If you are looking to attract butterflies and birds to your woods, prairies, or wetlands, look no further! We have your answer. Native plants are a great way to invite butterflies and birds to use your natural resources. These plants serve as food sources as well as great nesting materials. Below, we have outlined the specific plant species you should plant to attract colorful birds and butterflies to your property.

Types of Plant Species that Host & Feed Butterflies

When planting for butterflies, it is very important to include both host plants and nectar plants. Butterflies will lay their eggs on host plants and the caterpillars will feed on them. If you only plant nectar plants for full-grown butterflies to feed on, you will notice that they will only stop by to grab a bite to eat while they are on their way to a habitat complete with host plants to lay their eggs. While it is easy to attract numerous butterflies with just a few native species, increasing your plant diversity to include host species will certainly increase the butterfly diversity as well. It's a win-win for everybody!

Below are the species that you should plant if you are looking to attract beautiful butterflies.

  • Milkweed (Asclepias spp.)
    • Hosts: Monarchs
    • Provides nectar for: Monarchs, Swallowtails, Sulfurs, Spring Azure, Question Marks, Mourning Cloaks, Painted Ladies, Red Admirals, and Viceroys
  • Aster (Aster spp.)
    • Hosts: Pearl Crescents
    • Provides nectar for: Sulfurs, Question Marks, Painted Ladies, and Red Admirals
  • Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea)
    • Provides nectar for: Silvery Blues
  • Eupatorium spp.
    • Provides nectar for: Swallowtails
  • Helianthus spp.
    • Hosts: Painted Ladies
  • Hibiscus spp.
    • Hosts: Painted Ladies and Gray Hairstreaks
    • Provides nectar for: Painted Ladies
  • Northern Spicebush (Lindera benzoin)
    • Hosts: Spicebush Swallowtails
  • Wild Lupine (Lupinus perennis)
    • Provides nectar for: Common Blues
  • Wild Mint (Mentha arvensis)
    • Provides nectar for: Swallowtails, Painted Ladies, Red Admirals, and Monarchs
  • Wild Cherry (Prunus)
    • Hosts: Eastern Tiger Swallowtails and Viceroys
  • Rose (Rosa spp.)
    • Hosts: Mourning Cloaks
  • Sassafras (Sassafras albidum)
    • Hosts: Spicebush Swallowtails
  • Goldenrod (Solidago spp.)
    • Provides nectar for: Sulphurs, Gray Hairstreaks, Painted Ladies, Red Admirals, and Viceroys
  • Verbena spp.
    • Hosts: Buckeyes
    • Provides nectar for: Various species
  • Viola (Viola spp.)
    • Hosts: Great Spangled Fritillaries

Types of Plant Species That Will Attract Birds to Your Land

Serviceberry blooms in Lake Forest, MI.

Birds use certain native plants as food sources, nesting materials, or both. To attract birds to your natural woods, prairies, or wetlands, you will want to plant the species that birds will use for survival. Below is a list of native plants that are great for attracting songbirds or hummingbirds.

To attract songbirds to your property, plant these species:

  • Serviceberry (Amelanchier spp.)
  • Andropogon gerardii
  • Scotch broom (A. scoparius)
  • Milkweed (Asclepias spp.)
  • Aster (Aster spp.)
  • False aster (Boltonia asteroides)
  • Sideoats grama (Bouteloua curtipendula)
  • Bromus spp.
  • Carex spp.
  • New Jersey tea (Ceanothus americanus)
  • Coreopsis spp.
  • Cornus spp.
  • Primula meadia (Dodecatheon meadia)
  • Echinacea spp.
  • Eupatorium spp.
  • Common sneezeweed (Helenium autumnale)
  • Helianthus spp.
  • Heuchera richardsonii
  • Juncus interior
  • Prairie coneflower (Ratibida pinnata)
  • Rose (Rosa spp.)
  • Rudbeckia spp.
  • Silphium spp.
  • Goldenrod (Solidago spp.)
  • Prairie cordgrass (Spartina pectinata)
  • Prairie dropseed (Sporobolus heterolepis)

To attract hummingbirds to your property, plant these species:

  • Serviceberry (Amelanchier spp.)
  • Red columbine (Aquilegia canadensis)
  • Cornus spp.
  • Juncus interior
  • Michigan lily (Lilium michiganense)
  • Cardinal flower (Lobelia cardinalis)
  • Wild lupine (Lupinus perennis)
  • Wild bergamot (Monarda fistulosa)
  • Penstemon spp.

We are your local land restoration and management company.

At Pizzo & Associates, Ltd., we are firm believers in planting native species throughout your land to attract wildlife and provide food and nesting resources for them. We have been restoring and managing natural lands like woods, prairies, and wetlands since 1988. If your property is located in the Lake Forest or Barrington, IL area, give us a call today at (815) 495-2300. Our company has the expertise and guidance to help you restore and maintain your natural land area.