20 Plants That Attract Butterflies in Florida

Transforming your garden into a butterfly haven is a rewarding and magical experience.

Florida’s climate provides an ideal environment for many butterfly-attracting plants to thrive.

Here’s a list of 20 plants that will not only beautify your garden but also attract these enchanting creatures.

Butterfly Weed (Asclepias tuberosa)

Butterfly Weed is a perennial plant widely known for its vibrant orange flowers and its remarkable ability to attract butterflies, especially the Monarch Butterfly.

Butterfly Milkweed (Asclepias tuberosa)

These flowers not only entice butterflies but also other pollinators like bees and hummingbirds.

This plant is easy to grow, requires low maintenance, and is heat and drought-tolerant, making it perfect for Florida gardens.

  • Plant Species: Asclepias tuberosa
  • Plant Family: Apocynaceae
  • Growth Habit: Upright, clumping
  • Flowering Time: June to September
  • Distribution: Native to North America, ranging from Canada to central and eastern United States and into parts of Florida
  • Life Cycle: Perennial
  • Plant Part Used: Mainly the nectar-producing flowers, leaves, and stems

Planting Butterfly Weed in your Florida garden will not only help create a striking visual but also provide a valuable habitat for butterflies, as well as contribute to the overall health of the ecosystem.

Plus, the bright orange blooms add a pop of color to any garden space.

So consider adding this beautiful and beneficial plant to your garden today!

Mexican Sunflower (Tithonia diversifolia)

Mexican Sunflower, also known as Tithonia diversifolia, is a vibrant and colorful plant that is highly attractive to butterflies in Florida.

Mexican Sunflower (Tithonia diversifolia)

This sun-loving plant bears bright orange flowers that provide not only beautiful visuals but also a rich source of nectar for various butterfly species.

With its ease of growth and low maintenance, the Mexican Sunflower is an excellent choice for adding life, color, and butterflies to your Florida garden.

  • Plant Species: Tithonia diversifolia
  • Plant Family: Asteraceae
  • Growth Habit: Upright, bushy perennial
  • Flowering Time: Summer to late fall (year-round in frost-free regions)
  • Distribution: Florida, Mexico, Central and South America
  • Life Cycle: Perennial (in frost-free regions) or annual (in colder climates)
  • Plant Part Used: Flowers and leaves

To ensure the best growth and flowering, plant your Mexican Sunflower in well-draining soil, full sun, and provide adequate water.

Keep in mind that this plant can grow quite tall, up to 6-8 feet, so provide support if necessary and give it room to spread.

Remember to deadhead spent flowers to encourage continuous blooming and keep those butterflies coming.

Pentas (Pentas lanceolata)

Pentas, also known as Egyptian Starcluster, is a popular choice amongst gardeners and butterfly enthusiasts as it is easy to grow and maintain, and attracts butterflies in droves.

Pentas (Pentas lanceolata)

With their vibrant colors and nectar-rich blooms, Pentas are perfect for creating a lively and inviting garden space.

The star-shaped flowers form clusters which provide an abundant source of nectar, making it an irresistible oasis for butterflies. Here is some essential information about Pentas:

  • Plant Species: Pentas lanceolata
  • Plant Family: Rubiaceae
  • Growth Habit: Upright, bushy perennial with an average height of 2-3 feet (60-90 cm) and width of 1.5-2 feet (45-60 cm)
  • Flowering Time: All year round in warmer climates; spring to frost in cooler climates
  • Distribution: Native to Northeast Africa and the Arabian Peninsula; widely cultivated in tropical and subtropical regions
  • Life Cycle: Evergreen perennial in USDA zones 10-11; grows as an annual in colder climates
  • Plant Part Used: Flowers and leaves

Add Pentas to your Florida garden and watch as it becomes a lively spot for butterflies, providing you with an opportunity to enjoy the beauty of these delicate creatures up close.

Passion Vine (Passiflora incarnata)

Passion vine, also known as “Maypop,” is a captivating plant that not only adds a touch of color and charm to your garden but also attracts various species of butterflies, including the stunning Gulf Fritillary.

