Butterfly bushes have become a bit controversial lately, and maybe you've heard or read something saying that you shouldn't plant butterfly bushes, or that they're bad for butterflies. Of course, if you've grown butterfly bushes before, you know that they attract tons of them, so how can this be?
What this argument is trying to get at is that just as people can't live by "bread alone," butterflies cannot live by butterfly bushes alone. These plants only satisfy their need for nectar, and do not provide a vital food source for butterfly larvae (caterpillars), so they don't sustain butterflies through their entire life cycle. In short, planting butterfly bushes should be just one part of your strategy for making your yard and garden more hospitable to butterflies. As you think about which shrubs and perennials you want to plant, be sure that your list includes plants that: