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Meet our Plants

Attracting butterflies to your yard can be very rewarding!
To attract butterflies, you must provide flowers that have nectar and host plants for them to lay their eggs on. Although there are many plants that have nectar, butterflies are rather specific about the plants they lay their eggs on.
Butterflies lay eggs on plants that the hatched caterpillars will eat as they grow in their life cycle. It is easy to add the nectar plants but adding those host plants will give the butterflies a place to complete their life cycle and you will have butterflies in all life stages. Here are some ideas for plants to put in your yard.

For nectar --

Native plants: phlox, azaleas, thistles, fruit trees, zinnias, ironweed, goldenrod, coneflower, buttonbush, asters, blazing star, red clover, monarda and jewelweed.

Buy these at the nursery: petunias, verbena, lilac, phlox, cosmos, lantana, butterfly bush (buddlea), morning glories and gaillardia.

For host plants --

Native plants: butterfly weed (Asclepias), pipevine, Queen Anne’s lace (naturalized), chicory (naturalized), nettles, white clover, red clover, violets, sassafras, spicebush, tulip poplar, ash, wild cherry, elm, hackberry, coreopsis, plantain, ruellia and some grasses (uncut grass with their seeds).

Buy these at the nursery: dill, fennel, parsley and alfalfa

Use a bird bath for rotting fruit or shallow puddles of water.

Prepared by Christine Bock, Tennessee Aquarium

The Butterfly Garden is presented by:

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