, but it also attracts Monarch butterflies.

Agastache ‘Ava’ loves being in sunny areas and attracts many pollinators to the garden.

It blooms starting in mid-summer and through September.

Cosmos Flower to Attract Butterflies


Cosmos is another budget-friendly flower to have in a butterfly garden as it grows from seeds that are fairly inexpensive.

These flowers are a member of the daily family.

And Cosmos flowers are very good at attracting not only Monarch butterflies, but other butterflies as well.

A bonus with Cosmos is that they are very drought and heat tolerant. And they can also rebound from lighter frosts if one happens to catch you unexpectedly.

Lantana - Attracts Monarch Butterflies and


Lantana is a late-blooming flower that can help nourish Monarchs later in the year during migration.

Usually, Lantana is bought as an already growing plant, so you want to make sure that you order yours from a reputable nursery if ordering online.

Some bonuses of having Lantana in your butterfly flower garden is that it also attracts hummingbirds. And another great reason to make Lantana a staple in any garden is that it repels mosquitoes.

Purple Coneflower to help attract Monarch Butterflies to your garden.

Purple Coneflower

Purple Coneflower is also known as Echinacea.

It is great for attracting pollinators of all types in addition to Monarch butterflies. to your garden.

I always make sure to have this each year in several spots throughout the garden to spread out pollinators.

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