Butterfly Host Plants
What is a Host Plant for Butterflies
A plant that gives butterflies shelter required for laying eggs and serves as a food source to their caterpillars is called a host plant. Flowering plants such as Passion Vine and Milkweed, herbs like Fennel, and trees such as Sweet Bay Magnolia are all used as host plants.
Common Butterflies and their Host Plants
Creating a list of host plants is the first step towards planning a butterfly garden. Since different plant species attract different butterflies, you need to choose the right host plants for the survival of caterpillars. You should have a mixture of host plants and nectar-rich flowering plants if you want to increase the variety of butterflies in your landscape. Some nectar-producing plants include butterfly weed, milkweed, butterfly bush, ironweed, asters, verbena, common zinnia, Mexican sunflower, tickseed sunflower, Brazilian vervain, and chaste tree.
Here we have listed a few host plants that will attract some of the more common butterfly species to your garden.
|Clovers, alfalfa, deerweed
|Curly dock, sorrel
|Ironweed, pearly everlasting, pussytoes
|Citrus, parsley, fennel, anise
|Fennel, carrot, parsley, dill
|Walnut, hickory, oak
|Toadflax, plantain, snapdragon, gerardia
|Brussels sprout, collard, mustard plant
|Blue false indigo
|Senna, canary bird bush
|False indigo, clover, lead plant
|Aspen, willow, poplar
|Wild pea, alfalfa, clover
|Eastern Tiger Swallowtail
|Rue, citrus, prickly ash, hop tree
|Clover, hawthorn, mallow
|Scrub, white, and red oaks
|Alder, elm, cottonwood, poplar, willow
|Hollyhock, legume, thistle, mallow
|Elm, falsenettle, hackberry, nettle
|Poplar, oak, cottonwood, willow, cherry
|Oak, waxmyrtle, sumac
|Locust, false indigo
|New Jersey tea, flowering dogwood
|Hop, ash, chokecherry
Aside from host plants and nectar-rich plants, you may offer a fruit-feeding station, because some species like the monarch, mourning cloak, question mark, and red-spotted purple, feed on fruits. Therefore, you need to diversify your offerings for attracting more of these beautiful butterfly species.