The color PURPLE — butterflies

Posted by on June 28, 2012

Color brings movement to the garden–red for hummingbirds, flitting about, and purple will draw in butterflies, fluttering seemingly without a care in the world. Helen’s Haven is in motion from spring until fall with the flight of the butterfly.

There are many aspects of creating a wildlife habitat, but none as fun as adding color to attract our winged friends. Color plays an important role in the pollination puzzle.

Although the color purple isn’t as strong as an influencer to a butterfly as red is to a hummingbird, there is still strong evidence that butterflies are attracted to the color purple.

Most local or migratory butterflies will seek regionally native plants since they are the plants butterflies have evolved with. But butterflies will also feed from many non-native, nectar-rich plants that suit their needs, such as Buddleia spp., (Butterfly bush). Add the color purple, and you will attract even more butterflies.

Some of the purple plants I’ve added to my garden to attract and sustain various butterflies include dianthus, cosmos, phlox, coneflowers (Echinacea spp.), lavenders (Lavandula spp.), asters (Aster/Sumphyotrichum spp.), and salvias; to name a few.

I also grow a country garden, so adding garden art fits like a proboscis into a flower. As a tribute to the butterflies, I add purple garden art. Ok, so maybe it’s also for me since I do like purple.


Helen  Yoest is an award winning writer and speaker through her business Gardening with Confidence ®.

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Helen’s book,  Gardening with Confidence–50 ways to adding style for personal creativity is due out this fall.


2 Responses to “The color PURPLE — butterflies”

  1. Insects and birds with colors is fascinating. We have a small apiary and are always looking for bee plants. One of their favorites is nepeta. They love the blue lavender tones. Probably their next favorite color is yellow as in sweet clover.

  2. Dalton says:

    I always keep butterflies and hummingbirds in mind with my designs. I like to include flame salvia, budlia, and many other plants that keep the activity coming in the landscape. I once had a client who preferred a hedge made of Canyon Creek Abelia be kept shorn really tight to keep it blooming all summer. The Abelia kept the bees and such buzzing all Summer long. I also like to mix up the Budlia by using the Creamy colored or the Rich Purple. Great Article thanks for posting it.

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