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Marietta Daisies Garden Club

7 Important Host Plants for Pollinators

An array of plants provide nectar for bees, butterflies, and other beneficial insects, but some pollinators require individual host plants to develop from larva to adult.

Plant butterfly host plants to give caterpillars food to eat and a place to grow through their lifecycle.

Nectar plants give butterfly gardens a powerful boost. But they're not the only key to drawing pretty pollinators to your yard.


  • Willow. (Salix spp., Zones 2–12)

  • Pipevine. (Aristolochia spp., Zones 5–10)

  • Pawpaw. (Asimina triloba, Zones 4–9)

  • Viburnum. (Viburnum spp., Zones 2–12)

  • Wild buckwheat. (Eriogonum spp., Zones 3–10)

  • Violets. (Viola spp., Zones 3–10)

  • Milkweed (Asclepias spp., Zones 2–11)




Host plants are the plants on which butterflies and moths lay their eggs.

The emerging caterpillars use these plants for food. Some caterpillars are generalists and can eat many kinds of foliage, but most are adapted to feed only on certain plant species.

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