Annual Nectar Plants
Most butterflies enjoy nectar from a wide range of flowers. Below are a
few of their favorite annuals, plants that complete their lifecycle in one growing
season and/or are generally NOT winter hardy. The following plants are
considered annuals in northern Illinois. As they are susceptible to cold, they
should not be planted until after the last spring frost date. Click on the images
for more information about each plant.
You may also download a PDF with
a list of perennial and annual nectar plants by clicking here.
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particularly if deadheaded. Most common flower colors are shades of blue and purple but varieties are also available with pink or white blossoms. It has a mounded habit that ranges from 6” to 2’ depending on the variety. Performs best in full sun (6+ hours) but will tolerate as little as 4 hours of sun.
Prefers moist well-drained soil. Deer and rabbit resistant.
the ones that generally come to mind are in the genus Tagetes
and the species erecta, patula or tenuifolia. Single, semi-double to full pom-pom flowers occur in a range of colors from pale yellow (almost white) to orange, red, bronze and multiple combinations. Height varies from a few inches to nearly 5 feet! They prefer full sun (6+ hours), fertile, moist well-drained soil.
Once they begin to bloom, they continue until frost.