A Simple Autumn Planting Guide: Attract Butterflies To Your Ionian Garden

Ahead of the planting season this Autumn in the Ionian Region, and in the wake of the Corfu Butterfly Conservation’s excellent efforts this year to raise awareness of the 76 butterfly species found on Corfu, we would like to promote the planting of 3 ornamental plants. These flowers provide rich nectar for butterflies and are likely to attract them into your gardens, where you can observe these remarkable insects at close hand.

There is growing enthusiasm for greater engagement with the butterflies in our lives, and we hope that these simple tips will fuel the involvement of everyday people and children in everyday gardens across the region. We aim to engage the maximum number of people in the excitement of making a positive contribution to butterfly life in the Eptanisa by planting and nurturing these plants, so do please share this page widely.

The best suggestions CBC offers for three butterfly attracting plants include:

1) Verbena bonariensis – This species can be grown from seed and once established is likely to come up annually. It also blooms at a height that makes photographing butterflies easier.

2) Echium candicans – This species grows readily from cutting and once established will provide a good nectar source for 4 to 5 years. It is particularly good for attracting a range of early spring butterfly species.

3) Buddleia davidii – This is widely understood to be a valuable nectar source for a range of different butterfly species but it has the added advantage of spreading by seed and so it would be easy for gardeners with this plant to share seedlings with those who do not have it.




Verbena bonariensis
Echium candicans
Buddleia davidii

Our own observations suggest that butterflies love blue and purple coloured flowers – common ones found in the region also include Plumbago, Wild Garlic, Lavender, and Wild Sage

Some additional tips from Corfu Butterfly Conservation:

  • Encourage individuals to share seeds and cuttings or self seeding plants of the recommended “pollinator-friendly” plants.
  • Suggest that people only buy plants from organisations that can give evidence of cultivation methods which do not use systemic pesticides during their cultivation.
  • For more information about planting for the promotion of butterflies at home, visit the CBC website page devoted to Gardening for the Butterflies of Corfu.


“We hope there will be fireflies and glow-worms at night to guide you and butterflies in hedges and forests to greet you.

We hope that your dawns will be filled with an orchestra of bird song to enchant you.

We hope there will still be extraordinary creatures sharing the planet with you to enrich your lives as they have done for us.

We hope you will be grateful for having been born into such a magical world.”

Gerald Durrell,1988