The Best Butterfly-Friendly Shrubs for Southern Florida

Living color garden center-Florida-Butterfly-Friendly Shrubs for Southern Florida-pentas shrub

Monarch butterflies have arrived in Southern Florida as they make their way to Mexico for the winter season. Attracting pollinators to your garden means that your plants gain assistance with seed production and enrich your local ecosystem. Bright flowers attract butterflies, and nectar is an essential part of their diet, so flowering shrubs are the perfect way to add ornamental value to your yard while also producing food and shelter for the butterflies. Here are some beautiful flowering shrubs you can add to your garden to keep your outdoor space butterfly-friendly.


Firebush shrub is native to Florida and thrives in tropical climates and hardiness zones of 8-10. Also known as Hamelia patens, these eye-catching, butterfly-friendly shrubs sport red foliage and have a full growth habit. They love well-draining soil and require a regular watering schedule until they reach their mature size. 

Living color garden center-Florida-Butterfly-Friendly Shrubs for Southern Florida-Pride of Madeira

Pride of Madeira 

Tropical, shapely, and butterfly friendly, the pride of Madeira, or Echium fastuosum, can reach up to eight feet tall. Shaped like a pine cone covered in brilliant purple flowers, the pride of Madeira enjoys a hardiness zone between 9 and 11 and thrives in even drought-tolerant conditions. 

Japanese Mock Orange

This shrub is a crowd favorite and with good reason. The Japanese mock orange grows in a diverse range of subtropical locations due to its hardiness tolerance of zones 8 through 12. These shrubs grow between six to fifteen feet tall and feature cute tiny white flower buds that add elegance to any garden space; they’re fragrant, easy to care for, and gorgeous! Whenever your soil feels dry, keep it moist by watering frequently.

Living color garden center-Florida-Butterfly-Friendly Shrubs for Southern Florida-Pomegranate Shrub

Pomegranate Shrub 

Adorn your backyard with a fancy pomegranate shrub that leaves you with a delicious harvest of tropical fruit at the end of the season and provides a great landing spot for butterflies. Pomegranate shrubs look like green bushes or miniature trees before they bear fruit, but their simplicity will help frame the other show-stoppers in your garden. This deciduous shrub grows between five and ten feet tall and thrives in full sun. 

Orange Jasmine

Despite its name, this shrub isn’t orange at all! Orange jasmine is a gorgeous flowering shrub commonly found in many Floridian backyards. Gardeners and butterflies alike love orange jasmine for its gorgeous white foliage, deep green leaves, and spectacular bushy growth habits that add texture to your garden display. When you plant this shrub in your landscape, you will surely see some garden butterflies coming to check it out! 

Living color garden center-Florida-Butterfly-Friendly Shrubs for Southern Florida-Sapphire Showers flower

Sapphire Showers 

Butterflies can spot these gorgeous purple flowers from a mile away. You’ll live in color in your backyard with these butterfly-friendly shrubs, with their decadent petals painted in violet with white edges. Perfect for hardiness zones of up to 11b and native to Florida—plant in an area of full sun if possible.

Living color garden center-Florida-Butterfly-Friendly Shrubs for Southern Florida-Mexican Bush Sage

Mexican Bush Sage 

Give the butterflies a taste of Mexico on their way south with Salvia leucantha, also known as Mexican bush sage. Fuzzy deep purple blooms combined with white make this shrub an elegant option for your garden. They grow up to six feet tall and thrive in zones 7 to 11. Plant this shrub in an area of full sun for the best results—the hotter, the better. 

Purple Porterweed

This one may be called a weed, but its flowers are brilliant, and pollinators love it—welcome butterflies to your garden with the purple porterweed, otherwise known as Stachytarpheta frantzii. Monarchs especially love this unique flowering shrub, which is ideal for hardiness zones 10 and 11. 

Living color garden center-Florida-Butterfly-Friendly Shrubs for Southern Florida-egyptian starcluster

Egyptian Starcluster 

This shrub has an enticing name, and its foliage follows through on that intriguing promise! The Pentas lanceolata, or Egyptian starcluster, is adorned in star-shaped flowers that attract butterflies and other pollinators with their rich jewel tones. It is hardy in zones 8-11 and prefers full sun for the best growth.  

Are you looking for more butterfly-friendly flowering shrubs to add to your collection? Visit us at Living Color Garden Center in Fort Lauderdale today to learn more!

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