Passionflower Vine (Passiflora incarnata)

This hardy perennial is native to the southeastern United States, including Florida, and is well-suited for growing in various soil conditions and climates, making it an excellent choice for your butterfly garden.

  • Plant Species: Passiflora incarnata
  • Plant Family: Passifloraceae
  • Growth Habit: Climbing vine, reaching up to 25 feet in length
  • Flowering Time: Summer to early fall
  • Distribution: Southeastern United States
  • Life Cycle: Perennial
  • Plant Part Used: Flowers, leaves, and fruit

The uniquely structured flowers of the passion vine exhibit a stunning blend of lavender and white petals and sepals, with a mesmerizing crown of purple and white filaments, giving it an exotic appeal.

Additionally, the passion vine produces a delectable fruit called “Maypop” that is enjoyed by both humans and various wildlife and plays an integral part in the plant’s reproductive cycle.

So, by incorporating passion vine into your garden, you not only enhance its aesthetic appeal but also create a welcoming haven for butterflies and other pollinators to flourish.

Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea)

Purple Coneflower, also known as Echinacea purpurea, is a popular perennial plant known for its showy, daisy-like flowers.

Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea)

This plant’s brightly colored petals and contrasting dark center make it a favorite among gardeners and a haven for butterflies.

The nectar-rich flowers of the Purple Coneflower attract a wide range of butterflies, while also providing pollen for bees.

  • Plant Species: Echinacea purpurea
  • Plant Family: Asteraceae
  • Growth Habit: Upright, clump-forming
  • Flowering Time: June to August (but can be extended with deadheading)
  • Distribution: Native to eastern and central North America, but widely grown in Florida
  • Life Cycle: Perennial
  • Plant Part Used: Flowers and roots

Purple Coneflower grows best under full sun in well-drained soil, making it an excellent choice for butterfly gardens in Florida.

It’s a hardy plant, able to withstand heat, drought, and poor soil conditions. To encourage repeat blooming and attract more butterflies, be sure to deadhead spent flowers.

Additionally, the plant’s seed heads provide food for birds in the winter, increasing its appeal to wildlife enthusiasts.

Incorporate this stunning bloom into your garden, and the butterflies will be sure to thank you.

Enjoy the spectacle of various butterfly species fluttering about while the brilliant purple coneflowers add an extra touch of color and beauty to your outdoor space.

Black-Eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta)

Black-Eyed Susan is a cheerful, yellow-flowering plant that can brighten up any garden and attract a variety of butterflies.

Black-Eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta)

This easy-to-grow perennial is not only stunning but also low maintenance, making it perfect for Florida gardeners.

It has distinctive yellow, orange or red petals with a dark, almost black, center cone that catches the eye.

The nectar-rich blooms will provide a feast for various pollinators, ensuring that beautiful butterflies visit your garden throughout the flowering season.

  • Plant Species: Rudbeckia hirta
  • Plant Family: Asteraceae
  • Growth Habit: Upright, clump-forming perennial
  • Flowering Time: Summer to early autumn
  • Distribution: Native to North America, widely cultivated in gardens
  • Life Cycle: Perennial, sometimes grown as an annual
  • Plant Part Used: Flowers, leaves, and roots

In your Florida butterfly garden, ensure you plant Black-Eyed Susan in a spot with well-draining soil and full sun exposure.

Provide moderate water and watch as these lovely plants work their magic, attracting butterflies and brightening up your outdoor space.

You’ll have the added benefit of attracting beneficial insects that assist with pest control, making this plant an essential addition to any Florida garden.

Lantana (Lantana camara)

Lantana camara is a popular plant among butterfly enthusiasts due to its bright, beautiful blooms and the way it attracts a variety of butterflies.

Lantana (Lantana camara)

This hardy, easy-to-grow shrub adds vibrant color and life to your garden and provides a welcoming habitat for butterflies.

Lantana camara is known for its clusters of tubular flowers that come in a range of colors, including red, yellow, orange, and pink. The flowers also release a sweet fragrance, attracting both butterflies and humans alike.

