Butterfly gardens

Graphic of monarch butterflies.

Enjoy Backyard Wildlife with a Butterfly, Moth and Hummingbird Garden

Your backyard flower garden can become a lively butterfly, moth, and hummingbird garden if you choose the right flowers. Here are some top choices for a beautiful flower bed that will be irresistible to these wild creatures.

For butterflies:

  • Swamp milkweed (Asclepias incarnata)
  • Common milkweed (Asclepias syriaca)
  • Butterflyweed (Asclepias tuberosa)
  • Narrow-leaved coneflower (Echinacea angustifolia)
  • Rough blazing star (Liatris aspera)
  • Meadow blazing star (Liatris ligulistylis)
  • Black-eyed susan (Rudbeckia hirta)

For Ruby-throated hummingbirds:

  • Bergamot (Monarda fistulosa)
  • Cardinal flower (Lobelia cardinalis)


  • The milkweeds and blazing stars may be available only from nurseries that specialize in native prairie plants.
  • For further details, see the book Landscaping for Wildlife, published by the Nongame Wildlife Program, Minnesota DNR.
  • Butterfly, bee & moth garden designs.
  • Information about pollinator management and restoration: Pollinator Resources

Back to top