10 Flowers that Feed Monarch Butterflies

My Garden Life
September 26, 2016
Table of Contents

Monarch butterflies are the only known butterfly to make a long 2-way migration every year. They travel south for the winter because they can’t survive the winter in cold areas. A monarch can travel 50-100 miles in one day and needs pit stops at flowers along the way to refuel. <strong “=””>Plant these flowers and you’ll provide a much-needed feeding station of nectar for butterflies. No matter if you live in the city, suburb or countryside, here are 10 flowers to grow that attract monarchs to your garden, porch, and balcony during their fall migration.

Plant These in the Ground:

  1. Bluebeard, Caryopteris x clandonensis
  2. Jamaica Vervain, Stachytarpheta jamaicensis
  3. New England Aster, Aster novae-angliae
  4. Star Flower, Pentas lanceolata
  5. Vervain, Verbena bonariensis

Monarch Butterfly on Vervain, Aster, Caryopteris, Jamaica Vervain, Pentas

Plant These in Containers or the Ground:

  1. Autumn Sage, Salvia greggii
  2. Lantana, Lantana camara
  3. Meadow Sage ‘May Night’, Salvia x sylvestris
  4. Upright Sedum, Sedum hybrid
  5. Zinnia, Zinnia elegans

Monarchs, Zinnia, Salvia, Sage, Sedum, Lantana
After monarch butterflies hibernate in the warmer temperatures of Mexico and Southern California, they will start their journey north again in spring. Make sure to grow new flowers for them to visit in springtime.

Have you seen a monarch on your flowers? We’d love to see a picture! Share it with us on our Facebook page, My Garden Life.


  1. Jen

    I have a monarch chrysalis in my yard but the temperature went to 37 degrees yesterday. Will the butterfly survive that weather?

    • My Garden Life

      Hi Jen,
      Monarchs are tropical butterflies, so it goes without saying that they are sensitive to cold through all their stages of development. The optimum temperature range for any stage of monarch butterfly development is between 55-84°F. If the temperature didn’t get to freezing (32°F) there’s a reasonable chance your chrysalis will survive this bout of cold, but continuous exposure to temperatures in that range could prove fatal, especially if wind chill is a factor in lowering the actual temperature even further.


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