Eastern Kansas Garden Guide

american_lady_catThe Eastern Kansas Garden Guide covers the land that is at the edge of the prairie on green rolling hills; the southern and western portions of the Kansas City Metropolitan area. This includes Johnson, Miami, Franklin, and Linn counties; an area that includes urban, suburban, and rural communities.This land would be covered in mixed hardwood forest if civilization had not arrived to initially convert most of it to agriculture.

Winters are weather roller-coasters; temperatures bounce between the 20s and 50s each week. Occasional snowfalls of 3 to 10 inches melt within a few days. The temperatures plunge to zero at least once a year; otherwise this would be zone 7 or 8. The first hard frost is usually at Thanksgiving and the last frost may be from March 15 to May 7, making gamblers out of fearless gardeners. The summers are intensely hot and humid with very sporadic rain. These are tough conditions, made worse by the near constant wind. Days of constant wind blasts of 30 to 45 miles per hour are not uncommon, especially in spring and summer.

Planting a butterfly garden with food and nectar plants is a great way to attract butterflies to your location while providing resources to help wild butterflies thrive and grow.

Find Butterfly Garden Plants for Eastern Kansas

The following plants have been selected and rated by NABA members as important native plants for butterfly gardening in the region:

Shrubs, Trees, and Vines
Annual and Perennial Flowers

Certify Your Love of Butterfly Gardening 

Butterfly Garden Certification Sign

Plant three nectar plants and three caterpillar food plants that are native to your region. Your garden will then qualify to join the growing number of NABA Certified Butterfly Gardens, helping to promote and increase butterfly habitat across the country.


NABA greatly appreciates the volunteer contributions of the local experts who generously gave their advice on this garden guide. They include Lenora Larson who generously donated her time, writing, photos, and expertise. Passionately devoted to butterfly gardening, Lenora is an Extension Master Gardener, member of Kansas Native Plant Society and Caterpillar Food Plant feature writer for NABA’sButterfly Gardener.