Best Flowers For Butterflies And Hummingbirds

What is it about seeing a butterfly or hummingbird visiting your garden that is so exciting? I could watch them feed all day long. Having tried many plant combinations in my yard I know a few of the best flowers for butterflies and hummingbirds.

There are lots of flowers that will attract one or the other but there are many options that will attract both. Sometimes bees as well.

Flowers For Hummingbirds and Butterflies


I took this first photo in my mother-in-law’s backyard. This was literally the biggest butterfly I’ve ever seen. When it opened its wings, it was as wide as my hand! Isn’t it beautiful?


I had to ask my sister-in-law to identify this flower because I wasn’t familiar with it. It’s called Phlox and after learning that, I went right out and bought one. It’s currently in a planter on my porch which is mostly shaded so I may move it to the backyard.


Each year I grow Cosmos in containers around my patio. I love them because they’re easy to grow. Plus, you can pinch off the dead ones to encourage new blooms so they bloom all summer long.

Cosmo Flowers

They’re excellent for cut flowers too. And of course, they are great for attracting both butterflies and hummingbirds. I will always have these in my garden for these reasons.


I just started adding Zinnia to my garden last year. Much like the Cosmos they’re easy to grow, last all summer, and are great pollinators.

Zinnia flowers in garden

These are so easy to grow you can literally just drop a handful of seeds in the ground and expect them to come up.



Daylilies will attract butterflies for sure, but you do have to be aware they could be poisonous to pets.

My daughter is a veterinarian and is adamant about never bringing a cut lily into my house around the pets so be aware of that when choosing these.

Morning Glory


I love having climbing vines in my gardens. It helps to add interest and fit more flowers in my small backyard. Morning glories are so pretty and are great pollinators too.

Trumpet Honeysuckle (hummingbird vine)

hummingbird vine

A trumpet honeysuckle vine is often referred to as a hummingbird vine. The hummingbirds love these due to the high amount of nectar they contain.

These vines are pretty and easy to grow but be aware they spread and can be invasive. I constantly have to watch where they’re popping up.



Like the hummingbird vine, foxglove has trumpet-shaped flowers which hummingbirds seem to love. Foxgloves need full sun to part shade but aren’t very drought tolerant. If you’re in a very hot area, partial shade is best.



Coneflowers are my most recent favorite flower. I don’t think there’s any flower that smells better. They’re supposed to rebloom every year but I haven’t had luck with that. I did harvest seeds from my plants last year so if they don’t return on their own, I’ll plant those.



Petunias are said to be nectar rich having one of the sweetest nectars of all flowers. This is why both butterflies and hummingbirds will feed from them.


white marigold flowers

I use Marigolds in my full-sun containers because they do so well in the heat. A local nursery sells French vanilla marigolds (shown above) that come in lighter, buttery shades of yellow. I like these better than the bright yellow and orange marigolds.


small front porch with hostas

I have several hostas in my gardens because they’re a great filler and hard to kill. What I didn’t realize is that when they produce the purple flowers late summer they also attrach hummingbirds. I believe most hosta plants produce flowers though I’m not entirely familar with all hosta varieties.

Another great way to attract hummingbirds is to make your own hummingbird food. It’s super easy and whenever I put this out, the hummingbirds always show up! In fact, they come back every year to the feeders even before I fill them.

best flowers for butterflies and hummingbirds

Here’s a quick list of all the flowers mentioned for your reference!

  • Phlox
  • Cosmos
  • Zinnia
  • Daylily
  • Morning Glory
  • Hummingbird Vine
  • Foxglove
  • Coneflowers
  • Petunias
  • Marigolds
  • Hosta

One Comment

  1. Mari Lynn Markey says:

    Thanks so much, Roxanne, for the list of flowers to
    attract butterflies & hummingbirds!
    I’ll definitely plant some, or all, of these, in pots/boxes on my deck in May.
    Your garden, vines, etc. are lovely & inspirational!

    Happy gardening,
    Mari Lynn

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