Monday, April 10, 2017

8 Dog Friendly Plants That Attract Butterflies

If you're looking to attract some butterfly visitors this Spring, remember that many plants and flowers are toxic to dogs. However, there are still a few plants and flowers that attract butterflies and are known to be safe for dogs. Always keep your dog in mind when choosing what to plant in your yard. You never know when they'll decide to make a snack out of your garden!

To help keep things simple, I've compiled a list of dog friendly plants that attract butterflies. You'll be sure to have a few winged visitors in no time.


Sage is a tough plant, making it easy to care for. Plus, you can use it in the kitchen too! It's also available in many varieties. Mealy blue sage sprouts blue flowers, grows about 2-3 feet tall, and is a butterfly favorite. Pineapple sage is another variety that is safe for dogs. Known for it's pineapple scent, the nectar of the red flowers will attract plenty of butterflies. 


Sweet Alyssum is an annual that grows particularly well in the Spring and Fall. The flowers are dainty with a light, sweet fragrance that attracts butterflies. If you're into container gardening, these are perfect for hanging baskets and other containers. 


Fennel will attract Swallowtail butterflies to your garden. Caterpillars also like to munch on it.  However, be careful because it can spread and take over a garden fairly well. As long as you keep the dead flowers trimmed back, it should be fine. Plus, if you like to eat Fennel that's a bonus to keeping this plant in your butterfly garden!



There are a lot of Salvia varieties, but both Salvia Gregii (Autumn Sage) and Salvia Coccinea (Blood Sage) are popular plants for attracting butterflies to your garden. They are hearty plants that do well in my native, Texas. Pictured below is the Salvia Coccinea variety. 


Coreopsis is both good for attracting butterflies and non-toxic to dogs and cats. It's also known as Tickseed and is a perennial. It's bright yellow flowers that bloom for a long time are sure to brighten things up. 



These beautiful and impressive flowers can grow several 3 to 8 feet tall with many flower buds along the stalks. While they come in several different colors, the red varieties are attractive to both butterflies and hummingbirds. 



A popular and easy garden flower to care for is the Marigold. Marigolds enjoy lots of sun and can endure very hot temperatures, making them ideal choices for Southern gardens. 


Zinnias are annuals that are quick and easy to grow, making them a great flower choice for many gardens. They are available in a large variety of colors too. Zinnias can attract many species of butterflies. Zinnias are safe for both dogs and cats. 

We hope this list of dog friendly plants that attract butterflies helps you with your gardening endeavors! Remember that there are many different plant varieties, and if you find something you aren't sure about to research it further. The ASPCA Poisonous Plants list is an extremely helpful resource, but still several plants are missing from their list so you may need to dig a bit deeper. 

If you have any recommendations for dog friendly plants that attract butterflies, please be sure to add them to the comments! 


  1. Great advice on what you can plant in a garden to make it dog friendly. I have published a similar article; it highlights common plants that are toxic to pets.

  2. We always have tons of butterflies in the Spring in our yard and we don't even know what the plants are back there. LOL Great list!

  3. Marigolds have always been one of my favorite flowers, and I didn't know they would attract butterflies. What a bonus! Thanks for the great list, I always want to add things that are safe for the dogs and good for nature as well!

  4. Thanks for this great article, Ann and Shiner! We love plants and butterflies! And you guys, too! :)


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