Create a Butterfly Garden

Our butterfly kits are a combination of shrubs and perennials that will help you attract a variety of native butterfly species to your yard, supporting them with sources of food  and shelter. Here’s a sample of the species that are perfect for butterflies!


Dense blazing star (Liatris spicata)

Part of the aster family, this tall, upright, clump-forming perennial prefers moist, fertile soils, but are easily grown in medium well-drained soils in full sun. They typically grow to two-four feet tall and feature terminal spikes of round, fluffy, deep purple flower heads. The flowers bloom in summer providing pollen and nectar for butterflies.








New Jersey tea (Ceanothus americanus)

A compact, dense, rounded shrub that typically grows to two-three feet tall and requiring little maintenance, the dried leaves were once used as a caffeine-free tea substitute during the American Revolutionary War, hence the common name. Cylindrical clusters for tiny, fragrant, white flowers appear on long stalks in late spring. These fragrant flowers are attractive to butterflies and the foliage is a food source for Azure butterflies.



































Swamp milkweed (Asclepias incarnata)

The large, bright, terminal blossoms of this showy two-four foot perennial are made up for small, rose-purple flowers. Deep pink flowers are clustered at the top of a tall, branching stem and bloom during the summer. The flowers are popular to many kinds of insects including Swallowtail butterflies, Queenbutterflies, and also act as larval host to Monarch butterflies.









Bottle brush grass (Elymus hystrix)

This attractive perennial grass grows one-three feet in height forms loose upright tufts of narrow-bladed, rough-textured green leaves and is the larval host of various butterflies and moths including the Northern Pearly Eye butterfly. The flower heads are greenish and bristly and rise well above the foliage in the summer, maturing to brown in late summer and persisting on the plant well into autumn. Flower heads resemble bottle brushes and are the best ornamental feature of this grass.









These garden kits will do best in locations with full sun and well-drained soil, and are available in two different sizes to fit your space. Various garden design options are also offered to help you personalize your yard.

What's Included

Large Butterfly Kit (covers approx. 55 square ft)

  • 52 perennials
  • 4 shrubs
  • Mulch
  • Garden design suggestions
  • Tips to help your garden succeed

Price: $265 + HST (may vary seasonally)


Small Butterfly Kit (covers approx. 25 square ft)

  • 22 perennials
  • 2 shrubs
  • Mulch
  • Garden design suggestions
  • Tips to help your garden succeed

Price: $145 + HST (may vary seasonally)


Looking for more kits?
The Butterfly Kit is one of many we offer. Learn about our other wildlife-friendly garden kits:


Jillaine Yee is LEAF’s Communication and Fundraising Coordinator.


Thank you to the Regional Municipality of York for designing the "Create a Butterfly Garden" infographic.


The Backyard Tree Planting Program is supported by the City of Toronto, The Regional Municipality of York, Toronto Hydro, Ontario Power Generation, The Town of Newmarket, The Town of Ajax, and Oakvillegreen.