Bright Blooms & Fluttering Butterflies

There is something almost magical about watching butterflies as they flit around your garden from one flower to the next. Understandably, many gardeners want to encourage these fluttering creatures by planting plants that they will find attractive. One of the most well-known ways to attract more butterflies is to grow the aptly named butterfly bush.

Butterfly Bush Needs The Sun

Butterfly Bush is one shrub that really needs full sun. It is essential for them to get at least 8 hours of bright sunlight to thrive. Even in a warmer climate, they still need around 6 hours of sunlight in order to thrive.

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Let's Talk About Drainage

It is important not to overwater Butterfly Bush, or you could find yourself with weak stems and fewer flowers. Drainage is essential for this particular shrub. The roots are susceptible to rotting when in wet soil, so excellent drainage is a must! Talk to the team at Northshore Nursery for some tips on achieving good drainage.

Be Patient With Butterfly Bush

While butterfly bush is reasonably easy to grow, it does require a certain amount of patience! It is one of the later plants to fill out in the Spring, so don't worry if everything else turns green except the Butterfly Bush. It could be as late as June before it makes its return! You also need patience when it comes to pruning! Don't go too early; wait until you see green buds on the stems and cut above those.

Why Do Butterflies Love The Butterfly Bush?

The main reason why butterflies are so drawn to the Butterfly Bush is that the flowers are very high in nectar! This shrub is like an all-you-can-eat buffet for these fluttering beauties. However, it is important to note that the nectar only sustains the butterflies; it does not offer a source of food to caterpillars. For a truly butterfly-friendly habitat, you should plan a variety of trees, shrubs, annuals, and perennials that bloom at different times. Northshore Nursery can offer advice on some of the best native plants to choose for the ultimate haven for butterflies and other pollinators.

Do Other Flowers Attract Butterflies?

Butterfly Bush may be the first thing you think of when it comes to attracting butterflies to your garden, but it certainly is not the only option. Some excellent options to include are Echinacea, Lavender, and Verbena. During your next visit to Northshore Nursery, ask our staff to point out the best options for attracting pollinators!


Northshore Nursery is Knoxville's premier destination for all of your landscaping and horticultural needs. Our certified Proven Winners Garden Center is a hidden gem that sits off Northshore, just west of Choto Circle, and features approximately 10 acres of annuals, perennials, compost, topsoil, trees, shrubs, and other landscaping and gardening essentials for both professional landscapers and home gardeners!

Call 865-830-6531 or visit