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Do Butterflies Like Roses? (Yes. They Do)

Do Butterflies Like Roses? (Yes. They Do)

You have probably noticed that most gardens have blossoming flowers, some with vibrant appearances and others with sweet smells. All these flowers have specific purposes. Some gardeners usually want to attract bees. Others want to improve their garden’s look.

In most cases, Rose flowers are a must-have plant in home gardens. Not only will homeowners want to plant roses because of their vibrant blossom and alluring fragrance but because of their drought-resistant and easy-to-maintain properties. Unlike other major pollinators like bees, butterflies also help pollinate flowers. So, you will sometimes notice butterflies in the garden.

Keep reading this article to know whether roses attract butterflies and why they desire them.

Why do Roses Attract Butterflies?

First of all, roses attract butterflies because of their bright-colored petals and appealing smell. Secondly, the nectar they find in rose flowers acts as another element attracting even more butterflies. Apart from butterflies, other active insect pollinators in the garden find roses attractive.

Having said that, how a rose attracts a pollinator usually depends on how strong the smell is and how sweet the nectar tastes.

Typically, butterflies will fly around rose flowers because of the easy access. Remember that rose flowers have more open blooms than other flowering bushes. These pollinators will land without any difficulty on the flower to suck nectar.

If you are keen, you might notice roses in several distinct colors.

What Else do Roses Attract?

Roses will attract beneficial insects like bees & ladybugs and pollinator birds like hummingbirds. Unfortunately, these colorful flowers will also attract non-beneficial insects like whiteflies, aphids, scale insects, mealybugs, ants, and leafhoppers. If you do not maintain your garden, you risk affecting other plants.

If you are familiar with plant reproduction, you probably understand that roses attract birds and insects of different species.

Although pests and bugs are attracted to rose flowers of varied species, introducing the correct tough roses in your garden will be a wise idea. The Hybrid tea, Apricot, and Moss rose are disease resistant and can withstand pest attacks.

But if you cannot find bug-tolerant roses, you can still use natural home remedies to keep the bugs away in the garden. You can use natural home remedies including planting companion plants and pest-deterrent flowers like peonies and neem trees to reduce the number of pests in your garden.

Also, using pepper spray in the garden will keep bugs away while attracting other beneficial insects and birds.

Do Roses Attract Other Insects?

Yes. Roses attract other insects. Unfortunately, some will be unwanted insects like grasshoppers and aphids. It is worth mentioning that apart from the sweet nectar produced by rose flowers, the leaves will attract pests in different sizes.

First, the leaves of rose flowers attract beetles and moths, which lay eggs on the leaves. When the eggs hatch, the moth or beetle larvae (caterpillars) begin feeding on the leaves of the rose flower. If you do not take the necessary precautions to keep bugs away, these beetle larvae will slowly extend to other plants in the garden.

The most common insect associated with rose flowers is the rose aphid. These are tiny destructive insects that suck plant sup. If left uncontrolled, they can cause extensive damage to a rose flower.

Besides destructive insects, rose flowers attract the most popular pollinator insect known – bees. Several bee species will land on the rose flower and suck nectar when roses bloom.

What Flowers do Butterflies Like the Most?

As you already know, sweet nectar attracts butterflies. Also, bright blossoming flowers attract butterflies of different species to your garden. They can easily notice orange, yellow, pink, and other bright colors. Pot marigolds, coneflower, Bluestar, and Blazing Star are a few flowers that attract butterflies.

Lavenders, Butterfly bushes, and bright-hued asters are the top three flowers that attract butterflies. These plants have abundant nectar, and their flowers bloom brightly. Also, their open shape favors butterflies because they can land on the flower without any difficulty.

Since butterflies have large wings, they have a wider surface area for pollen to cling to, and the pollen sticks to their hairy wings, bodies, and legs. Afterward, they will unknowingly deposit the pollen on other flowers. Some species use a proboscis’s appendage to suck nectar from a flower to fuel its energy.

Here is a list of 6 common garden flowers that will attract more butterflies.

  1. Floss flower
  2. Hibiscus
  3. Lupine
  4. Lilac
  5. Petunia
  6. Milkweed

Do Roses Attract Hummingbirds?

Yes. Roses attract hummingbirds. These birds find the bright colors of orange and yellow rose flowers immensely appealing to them. However, rose flowers do not produce sufficient nectar for hummingbirds to rely entirely on them.

