Create a warm and inviting space for butterflies to flutter throughout your Long Island garden this summer by incorporating their favorite plants into your design.
There are many different types of shrubs, perennials and annuals that attract butterflies. Here are five of our favorites which are often overlooked but are gorgeous, hardy options for any sunny garden from the south shore to the north shore.
Bluebeard Blue Mist (Caryopteris x clandonensis ‘Blue Mist’)
A light, airy shrub with powder-blue flowers over bluish-green leaves. Foliage has fuzzy, silver undersides and is fragrant when crushed. A true butterfly magnet for the garden. Cut back in late winter to promote growth. Prefers full sun; grows 3-4 ft. tall.
Little Richard Glossy Abelia (Abelia x grandiflora ‘Little Richard’)
Clusters of fragrant ivory flowers are produced throughout the summer. This shrub should only be pruned after flowering to avoid removing any of the current season’s flowers. It is a good choice for attracting birds, bees and butterflies to your yard, but is not particularly attractive to deer who tend to leave it alone in favor of tastier treats. Prefers full sun to partial shade and grows 3 ft. tall.
Little Princess Spirea (Spiraea japonica ‘Little Princess’)
Little Princess Spirea is draped in stunning clusters of pink flowers at the ends of the branches from late spring to early summer. It is a great choice for attracting butterflies but is also not attractive to deer. It has emerald green foliage which emerges chartreuse in spring. Prefers full sun and grows about 24 inches tall.
Magic Carpet Spirea (Spiraea ‘Magic Carpet’)
Magic Carpet Spirea features showy clusters of hot pink flowers at the ends of the branches from late spring to early summer. It has attractive yellow foliage which emerges tomato-orange in spring. The small serrated pointy leaves are highly ornamental and turn an outstanding scarlet in the fall. A good choice for attracting butterflies. Prefers full sun and grows about 24 inches tall.
Wine & Roses® Weigela (Weigela florida ‘Wine & Roses’)
A great variety formed from an old-fashioned favorite with rosy-pink flowers May through June and wine colored leaves. The flowers are adored by hummingbirds and butterflies. Use as an accent plant for splashes of color or for even greater impact use as a mass planting. Prefers full sun and grows up to 5 ft. tall.
Plant some or all of these unique shrubs to attract butterflies to your Long Island garden this summer.