Plants That Attract Butterflies in Texas

Butterflies are not only graceful and colorful insects: they also play a crucial role in the pollination process. Plus, these stunning creatures do not fail to delight children and adults alike: it is never a bad thing to have them hanging around your yard.

The bad news is that they are getting rarer, especially the most colorful species. If you are among the people concerned with their population decline, you might be interested in creating the right environment for them in your garden.

In this guide about the plants that attract butterflies in Texas, you will find a list of plants to create a stunning garden that will be the favorite spot for these insects. The good news is that you don’t need anything fancy to attract butterflies. But you’ll for sure transform your yard into a colorful and lush little forest.

What Type of Plant Should You Use?

Butterflies lay their eggs on “host plants,” which have the conditions to host their caterpillars. Each species seems to have a favorite one (or more). The classic example is the relationship between monarch butterflies and milkweed, but of course, there are many more.

Nectar plants also attract butterflies by providing food to adult butterflies. These flowering plants are a favorite of insects who drink their nectar. By planting a nectar plant, you can rest assured you’ll have a colorful garden effectively attracting butterflies. To ensure more butterflies will come to your garden, remember to plant both nectar and hosts.

Alternatively, another way to attract butterflies in your yard is to plant native trees. Some species will attract a variety of butterflies varieties!

Plants That Attract Butterflies in Texas

But what plants should you add to your garden to attract butterflies in Texas? Keep reading this list to find out.


Plants That Attract Butterflies in Texas

We talked about the role native trees play in attracting various species of butterflies. Oaks are an ideal option for any garden, especially if you like durable shade trees with dense foliage. With more than 40 types of oak native to Texas, you will for sure find one that suits your taste (and your soil conditions).

Related articles: How much does an oak tree cost? 


If you prefer herbaceous plants with vivid colors, Goldenrods is an ideal choice for attracting butterflies and giving some character to your yard. They work both as nectar and host plants, meaning they can support moths, caterpillars, and adult butterflies. Furthermore, this plant won’t be a hassle to care for: you won’t even need to water it as rainfall is sufficient for its survival.

Prickly Pear

Plants That Attract Butterflies in Texas

The state plant of Texas is a stunning addition to your garden, especially if you live in arid areas. Butterflies and other pollinators enjoy the nectar from its yellow blooms. And all you have to do is enjoy the stunning show! Indeed, provided that you give them lots of sunlight every day, prickly pears won’t need much maintenance.


Plants That Attract Butterflies in Texas

If you like trees more than flowering plants or bushes, but need something that grows fast, consider planting a willow. Even though they require some care (such as frequent pruning and fertilizing), they act as powerful host plants for several butterfly species. Plus, you can choose from several types of willow, some more versatile and adaptable than others.


Probably among the most popular host plants out there, milkweed is crucial for monarchs and more than 20 other species of butterflies. The good news is that you can choose from more than 30 types of milkweeds native to Texas. If you know you can’t commit much time and effort to your garden, this self-sufficient plant will be your savior to get a wonderful yard with little maintenance.

Pecan (or Hickory)

We said Prickly Pear is Texas’ state plant, but Pecan also covers this role. You can find these trees all over the state, especially around rivers. Pecan trees will not only attract butterflies but also a series of small mammals and birds too. You might find this either annoying or amusing, depending on what other plants you have in your garden. Regardless, if you choose to plant this tree, one of the best things (besides attracting lots of butterflies) is that you can too enjoy these tree’s delicious fruits.

Evening Primrose

While some gardeners might consider this plant a weed, the truth is that it is a vibrant yellow plant that requires little to no maintenance and will attract several species of butterflies to your garden. To prevent it from becoming invasive, give it adequate space and trim it regularly.

Plants That Attract Butterflies in Texas: Conclusion

With this short but concise list of plants, you can now choose which ones to plant to attract butterflies in Texas: all you have to do is select one that fits your taste and your garden’s requirements.