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Gardening How-to Articles

Zinnias—If You Plant Them, Butterflies Will Come

Claire Hagen Dole is the publisher/editor of Butterfly Gardeners' Quarterly, a newsletter for gardeners and butterfly enthusiasts, which can be viewed online at She has also written articles for Organic Gardening, Country Living, Sierra, Wild Garden, Hortus West, and other publications.


  • Jennifer Garrett October 21, 2017

    My zinnias have been blooming since June and are still exploding with new blooms every day as of late October. They have survived two frosts already, and as some of the last flowers around, are the neighborhood hot spot for late lingering monarchs, painted ladies, skippers, and more. Contrary to what this article says, I find they transplant well, adjusting to my ever changing opinions about where they should reside. Every day people stop to admire them, and all the pollinators hey attract. Thanks for the article.

  • Evonne Burgess March 16, 2013

    For the memorial garden at our church in northern New Jersey, we are researching the very best low-growing zinnias with a profusion of color that will attract an array of beautiful butterflies from June until frost. Please advise for our area. Peace and blessings, Evonne

  • Lisa July 28, 2012

    This is an excellent and informative article about zinnias. I grew some this year from seed I haphazardly grabbed from a rack and love them so much I now want to grow zinnias every year. This article clarified which types would be best for butterflies and height requirements.

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