Monarchs-And-Milkweed.com
(Rose Franklin's Perennials)

Monarch Nectar Plants

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During the shipping season (May thru October), our Facebook fans will receive notification of special promotions being offered on our web site. Sometimes we have more supply than we do demand for Monarch caterpillars or milkweed plants and then we advertise a flash sale on Facebook. During the winter, we post lots of butterfly photos and information that might be of interest to the butterfly gardener.

     Butterfly gardening involves essentially two things: (1) planting the perennials and annuals which attract butterflies and then (2) refraining from the use of chemical insecticides (which would likely kill the butterflies you attract).
     At our plant nursery, we grow some of the best butterfly nectar plants (pollinator garden plants) available. For best results, plant your butterfly garden in full sun and plant the tallest flowers behind the shorter ones--so you'll be able to see all the flowers and butterflies that appear in your garden.
     If you have limited space and want to plant the best-of-the-best butterfly attracting plants, Purple Coneflower, Phlox 'Jeana', Meadow Blazing Star, and Verbena should be your top choices from this page. Get a Butterfly Bush or two and a few Milkweed plants from the 'Milkweed Plants' page. With these plants, your butterfly garden should be off to a great start.
     If your primary goal is to assist the honey bee in its struggle to survive, I recommend Anise Hyssop and Short-toothed Mountain Mint, Swamp Milkweed (from the 'Milkweed Plants' page, and  a butterfly bush or two. These are among the best of pollinator garden plants for bees.

We don't offer these plants on this web site but you will likely find them at ButterflyBushes.com:

Butterfly Bush
(Buddleia davidii)

Depending upon the cultivar, Butterfly Bushes grow 20" to over 8' high. They are by far, the # 1 choice of Monarchs (and many other butterfly species also) for nectaring. Butterfly Bushes generally bloom from mid July thru late September.
In some areas, Butterfly Bushes are said to reseed profusely, and for that reason many native plant enthusiasts are advocating that Butterfly Bushes should not be planted. No where. Never. I strongly disagree because butterflies (and lots of other insects and hummingbirds too) LOVE the nectar that is produced by Butterfly Bushes and now, there are lots of Butterfly Bushes on the market that produce sterile seed (seed that will not germinate). Why deprive insects and hummingbirds from one of their favorite nectar sources? I say you shouldn't. Never. Not Butterfly Bushes.

Perennial, zones 4-9.

Purple Coneflower
(Echinacea purpurea)

Purple Coneflower bears large, daisy-like flowers of lavender-pink. Grows 30"-36" high and blooms from mid July through frost. Highly recommended at our plant nursery. Deer resistant and drought tolerant.


Perennial, zones 3-8. 

 

Meadow Blazing Star  (aka Rocky Mountain Blazing Star)
(Liatris ligulistylis)


While most Liatris do not attract butterflies, this particular species is a butterfly magnet. Especially attractive to Monarchs, Meadow Blazing Star is native to the north central states and generally blooms August thru September. Grows 36"-48" tall and is easy to grow.  
The true color of the flower is deep blue-lavender, not pink as shown left.
Monarchs love this plant!

Perennial, zones 6 - 9.

Phlox 'Jeana'     (Phlox paniculata 'Jeana')

 Founded by and named after Jeana Prewitt of Nashville, TN, this native wildflower possesses outstanding mildew resistance. Maturing at 30"-36" high, 'Jeana' produces lavender flower heads (smaller than those of most Garden Phlox) July thru August. Fragrant. Deer resistant and drought tolerant. While most garden phlox are not highly attractive to butterflies, this particular Phlox is exceptionally attractive to butterflies, and especially to Swallowtails.
High on Rose Franklin's list of the best butterfly nectar plants. Swallowtails especially like this one---but Monarchs like it too!

Perennial, zones 4-8.          

 

Phlox paniculata 'David', garden phlox 'David' Garden Phlox
(Phlox paniculata 'David')


Large clusters of bright white flowers adorn 'David' Phlox from July thru August. 'David' is mildew resistant, grows 30" - 36" tall, and has a wonderful fragrance. Plant it where you will enjoy the aroma when you walk by. Deer resistant and drought tolerant.

Perennial, zones 4-8.       

 

Gaillardia grandiflora 'Goblin', butterfly nectar plants 'Goblin' Blanket Flower    (also known as Fiesta Daisy)
(Gaillardia grandiflora 'Goblin')

Growing 12"- 16" high, 'Goblin' Blanket Flower produces an abundance of 3" bright yellow/red daisy-like flowers. It usually blooms June thru August and attracts several butterfly species for nectar. Deer resistant and drought tolerant.

Perennial, zones 4-9.

Joe Pye Weed
(Eupatorium )

'Joe Pye Weed grows 36"-60" high (depending upon the species and  cultivar) and produces large mauve-pink flower heads in late summer. Several butterfly species are attracted to Joe Pye Weed for nectar. Prefers a moist location but generally does well even in a dry location. Spreads fast to become a large clump. Deer resistant.

Perennial, zones 4-8.

 

Nepeta x fassenii 'Walker's Low', catmint, bee pollinator plant Catmint 'Walker's Low'
(Nepeta x fassenii 'Walker's Low')

Growing 15"-20" high, Walker's Low' Catmint attracts bees and butterflies to it for nectaring, making it a great plant for the pollinator garden. Easy to grow. Deer resistant.

Perennial, zones 4-9. 

 

Yellow Coreopsis
(Coreopsis grandiflora 'Early Sunrise')

Growing 20"- 38" high, Yellow Coreopsis produces an abundance of 2" bright yellow flowers. It usually blooms June thru July and attracts several butterfly species for nectar. Deer resistant and drought tolerant.
Also shown on our 'Butterfly Nectar Plants' page.


Perennial, zones 4-9.

Verbena canadensis 'Homestead Purple, butterfly attracting plant 'Homestead Purple' Verbena
(Verbena canadensis 'Homestead Purple')

A tender perennial, 'Homestead Purple' Verbena grows to about 12" high and usually spreads to a diameter of about 30" wide. A favorite nectar source of Swallowtail butterflies, it blooms  mid June thru September. Grows fast and is deer resistant and drought tolerant.  
 
 
Tender Perennial.        Zones 7-9.

 


Don't know what zone you live in? Check out our  USDA plant  hardiness zone map.

Milkweed (Asclepias) also produces a sweet nectar which lures Monarchs (and other butterflies also) to the garden for feeding. You'll find the milkweed species we offer on our 'milkweed plants' page.

Here's some annuals that attract Monarchs:
These you can start from seed or find them in your local nursery.

Mexican Sunflower (Tithonia) Zinnia Verbena bonarienssis Cosmos

butterfly gardening, butterfly attracting plants Fast Track BUTTERFLY GARDENING   (August, 2012)           $20.00

                                          by Rose Franklin

Within the pages of this book you will learn how to design and plant a nectar-rich butterfly garden, identify many of the butterflies that visit your garden, lure butterflies to your property for egg-laying, and lots more.

Book format: 8.5" X 11"; 104 pages; over 100 color photos.

FYI: If you are an Amazon Prime member, you can order this book on Amazon and get free shipping.

Rose Franklin's Perennials
Our plant nursery is located in Spring Mills, PA  16875

(814) 422-8968        Email:  MilkweedLady@aol.com

During our busy shipping season (May 1 thru September 30), please email, don't call.

 

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Revised: February 10, 2018