Nowadays, most gardeners plant roses of varied colors to attract hummingbirds. Apart from having a poor sense of smell, hummingbirds have excellent vision. Typically, they will be attracted by the color pink, yellow, and orange.

You can also include plants with nectar and tubular structures like daylilies, lupines, balms, and columbines in the garden.

It is worth mentioning that the color of the roses you plant in the garden determine if they will attract hummingbirds or not. Even with a few more choices, orange, pink, yellow, white, and purple rose flowers are among the best options for attracting hummingbirds to the garden.

Here is a video in slow motion showing how a hummingbird sucks nectar from a flower.

Do Roses Attract Bees?

Yes. Roses attract bees. Apart from the looks, rose flowers have multiple blooms close together, making it less hustle to fly around looking for nectar. Also, wild roses and a few hybrid roses with variant colors should attract them.

Bees find only some roses attractive. However, the majority of the species are their favorite. It does not mean that you will not find bees near roses; they do not find them beautiful but will still hover around almost all roses.

Apart from the type of rose, the color of the petal matters a lot to bees. Red, in particular, is a color that bees cannot differentiate. Bees see red as black. That is according to the gathered information. So, red roses will not be a favorite choice for them.

Roses with conical shapes and sweet smells also attract bees. They prefer these varieties because of the easy access without hindrance. On the contrary, honeybees prefer bright yellow roses with single stems.

Planting close blossom roses will attract more bees to your garden.

What Attracts Pollinators To Flowers?

Nectar is a sweet reward from flowers – meaning that it usually attracts pollinators like hummingbirds and bees. The sugar content in nectar boosts the pollinator’s energy levels because they need enough energy to fly around looking for food, water, and potential mates.

Nectar contains high sugar concentrations, amino acids, glucose, fructose, and protein, all of which are essential elements for pollinators. Apart from benefiting from the nectar, plants will also benefit because these pollinators will facilitate the efficient transfer of pollen from one flower to the other. Humans also benefit because fertilized plants produce edible fruits. Bees also use nectar to make honey.

If there are no more pollinators today, plants will not reproduce or produce subsequent generations because they cannot reproduce independently. Also, there won’t be fruits in the garden without pollination. Insects and birds suck nectar and facilitate essential pollination. They are necessary for the plant ecosystem.

Best Plants For Attracting Butterflies

Spring flowers and summertime shrubs are a favorite for butterflies. Today, various seasonal plant varieties attract butterflies because of their sweet nectar and colorful appearance. Daffodils, Candytuft, chocolate drop sedum, and landscape roses are among the most common plants gardeners like.

Apart from attracting butterflies to your garden, you should consider other benefits associated with the choice of plant you want. Care & maintenance, resistance to drought & pests, and smell produced are three top considerations in a garden plant.

Here is a list of the top 5 plants to consider.

1. Butterfly Bush (Buddleia) – This is an easy-to-care, fast-growing, deciduous plant. The flowers are irresistible to butterflies.

2. Coneflower (Echinacea) – A low-growing perennial plant that can withstand winter and drought, it is among the best plants that attract butterflies.

3. Lantana – This is an easy-to-care low hedge plant that can resist hot climate. It produces bright orange, pink, and yellow petals when it blooms.

4. Pot Marigold – A quick-to-grow plant with blooms extending up to 8 weeks. These plants allow butterflies to hover in the garden for a long time.

5. Lavender – Lavenders are a favorite for most gardeners because they attract many pollinators. These plants produce tall stems with purple flowers and are drought-resistant. Also, the lavender scent repels pesky pests around your home.

Two Pro Tips:

You must consider two critical elements before buying a plant from the garden center.

  • Always remember that butterflies come from caterpillars. So, before attracting these colorful insects to your garden. Consider if adult butterflies will lay their eggs under the leaves. because if they do, caterpillars will chomp other plant leaves in your garden.
  • Secondly, avoid using pesticides on the leaves or artificial fertilizers to attract more butterflies to your garden.

With enough space in your garden, it would be best to plant different flowering shrubs to attract butterflies.


Butterflies are beneficial insects. They help in pollination and make a garden look lively. As a gardener, you must know how to invite these colorful insects to your home. Apart from hummingbirds and bees, rose flowers attract butterflies. So, plant as many roses in the garden if you want to see several butterfly species.

This guide has looked at how to use different flowers, including rose flowers, to attract butterflies and bees to your garden.