The Best Companion Plants for Butterfly Bush (Buddleia)

Magenta butterfly bush flowers in a sunny garden

Butterfly bush (Buddleia) is a sun-loving shrub renowned for its cone-shaped flower panicles in vibrant pink and purple hues. It's a butterfly magnet, making it a staple in pollinator gardens. However, creating a pollinator garden that only features butterfly bush would be like offering pollinators a buffet that only includes dessert. Enticing, but not our goal. It's important to balance your garden with other perennials and shrubs that support pollinators in other ways. That's where we come in! Here, we'll list some of our favorite butterfly bush companion plants and discuss why they 'grow' so well together.

Pink bee balm in a sunny garden

Bee Balm (Monarda)

The vibrant blooms attract butterflies in troves when you plant butterfly bush and bee balm together. Bee balm can grow in nearly any soil, but it prefers moist soil environments, so just be sure this pairing is planted in a well-draining soil to be rewarded with blooms all summer long.


Uses: Rain garden, erosion control, native plantings, containers, perennial ground cover, mass plantings & borders.

Pollinator power: This plant pairing features an abundance of nectar and pollen that attracts bees, butterflies, hoverflies, and hummingbirds. After flowers fade, the exposed seed heads become a buffet for birds late in the season.

Close up image of purple aster flowers


Aster is a deer-resistant perennial with cornflower-like flowers and tidy green foliage that complement the large flower panicles of butterfly bush as an underplanting. This perennial also extends the vibrant pink, blue, and purple flowers beyond the butterfly bush season and blooms well into fall. The butterflies will flutter with joy when they come upon these two planted together in the garden.


Uses: Containers, cottage gardens, massing in a hedge or in a woodland area, flowering ground cover, and fall plantings.

Pollinator power: This perennial picks up the slack and attracts pollinators like butterflies and bumblebees later in the season as butterfly bush begins to enter dormancy. 

Moth feeding on nectar from mountain mint plants

Mountain Mint (Pycnanthemum muticum)

Planting mountain mint beside your butterfly bushes is a great way to add contrasting silver foliage to the garden. Mountain mint and butterfly bushes feature extremely nectar-rich flowers that attract pollinators from summer through winter. Pairing this perennial and shrub together will create a durable, deer-resistant, and long-blooming landscape that looks fabulous to boot!


Uses: Hedges, rain gardens, native plantings, pollinator and herb gardens.

Pollinator power: This native perennial features white flowers that are rich with nectar. It's especially adored by native bees, but it attracts an array of other pollinators to the garden.

butterflies on top of purple coneflowers

Coneflower (Echinacea)

Butterfly bush and coneflower are sun-loving and adored by pollinators, making them a great pairing in the garden! Coneflower (Echinacea) is a native perennial that pairs beautifully with a variety of other perennials and shrubs due to its low-maintenance nature. Depending on the height of your butterfly bush, coneflowers can be used as an underplant or at the forefront of your butterfly shrubs to add a pop of color.


Uses: Cottage gardening, mass planting, native and woodland garden, .

Pollinator power: Honey bees, butterflies, many species of birds including honeybirds adore coneflower blooms and exposed seed heads.

bee covered in pollen on rose of Sharon shrub

Rose of Sharon (Hibiscus syriacus)

Rose of Sharon and butterfly bush are two statement shrubs that are truly a perfect pairing in a garden hedge! They both prefer well-drained soil, like full sun environments with afternoon shade and feature signature vibrant blooms that you can't keep your eyes off. They are also long-blooming and begin their show at nearly the same time, so you can enjoy a bodacious flower display from summer to fall.


Uses: Flowering hedges, containers, specimen plantings, and pollinator gardens.

Pollinator power: The deep raspberry-colored eye in the center of rose of Sharon guides pollinators like hummingbirds to its nectar reserves for a sweet, nutritious feast. Read more about how rose of Sharon attracts pollinators HERE.

Monarch butterfly feeding on milkweed plant

Milkweed (Asclepias)

Want to attract even more butterflies to your garden? Plant milkweed next to your butterfly bush! Milkweed is a native perennial and the sole host plant to the Monarch butterfly. It is essential for promoting pollinator life and biodiversity. While the butterfly bush may provide a beacon of nectar for pollinators, milkweed offers many vital nutrients for baby insects to survive. Read more about the importance of milkweed to the Monarch lifecycle at the link HERE.


Uses: Native plantings, cottage gardening, accent perennial, and pollinator gardens.

Pollinator power: When you pair milkweed with butterfly bush, you create a garden that is like a buffet to butterflies, especially the Monarchs!

white flower spikes form calamint in a garden hedge

Calamint (Calamintha nepeta)

Are you looking to attract even more pollinators to your butterfly bush garden? Look no further than one of the most durable, sun-loving, easy-care perennials in horticulture today: calamint! This award-winning perennial features fragrant white flower spikes that complement bold butterfly bush flowers beautifully and feature dozens of tiny florets full of nectar and pollen.


Uses: Container plantings, hedges, cottage garden, accent perennial, and herb gardening. 

Pollinator power: Calamint is long-blooming nectar source that attracts bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds.

If you have questions, let us know! Comment your questions below or reach out through our contact us page. We have a team of horticulturalists who are here to help!