First it is important to select flowers that bloom at different times. This allows your garden to stay attractive and pleasing. It will also continue to provide food for the butterflies.
Butterflies have natural predators so you need to offer them protection. You can do this by choosing some tall plants; this will prevent wind from disturbing the butterflies and offer them a place to hide. Include some flat rocks in your garden for the butterflies to congregate on. I try to have a rock or garden art piece that will hold a little water for the butterflies. Or a birdbath!
You will also need to plan the location of the garden. It should be in a sunny area that gets at least 6 hours of sunlight a day. If possible there be some trees near to the area. This will provide more shelter for your butterflies. I usually want some small shrubs nearby too for additional protection.
photo credit: miheco
Most important for your butterfly garden, try to have an area that is pesticide free. Butterflies suffer from today’s chemicals.
Here is a list of flowers and shrubs that will attract butterflies to your garden:
Bee balm – favorite for hummingbirds too!
Milkweed – some people are not as enthusiastic about this plant but I this it’s fun and adds interest to the garden
Many consider milkweed a weed so some do not like this plant in the garden. But butterflies love it, particularly the Monarch butterfly. If you are afraid of the seeds scattering and getting in the yard remove the seedpod right before them break open. Or plant it in a pot so you can move it later. I love the milkweed plant. It has a beautiful fragrant blossom and the pod can be used for many crafting projects.
photo credit: Captain-tucker
This garden will also attract hummingbirds which are so much fun to watch in the gardens. They are particularly attracted to the red bee balm which flowers from late June (in my zone 5) to the fall.