Here’s some quick information for you to get to know more about Lantana camara:

  • Plant Species: Lantana camara
  • Plant Family: Verbenaceae
  • Growth Habit: Shrub
  • Flowering Time: Late spring through fall
  • Distribution: Native to South and Central America, now found worldwide in tropical and subtropical regions
  • Life Cycle: Perennial in warmer climates, annual in colder regions
  • Plant Part Used: Flowers and leaves

Planting Lantana camara in your Florida garden is a great way to attract beautiful butterflies.

The easy-care nature of this plant means less work for the gardener and more time spent enjoying the beauty and tranquility of the outdoor space.

Zinnias (Zinnia elegans)

Zinnias are a popular flower choice for attracting butterflies in Florida due to their bright and colorful blooms.

Zinnia (Zinnia elegans)

These flowers are not only beautiful, but they also provide a food source for many butterfly species.

By planting Zinnia elegans in your Florida garden, you’ll create a vibrant and attractive space for these winged beauties to thrive.

Zinnia elegans can be easily grown from seed, and they prefer a sunny location with well-drained soil.

Regular watering and deadheading will help to promote continuous blooming throughout the season. As a low-maintenance plant, Zinnias make a fantastic addition to any butterfly garden.

  • Plant Species: Zinnia elegans
  • Plant Family: Asteraceae
  • Growth Habit: Annual herbaceous plant
  • Flowering Time: Late spring to early fall
  • Distribution: Native to Mexico and naturalized in many parts of the United States, including Florida
  • Life Cycle: Annual
  • Plant Part Used: Flowers, for nectar and aesthetics

Zinnias are just one of the many plants that attract butterflies in Florida.

By incorporating these and other butterfly-friendly flowers into your garden, you’ll not only create a visually stunning landscape, but also provide a welcoming environment for these important and beautiful pollinators.

Goldenrod (Solidago spp.)

Goldenrod is a beautiful, hardy plant that is not only a favorite among butterflies but also for gardeners who want to add some color and life to their gardens.

Goldenrod (Solidago spp.)

With their bright, showy flowers and easy-to-grow nature, goldenrod plants are a great choice for attracting butterflies in Florida.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the features of this amazing plant:

  • Plant Species: Solidago spp.
  • Plant Family: Asteraceae
  • Growth Habit: Perennial herb
  • Flowering Time: Late summer to fall
  • Distribution: North America, Europe, and Asia
  • Life Cycle: Perennial
  • Plant Part Used: Leaves, flowers, and roots

Goldenrod plants boast tiny, yellow flowers that are clustered together in a plume-like formation.

These flowers provide a rich nectar source for a variety of butterfly species, making it an excellent addition to your butterfly garden.

Their vibrant color also adds a splash of brightness to any landscape.

Aside from being attractive to butterflies, goldenrod is also beneficial for other pollinators like bees and hummingbirds.

Additionally, goldenrod plants are drought-tolerant and can grow in a range of soil types, making them a low-maintenance choice for your garden.

Goldenrod plants are not only beautiful and easy to grow, but they also have a wide range of uses, from medicinal applications to being used as a natural dye.

So, why not consider adding some goldenrod to your butterfly garden and enjoy the flurry of winged visitors it brings?

Milkweed (Asclepias spp.)

Milkweed is an essential plant for butterflies, particularly the iconic Monarch butterfly, as it serves as its primary food source during its larval stage.

Milkweed (Asclepias spp.)

With over 100 species of milkweed, there’s a wide variety to choose from that will grow well in the Florida climate.

In addition to attracting butterflies, these plants also draw in various pollinators, birds, and insects, making your garden an ecosystem hub.

  • Plant Species: Asclepias spp.
  • Plant Family: Apocynaceae
  • Growth Habit: Perennial, herbaceous plant
  • Flowering Time: Summer to early fall
  • Distribution: North America, including Florida
  • Life Cycle: Perennial; dies back in winter and regrows from the root system
  • Plant Part Used: Leaves, flowers, and stems

To successfully grow milkweed in your Florida garden, ensure that you choose the right species for your specific location and provide both full sun exposure and well-draining soil.

As a low-maintenance plant, milkweed doesn’t require a lot of attention, making it perfect for even the busiest gardener.

By incorporating this vibrant and crucial plant into your garden, you’re not only creating a lively space but also supporting the Monarch population and local ecosystem.

