Butterfly Gardening



To have a successful butterfly garden plants must be offered that provide both nectar for the adult butterflies and host plants on which they can lay (or oviposit) their eggs. Since each species of butterfly and moth (remember, you'll be planting for them, too) has specific requirements, a bit more attention must be given to your choices.

Butterfly gardening can be as simple as throwing out a pack of zinnia seeds, or as complex and involved as you'd like to make it. Like all gardening, there is a certain amount of trial and error, learning what works in your location and adding new host and nectar plants as you go along. As the partial list below shows, there's no shortage of either from which to choose.

When butterfly gardening there are two mind-sets that have to be discarded. One is the idea that your plants must have each leaf in place and unharmed. Remember, you want to have chewed leaves and caterpillars crawling around your plants. That's a sign of success! Yes, you'll have some denuded branches for a while, but the plants grow back, and you get rewarded by having butterflies and a garden that is truly alive! Which brings me to the next mind-set that has to be thrown out: pesticides. Pesticides and chemicals have no place in the butterfly garden. There are specific organic approaches to all the problems that might creep up or into your garden. By using them you'll be amazed at how quickly your garden comes back "into balance" with nature, which provides its own pest control system. The result is that your yard will be more alive with not only butterflies but all manner of insect, bird and other wildlife.

Host Plants listed by Butterfly

Host Plants listed by Common Plant Name

Host Plants listed by Botanical Name

Nectar Plants listed by Botanical Name

Send us some pictures of your butterfly garden!


There are a number of wonderful nurseries in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area. Listed below are a few of my favorites. If you've found a nursery that you'd like to share with others, let me know.

The Greenery
3706 N Highway 77
Waxahachie, TX 75165
(972) 617-5459

Many great native and adaptive nectar and host plants. Friendly and helpful staff.

Marshall Grain Company

Lancaster Avenue between Riverside and Beach, Fort Worth, Texas

or in Grapevine on northbound 121 frontage road between Hall-Johnson Road and Stone Myers Parkway.

North Haven Gardens
7700 Northaven Road
Dallas, TX 75230

There's always something to find at North Haven Gardens. An organic garden center that specializes in the unusual. They have a wide variety of Passionvines (Passiflora species), as well as Pipevine. Many native plants, trees and shrubs.

Painted Flower Farm
3801 Lariat Road
Denton, TX 76207

Many Texas natives and adapative plants. Located one block north of University Drive (Rt. 380), 1/2 mile west of I35 (Exit 469).

Rohde's Nursery and Nature Store
1651 Wall Street
Garland, Texas 75041

Rohde's Nursery has been leading the way in organic gardening from the beginning. An incredible selection of native plants are offered throughout the year.

Weston's Gardens
8101 Anglin Drive
Fort Worth, Texas 76140

Weston's offers many native plants, including lots of native milkweed species. Definitely a place to check out if you are on the west side of the metroplex.

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