Plants used in butterfly gardening

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The types of plants grown in butterfly gardens are generally divided into two broad categories - host plants and nectar plants.

Host plants are the plants that the butterfly caterpillars eat. Most adult butterflies sip flower nectar as a food source, these plants are the nectar plants. Adults of some butterfly species use rotting fruit, carrion and animal waste as a food source instead.

While some butterfly species have a preference for some nectar sources over others, for the most part any good butterfly nectar source will be used by most butterflies.

In this section I have included information about many of the host plants used by the butterflies included on this site, as well as the most popular nectar plants used. The plants are divided up into groups based on their size/shape, rather than taxonomic divisions like the butterflies are.

Nectar Plants



Host Plants




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