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Do Lemongrass Repel Butterflies? (Explained)

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Last updated on September 26th, 2022 at 11:45 am

Do you have non-flowering plants in your garden? I remember being concerned about planting scented grasses in my garden for fear that they would drive the butterflies away.

And as a gardener, you probably know how crucial butterflies are to pollination. Thus, if you have the same kind of grasses, like Lemongrass, you would probably have the same concern as I did.

So, do Lemongrass repel butterflies? Lemongrass does not repel butterflies. Instead, Lemongrass produces some kind of lemony citronella scent that attracts butterflies. Lemongrass repels pests with the oil contained in it.

Will Lemongrass Repel Butterflies?

Lemongrass is a tall perennial grass shrub-like herb with a lemony scent and flavor. It is a companion plant and also a pest repelling plant.

Lemongrass contains a plant oil, citronella, which has pest repelling properties that repel insect pests like mosquitoes and whiteflies. Nonetheless, insects like butterflies are known for their importance in the garden through pollination.

Furthermore, butterflies are attracted to pleasant scents from plants just like how humans are, and because they typically do not eat plants, they are not a pest to gardeners and plants. 

But species of butterflies such as white cabbage butterflies are sometimes harmful to plants. However, Lemongrass will not repel butterflies because they cause no significant harm to Lemongrass.

What Plants Attract Butterflies?

Attracting butterflies to the garden by planting various plants in the garden helps sustain the diversification of plants and helps attract other beneficial insects into the garden, such as bees.

Apart from this, the sight of this beautiful creature flying around the garden is lovely to see.

Also, butterflies are attracted to brightly colored blooms and a place where they can rest and reproduce. Therefore, butterflies and bees can not dwell in environments filled with toxins.

Besides, butterflies are considered less harmful to plants. Therefore, there are gardens called butterfly gardens.

These gardens exist because of the unique ability of some plants to attract butterflies to the garden. Below are some of such plants.

1. Salvia

Salvia produces fragrant foliage and colorful spires that butterflies love. It does not require much maintenance.

2. Sedums

Sedums are very easy to grow and butterfly-friendly; they flower in late summer and early autumn, providing a late summer source of nectar.

Sedum will attract a good number of butterflies and all types of pollinators; in the late summer, a good clump of sedum can have half a dozen butterflies on it at any time.

3. Lavender

Lavender is also a butterfly and bee favorite. It grows in places that are not too wet, and they grow well in winter. Apart from being drought tolerant, lavender is attractive to many beneficial insects and provides necessary nutrients for wildlife.

4. Oregano

Oregano is a self-seeder herb that doesn’t need more seeds to plant around to have them available in the garden; once you have a plant, more grows from it and spreads. Butterflies also love oregano and also attract them.

5. Nepeta Catmint

Nepeta is a perennial plant that can grow anywhere in the garden, in places with wet and cold conditions. Nepeta produces blue flowers and is very attractive to butterflies and bees.

Other plants include butterfly bush, yarrow, coneflower, bee balm, chives, and more.

Are Butterflies Harmful To Garden Plants?

Butterflies are known for being helpful in gardens for their activities, such as pollination, so it sounds somehow silly to ask if butterflies are harmful to plants.

Most gardeners even create butterfly gardens to attract butterflies as butterflies are not harmful to plants.

However, butterflies can become harmful to plants by their undeveloped offspring.

Caterpillars, the larvae of butterflies, need to consume a lot of leaves to grow big enough to metamorphose into butterflies.

At this stage of butterfly growth, the caterpillars tend to be very destructive because they want to eat as much as they can to store enough energy for their metamorphosis.

So, while butterflies are not harmful to garden plants, their larvae — caterpillars — are.


Lemongrass is a wonderfully scented plant that you can grow in your garden. Nonetheless, because it doesn’t flower, you might be afraid that it will repel pollinators from your garden.

Your fear might be heightened because of its citronella content which tends to chase away pests. So, you might wonder if it repels butterflies.

As I have mentioned, Lemongrass does not repel butterflies. So, if you have Lemongrass in your garden, you can rest assured that butterflies will still come to pollinate your other plants.

Furthermore, you might be curious about whether butterflies can cause damage to your garden. Well, butterflies themselves do not harm your plants. Instead, it is the undeveloped larvae, caterpillars, that eat crops and causes damage to them.


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