Top 13 Plants that Attract Monarch Butterflies 

Monarch butterflies can significantly assist your garden, whether you are cultivating your own food or flowers for show. They are excellent pollinators. Monarch butterfly populations have been steadily declining over the last few decades, owing primarily to habitat degradation and insecticide use. So… what plants that attract monarch butterflies should you grow?

Plants that attract monarch butterflies have whole blossoms densely packed with pollen, such as Zinnia, Cosmos, and Ava flowers. The milkweed is the best plant for attracting monarch butterflies; it supplies food for monarch butterflies and is also essential for monarch caterpillars. While feeding on milkweed, monarch caterpillars absorb the plant’s poisons, which serve as a defense mechanism for the monarch caterpillars.

Before you plant the plants that attract monarch butterflies, you need to evaluate your local climate. Some of the plants listed below are not wintered hardy; some are annuals, while others are perennials. Ideally, you should select a mix of annual and perennial plants that attract monarch butterflies because annual plants flower the first year. Still, some perennials take 2-3 years to produce flowers.

You can cultivate these plants from seed or established plants. Still, if you want to have as many different types of plants that attract monarch butterflies as possible, you should grow them from seed. 

What Plants Attract Monarch Butterflies? 

Milkweed is one of the plants that attract monarch butterflies
Goldenrod is not only beautiful, but attracts many pollinators.


Milkweed is one of the most well-known plants that attract monarch butterflies. While there are many distinct milkweed species, they all attract monarch butterflies. They are not only attractive to butterflies, but they are also useful to monarch caterpillars. The monarch caterpillars absorb compounds from the milkweed they employ as a defense strategy, and no other plant offers them this benefit.

Here are some of the best seeds to grow Milkweed

Zinnia Flowers 

You almost certainly have a few zinnias if you have a modest flower patch. The zinnia flowers are not only lovely to look at, but they also attract monarch butterflies and a variety of pollinators. Zinnia plants grow to be rather tall, which is helpful for monarch butterflies, who prefer spacious places to avoid predators.

Zinnia’s are beautiful, if not handy to increase pollinators. Here are some high quality seeds for Zinnia.

Miss Molly Bushes 

Butterfly bushes, also known as Miss Molly bushes, attract monarch butterflies. These bushes generate a lot of blossoms, and the more flowers the bush has, the more pollen there is for monarch butterflies and other pollinators to eat. Miss molly bushes can grow quite large, and the number of flowers they produce depends on the soil fertility and how they are pruned.

Here’s a one ounce pack of seeds that will grow all the miss molly bushes you could ever need.

Cosmos Flowers

Cosmos flowers are easy to grow and provide a lot of pollen for pollinators. Therefore they may be found in practically any flower garden. These flowers attract monarch butterflies, and the more cosmos flowers you have, the more butterflies you’ll have in your yard. Cosmos flowers are annuals, which means they bloom the first year they are planted, and the greatest thing is that they are very easy to grow.

Cosmos are great plants for beginner gardeners. Check out the seeds here.

May Night Salvia 

The May Night Salvia outshines all other salvia plants to attract monarch butterflies. This plant produces blue and purple flowers with a lot of nectar; most pollinators adore it, and some hummingbirds will also eat it. Grass clippings are one of the greatest mulches for flowers.

Blue Porterweed

All types of Porterweed flowers attract monarch butterflies and other pollinators. Still, the Blue Porterweed is one of the monarch butterfly’s favorite flowers. The flowers of the Blue Porterweed are small, but they are densely packed with pollen.

Siberian Wallflowers 

Siberian Wallflowers have a distinct aroma, and their bright, vivid orange flowers stand out in any flower garden. These wallflowers produce many flowers, and you won’t be able to see the leaves from all of them in certain circumstances.

These siberian wallflower seeds are high quality and great for monarch butterflies. You can buy them here


Bees, monarch butterflies, and hummingbirds are pollinators attracted to goldenrod plants. The huge pollen grains on this plant are one of the key reasons monarch butterflies like it.

You’ll probably want to grow some of these plants in a flower bed. For that, I recommend getting the proper mulch.


Hummingbirds are attracted to Agastache blossoms, and any plant that attracts hummingbirds will also attract monarch butterflies. The amount of nectar produced by Agastache blossoms is the main reason monarch butterflies and other pollinators flock to them. Even if you have a huge butterfly garden, you will observe that monarch butterflies flock to the ava flowers.

These agastache seeds are great for anyone looking to start a wildflower garden.

Mexican Sunflowers 

Mexican Sunflowers are found natively in South America and are one of the Monarch butterfly’s favorite flowers. As the monarch butterflies begin their journey south, they will stop in gardens with many Mexican Sunflowers to rest.

These seeds are certained to nourish huge blooms. I recommend checking them out.

Lantana Plant 

The Lantana plant is the easiest to cultivate. While it prefers well-draining soil, it will grow just about anyplace if you apply compost. Monarch butterflies, pollinators, and occasionally hummingbirds are attracted to lantana blooms. When planting Lantana flowers, remember that they are prone to powdery mildew, so ensure they are in full sunshine and that you water them from below.

Verbena Flowers 

The blossoms of the Verbena attract a variety of pollinators, including monarch butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds. Verbena flowers are incredibly easy to grow from seed. The best part is that they can survive in even the aridest conditions.


The callistemon is a sun-loving, heat-tolerant plant native to Australia, where it can thrive in drought circumstances. The flower has bright red blossoms that produce a lot of pollen, attracting hummingbirds and monarch butterflies.

Final Thoughts 

As you can see, many plants attract monarch butterflies, but you should select those that will thrive in your climate. If you only have time to pick one plant from this list, milkweed is my favorite.

Want to attract more pollinators to your garden? Read my Complete Guide on Attracting Pollinators to Your Vegetable Garden!


What plants attract monarch butterflies?

The top plants that attract monarch butterflies are milkweed, goldenrod, and zinnia flowers. These are all relatively easy to grow if you have basic gardening abilities.

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