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Butterfly Gardening Resource Guide

Attracting and benefiting from our most beautiful pollinators.

ButterflyButterfly gardening belongs to a growing school of gardening that focuses on the preservation of wildlife. It focuses on creating an environment for butterflies to thrive and reproduce. Gardeners who specialize in butterfly gardening place nectar-producing plants and host plants around the garden with hopes of attracting these beautiful insects. Each person has their own reason for creating a butterfly sanctuary that ranges from purely aesthetic to passionate about preserving the species. Many people find a fluttering rainbow fascinating enough to create a garden that attracts butterflies. Others take a more scientific approach by raising or rearing butterflies from ova to imago. Regardless of the reasoning behind this brand of niche gardening, people tend to love it and do so with a clear conscious. Find out more about butterfly gardening below.

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Reasons for Butterfly Gardening

  • : A webpage that focuses on butterfly-specific gardening by listing the necessities for attracting these beautiful insects.
  • : Scientists, environmentalists, politicians, and Eco-conscious homeowners have become fond of butterfly gardening because it preserves the species in a natural setting.
  • : Home owners eager to attract butterflies may create a garden with plants they love. Not only does this create a natural habitat, but it allows the butterflies to flourish in a safe environment.
  • : The Telegraph explains how to create a butterfly garden for the sole purpose of preserving the species and enjoying their company.
  • : Planting milkweed in local gardens can help preserve the monarch butterfly.
  • : Creating a butterfly garden may be the solution to preserving the monarch.

Butterfly Attracting Plants

  • : The Xerces Society recommends native plants that are highly attractive to pollinators and are well-suited for small-scale plantings in gardens.
  • : Each butterfly is unique, and different plants will attract different butterflies.
  • : Learn about what attracts butterflies, including the right location and plants to build a garden.
  • Organic Garden Pest Control: Keep butterfly gardens pest-free with these safe, effective products. Many are non-toxic — or specific to the pest — and will not harm butterflies, pollinators or beneficial insects.
  • : A comprehensive list of butterfly and caterpillar plants listed alphabetically by their botanical name.

Plants That Caterpillars Like

  • : A list of host plants that caterpillars eat after hatching from their eggs.
  • : A comprehensive list of host plants that caterpillars like to eat.
  • : Plant these ten common host plants to help feed caterpillars after they have hatched.
  •  (PDF): Caterpillars feed on a variety of host plants, including trees, herbs, shrubs, and other types of plant material.
  • : Caterpillars are commonly found on these host plants, including milkweed, spicebush, paw-paw, parsley, dill, fennel, walnut, sweet gum, and cherry.

Butterfly Garden Layouts

  • : A step-by-step guide that shows homeowners how to build a butterfly garden from scratch.
  • : Use these quick tips when building an attractive butterfly garden filled with suggested nectar and host plants for both butterflies and caterpillars.
  • : A document offering several butterfly garden plans for those interested in building one.
  • : Follow these easy steps to make your garden butterfly-friendly.
  • : HGTV offers step-by-step instructions on creating a butterfly garden in a pot.
  • : An extensive document that covers every aspect of bird and butterfly gardening, including sample layouts that anyone can build.

Butterfly Behaviors

  • : A student’s account of butterfly behavior based on the observation of the insect’s survival tactics, ability to regulate heat, reproduce, and gather food.
  • : HowStuffWorks explains exhibited butterfly behavior when it comes to food, including ways they eat from selected plants and gather nutrients from puddles.
  • : An educational web page that describes how and why butterflies defend their territory.
  • : An educational website covering every aspect of butterfly behavior, including basking, puddling, patrolling, perching, mating, and egg laying.
  • : A webpage that explains butterfly behavior in kid-friendly terms.
  • : Use this activity sheet to identify butterfly behaviors in your garden.
  • : A complete profile of the monarch butterfly, including its unique characteristics, range, habitat, diet, life cycle, and behavior patterns.
  • : The Smithsonian Institute shares a comprehensive fact sheet about butterfly gardening, including what to look for in butterfly behavior patterns.

Raising Butterflies

  • : An educational website teaches how to raise butterflies in a rearing container.
  • Live Butterfly Garden for Kids: Raise butterflies while learning all about metamorphosis with this award-winning kit!
  • : Follow these set of techniques for obtaining and raising immature butterflies.
  • : Follow the instructions listed to raise monarch butterflies from ova to imago.
  • : A comprehensive guide covering step-by-step instructions on monarch rearing.

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