Joe Pye Weed (Eutrochium purpureum)

Joe Pye Weed is a native perennial plant that can be found in the wetlands, woodlands, and meadows of Florida.

Joe Pye Weed (Eutrochium purpureum)

Its showy, mauve-pink flowers bloom in late summer to early fall, attracting a wide variety of butterflies to your garden.

Not only do butterflies love this plant, but it is also deer-resistant, making it an excellent choice for any landscape.

Here’s a quick overview of Joe Pye Weed:

  • Plant Species: Eutrochium purpureum
  • Plant Family: Asteraceae
  • Growth Habit: Upright, clump-forming
  • Flowering Time: Late summer to early fall
  • Distribution: Eastern North America
  • Life Cycle: Perennial
  • Plant Part Used: Root, leaves, and flowers

To ensure the best results when planting Joe Pye Weed in your Florida garden, make sure it is placed in a location with full sun to partial shade and well-drained soil.

For optimal growth, provide regular water during dry periods and space the plants around 2-3 feet apart.

Joe Pye Weed’s easy-care nature and butterfly-attracting abilities make it an excellent addition to your Florida garden.

So, next time you want to create a vibrant and inviting environment for butterflies, consider planting the fantastic Joe Pye Weed.

Coral Honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens)

Coral Honeysuckle, also known as Lonicera sempervirens, is a beautiful flowering vine native to Florida.

Coral Honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens)

With its trumpet-shaped flowers and striking red color, this plant is not only a visual treat but also a magnet for butterflies.

Coral Honeysuckle’s nectar-rich flowers attract a variety of butterfly species, as well as hummingbirds, making it a great addition to any butterfly garden.

This plant is an excellent choice for gardeners looking for a hardy and low-growing vine that can easily climb up trellises, fences, or other structures.

  • Plant Species: Lonicera sempervirens
  • Plant Family: Caprifoliaceae
  • Growth Habit: Climbing vine
  • Flowering Time: Spring to summer, with sporadic blooms throughout the year
  • Distribution: Native to the southeastern United States, including Florida
  • Life Cycle: Perennial; self-sows readily to produce new plants
  • Plant Part Used: The fragrant and colorful flowers draw butterflies and hummingbirds, while the tiny berries provide a food source for birds

To grow Coral Honeysuckle, provide well-drained soil and full sun to partial shade.

This low-maintenance plant is drought-tolerant and resistant to pests and diseases, making it an excellent choice for even novice gardeners.

Add Coral Honeysuckle to your landscape, and watch a kaleidoscope of butterflies and hummingbirds visit your garden throughout the season.

Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare)

Fennel is a versatile herb that’s not only popular in culinary arts but also a great addition to any butterfly garden.

Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare)

This aromatic, feathery plant creates a pleasant atmosphere, attracts pollinators like butterflies, and provides a host for caterpillar larvae.

Let’s dive into some key characteristics of Foeniculum vulgare:

  • Plant Species: Foeniculum vulgare
  • Plant Family: Apiaceae
  • Growth Habit: Upright, branching, and spreading; can reach up to 6 feet tall
  • Flowering Time: Summer through Fall
  • Distribution: Native to the Mediterranean, adapts well to Florida’s warm and humid climate
  • Life Cycle: Perennial, returning each year
  • Plant Part Used: Leaves, seeds, and bulbs

To ensure fennel thrives in your Floridian butterfly garden, plant it in well-drained soil with full sun exposure.

Regular watering is necessary, especially during hot spells. Remember that fennel often self-seeds and spreads, so make sure to provide ample space for the plant’s expansion.

With the right care, your fennel plants will create an inviting environment for beautiful butterflies to visit.

Salvia (Salvia spp.)

Salvia, commonly known as sage, is a diverse genus with a wide range of plant species that attract butterflies in Florida.

Salvia (Salvia spp.)

These plants offer beautiful and vibrant blossoms, making them a popular choice for gardens.

Besides attracting butterflies, salvias are easy to maintain and have various uses ranging from culinary to medicinal.

