Blooms for Butterflies and Birds

by MBC

This article will make suggestions for attracting butterflies and or birds to your garden. Sometimes the same plant works to attract both butterflies and birds.

This article will feature advice on planting a sanctuary in your garden which attracts birds and/or butterflies. Remember that bright colors are magnets for both species. Search for plants that are easy to care for and are nectar rich. Butterflies and birds are not just pretty they are effective pollinators. Tip: try to plant things that bloom at varying times of the season to keep them coming throughout the growing season. Also keep in mind various heights from the ground to the tree tops and everything in between.

Attracting birds such as the robin has the advantage of of controlling the insect population who would otherwise be destructive to your garden. Keep in mind planting things that offer berries and or seeds for the birds to eat. It’s a win/win situation. Be sure to offer a water feature because these creatures need to drink and bath. Water is actually one of the best attractors for wildlife possible. So keep them coming back by offering a pond or birdbath and put it in the shade to avoid too much evaporation. Purchase something attractive to humans as well. There are many lovely ones to choose from.

Both Birds Who Eat Seeds and Butterflies Will be Attracted by Echinacea or Cone Flower

This plant is very easy to grow, so perhaps start here. Leave the seedhead on the plant til fall, to keep birds coming back. Then Cut them back in the early spring.
Coneflower or Echinacea
Coneflower or Echinacea

Some Basic Facts about Butterflies

Butterflies live from about 2 weeks up to a year depending on the species and circumstances.  Also on where you live in the country and the weather conditions.  There are four life stages of the butterfly which are egg, larva (caterpillar) , pupa and adult.  The eggs usually hatch in 10 to 14 days.  There are some species which will overwinter and hatch the following spring.

A Pretty Garden Butterfly

Butterfly - Photo is for Sale Just Click Below
Butterfly - Photo is for Sale Just Click Below

Birds and Butterflies Can Be Mutually Beneficial in the Garden

For one thing both birds and butterflies pollinate your crops or flowers.  An example would be the American Goldfinch who loves seeds and berries produced from what you plant, also they give back by controlling the population of damaging insects by eating them. Plus both birds and butterflies are relaxing and wonderful to watch in the garden.

Wear a Sun Visor when Working in Your Garden

Create a Buffet in Your Garden

Do NOT use pesticides or herbicides if you wish to have butterflies or birds.  This will kill them! 

When choosing what to plant think of what the insect or bird loves to eat.  For example, if you want Monarch butterflies they eat milkweed.  Do some research on the butterflies in your area before you start. Zinnias and Blackeyed Susans usually work well. Butterfly Weed is one of those "plant it and forget it" plants that butterflies enjoy.

You also should consider if the plant needs wet or dry soil and direct or indirect sun.  Refer to books or the internet or your local garden store to check your region for heartiness.  For example, think of the Sycamore tree.  Birds which are attracted to the sycamore include:  hummingbirds, orioles, chickadee, cedar waxwing, mallard, goldfinch, pine siskin, and house and purple finch.  But sycamore trees only thrive in Zones 5 - 9.

If You Want Swallowtails, try Butterfly Weed

Bright Colors in Blooms Will Attract Either Butterflies or Birds

Cosmos come in pink, white, carmine,orange and yellow. Look for a hot dry spot in your yard.  Or try Foxgloves. If your yard is not too windy, plant Hollyhock to create a butterfly habitat.  If you have a windy yard you will need to stake your Hollyhock or it will be vertical. For hummingbirds Starflower is a good choice and the butterflies also love this flower. Plan your garden so that you have flowers from early summer clear into fall.


Ornamental grass such as maiden grass will provide good nesting material for the birds in the spring.  Help them "feather the nest".

The above book has wonderful spreadsheets that detail such things as your region, the latin name and common name of plants, fruiting months, mature height, and hardiness zones. It's a great reference.

More of my articles for you to enjoy

Find out about attracting and preserving Bluebirds and learn about the three species of bluebirds here.
This is a book review of a Memoir by Melissa Hart called Wild Within
In this article we will discuss a few of the almost 30 various species of owls; their habitats, vocalizations, nesting, reproduction, conservation and behavior as well as photos.

Want Some Unique Butterfly Luggage?

Updated: 10/18/2016, MBC
Thank you! Would you like to post a comment now?

When You Created Your Garden Did You Keep in Mind the Critters?

MBC on 06/12/2016

Thank you so much!

blackspanielgallery on 06/12/2016

Quite lovely images.

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