Hedges for Butterflies

While there are many plants that can be used as a hedge, this page will be used to suggest plants that are also good for butterflies.
Note – I’m looking for help if you have grown any of these.


Arrowwood Viburnum -Viburnum  Dentatum


Wild Hydrangea – Hydrangea arborescens

Sue Leahy – “The BEST hydrangea for butterflies and bees is Wild Hydrangea (Hydrangea arborescens). It is a pollinator magnet.”



Hydrangea paniculata – standard version.

  • The trick is to get the older standard version, not a newer species. The picture above is an older hydrangea which is a magnet for bees and pollinators in my garden. The Summer Azure will also lay eggs on the flower buds.
  • A newer variety I have, Limelight, has beautiful flowers, but does not attract any pollinators. Apparently the flowers are serile.
  • Missouri Botanical Garden
  • Pinky Winky is another newer version of this which does attract pollinators. 12


Nannyberry Viburnum – Viburnum lentago


Thanks to Dennis Bozzay for the above picture.

Ninebark – Physocarpus opulifolius


Rusty Blackhaw Viburnum – Viburnum rufidulum

This will bloom and provide nectar for early spring butterflies. It is also a host plant for spring/summer azures. Dark fruit in the fall for birds. This plant will sucker, so this could be a problem in some settings. 10′ – 20′ tall and wide. Sun to partial shade.


1 Comment

Filed under Host Plant, Nectar Plant

One response to “Hedges for Butterflies

  1. Susan Leahy

    Hi Tom, A couple of things. The BEST hydrangea for butterflies and bees is Wild Hydrangea (Hydrangea arborescens). It is a pollinator magnet.

    I have a Rusty Blackhaw in my front yard that I started to tree up and then it lost its central leader, but I keep it trimmed as a small tree. It occasionally puts out another shoot. We just use a sharp flat-blade shovel to remove them.

    I also have two ninebarks, one in the front and one in the back. What would you like to know about them?

    Sue Leahy

    Sent from Mail for Windows 10

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