  • Plant Species: Over 900 different species
  • Plant Family: Lamiaceae (Mint)
  • Growth Habit: Perennial or annual shrubs and herbaceous plants
  • Flowering Time: Summer to early autumn
  • Distribution: Widely distributed throughout the world, particularly in the Mediterranean, Central and South America, and Asia
  • Life Cycle: Short to long-lived perennials, depending on the species
  • Plant Part Used: Leaves, flowers, and essential oils

To make your Florida garden irresistible to butterflies, consider adding these versatile and attractive Salvia species.

Not only will you be creating a beautiful landscape, but you’ll also be providing an essential food source for these important pollinators.

Firebush (Hamelia patens)

Firebush is a beautiful, fast-growing plant attracting numerous species of butterflies, hummingbirds, and birds looking for a berry treat.

Firebush (Hamelia patens)

The bright red-orange tubular flowers seem to be an irresistible invitation to butterflies, happily brightening up your garden.

Its low maintenance and high tolerance to different weather conditions add to its appeal for Florida gardeners.

  • Plant Species: Hamelia patens
  • Plant Family: Rubiaceae
  • Growth Habit: Firebush is a branching, evergreen shrub or small tree that grows up to 10-15 feet tall.
  • Flowering Time: This plant tends to thrive from early spring until the first frost.
  • Distribution: Native to Florida, it can also be found in parts of Central and South America, as well as the West Indies.
  • Life Cycle: Firebush is a perennial, which means it will return year after year once established.
  • Plant Part Used: The leaves, flowers, and fruits of the firebush are used by gardeners and landscapers to attract butterflies, birds, and various pollinators.

While the firebush is quite simple to grow and maintain, it does require full sun exposure and well-drained soil. The plant easily withstands drought but enjoys regular watering.

It can be trimmed and shaped as desired, making it a versatile addition to your butterfly-attracting Florida garden.

Phlox (Phlox paniculata)

Phlox paniculata is a charming perennial plant that brings butterflies and adds a splash of color to your Florida garden.

Phlox (Phlox spp.)

This plant produces vibrant clusters of fragrant flowers that come in a variety of colors, including pink, white, purple, and red.

Its sweet nectar makes it a favorite for butterflies, hummingbirds, and other pollinators.

To ensure a healthy growth, plant it in well-draining soil and provide full to partial sun, along with moderate watering.

  • Plant Species: Phlox paniculata
  • Plant Family: Polemoniaceae
  • Growth Habit: Perennial, upright-growing, forming clumps
  • Flowering Time: Summer to early fall
  • Distribution: Native to North America, adaptable to various climates including Florida
  • Life Cycle: 2-4 years, but it will self-seed and spread in the garden
  • Plant Part Used: Ornamental flowers, perfect addition to flower beds or borders

Planting Phlox in your garden will not only add beauty, but also fulfill its ecological function by attracting essential pollinators.

Make sure to regularly deadhead the spent flowers to prolong its blooming period and promote new growth.

Enjoy the colorful display of Phlox and the buzzing visitors it invites to your garden oasis.

Tickseed (Coreopsis spp.)

Tickseed, belonging to the genus Coreopsis, is a gorgeous flowering plant that butterflies love to visit.

Tickseed (Coreopsis spp.)

This plant is not only attractive to butterflies but also adds a pop of color to your Florida garden.

Here are some exciting facts about tickseed:

  • Plant Species: Coreopsis spp.
  • Plant Family: Asteraceae
  • Growth Habit: Perennial/Annual
  • Flowering Time: Late spring to early fall
  • Distribution: Native to North America, South America and Central America
  • Life Cycle: Annual or perennial depending on the species
  • Plant Part Used: Leaves and flowers

Tickseed plants produce daisy-like flowers in various colors such as yellow, orange, red, pink, and bi-color patterns.

The vibrant flowers attract butterflies and other pollinators as they provide them with a rich source of nectar.

This sun-loving plant thrives well in Florida’s warm climate, and when planted in well-drained soil, it can tolerate drought.

With its low-maintenance needs and stunning looks, tickseed is an excellent choice for both novice and experienced gardeners.

So, if you want to create a butterfly haven in your Florida backyard, be sure to plant some tickseeds.

Not only will you enjoy beautiful flowers, but you’ll also help support the local butterfly population.

Gaillardia or Blanket Flower (Gaillardia pulchella)

Gaillardia, also known as Blanket Flower, is a vibrant and easy-to-grow perennial that attracts butterflies with its daisy-like flowers.

Blanket Flower (Gaillardia spp.)

This charming plant can add a pop of color to your garden, as well as providing an essential food source for various butterfly species.

Don’t hesitate to plant this beautiful flower in your Florida garden to bring butterflies flocking.

  • Plant Species: Gaillardia pulchella
  • Plant Family: Asteraceae
  • Growth Habit: Perennial
  • Flowering Time: Summer and Fall
  • Distribution: Native to the southeastern United States
  • Life Cycle: Perennial, reseeding itself annually
  • Plant Part Used: Flowers and leaves

Gaillardia’s bright, festive colors and low-maintenance requirements make it an ideal choice for a butterfly-friendly garden.

It does best in full sun and well-draining soil, making it perfect for sandy or rocky landscapes.

The flowers are particularly known to attract butterflies like the American Lady, Painted Lady, Monarch, and Gulf Fritillary.

Not only will Gaillardia catch the attention of these gorgeous winged creatures, but it will also make your garden stand out with its unique, multi-colored blooms.

Bee Balm (Monarda didyma)

Bee Balm, also known as Monarda didyma, is a beautiful plant native to North America that attracts pollinators like butterflies.

Bee Balm (Monarda didyma)

With its vibrant, tubular flowers that come in shades of red, pink, and purple, this fragrant plant is perfect for adding color and interest to your Florida garden.

Bee Balm thrives in moist, well-drained soils and full to partial sun, making it an excellent choice for butterfly gardens or borders in the Sunshine State.

  • Plant Species: Monarda didyma
  • Plant Family: Lamiaceae (mint family)
  • Growth Habit: Perennial herb, growing from 2 to 4 feet in height
  • Flowering Time: Late spring to mid-summer, with blooms lasting up to 8 weeks
  • Distribution: Native to North America; found throughout the eastern United States and Canada
  • Life Cycle: Perennial, with a 3- to 5-year lifespan in optimal conditions
  • Plant Part Used: Aerial parts (leaves, stems, and flowers) are used for culinary and medicinal purposes

To ensure your Bee Balm attracts plenty of butterflies, be sure to plant it in an area with a mix of other nectar-producing flowers.

This will not only create a beautiful, diverse garden but also provide an abundant food source for your winged visitors.

Verbena (Verbena bonariensis)

Verbena bonariensis is a popular plant among butterfly enthusiasts. This tall, slender perennial has a graceful appearance and clusters of tiny purple flowers that beckon to butterflies.

Verbena (Verbena spp.)

Its long-lasting blooms and ability to thrive in various conditions make it an excellent addition to any butterfly garden.

Let’s dive into some specifics about this butterfly-attracting plant:

  • Plant Species: Verbena bonariensis
  • Plant Family: Verbenaceae
  • Growth Habit: Upright, with branching stems and slender leaves
  • Flowering Time: Summer to fall, with blooms lasting for several months
  • Distribution: Native to South America, but now widely cultivated in gardens worldwide
  • Life Cycle: Perennial, returning each year if given the right conditions
  • Plant Part Used: Flowers, which attract butterflies with their nectar

Verbena bonariensis is an excellent choice for those looking to create a butterfly haven in their Florida garden.

Not only is it a favorite among native butterfly species, but it also provides visual interest in your garden with its tall stems and eye-catching blooms.

Give this lovely plant a try, and enjoy the colorful array of butterflies that will surely flock to its flowers.


Planting these 20 butterfly-friendly species is a great way to bring life and color to your garden in Florida.

Not only will you be supporting these beautiful pollinators, but you’ll also create a lovely, vibrant landscape.

Share your experiences or suggestions in the comments section below – we’d love to hear what works best in your Florida garden!

Butterflies   Updated: June 19, 2023
avatar Welcome to Insectic, a blog to learn about insects and bugs. I'm Richard, and I've created this website to share my experience, knowledge, and passion with others.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *