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How To Make a Butterfly Garden

Cheerful female gardeners working with lush plants in hothouse

Gary Barns from Pexels

Making a butterfly garden is rewarding but daunting, especially if you do not know how. Before starting any preparations, it is essential to understand how to do it correctly, what to plant, and how to attract butterflies.

Once finished, you will be able to contribute to the conservation of pollinators because their numbers are drastically declining. The butterfly garden will be a tranquil haven where you can relax while admiring butterflies pollinating your flowering shrubs. While their ethereal beauty will captivate you as you watch them flit from flower to flower and rest or bask on the flat rocks.

Therefore, learn how to make a beautiful and mesmerizing butterfly garden using these steps.

Choose the Right Location

Butterfly gardens are a great way to contribute to the conservation of butterflies and add beauty to your yard. But before planting, you must ensure that you have chosen the right location for your butterfly garden.

It is best to place a butterfly garden in a location that receives plenty of sunlight and is protected from strong winds. However, you should make your butterfly garden in an area with access to shade and six to eight hours of direct sunlight daily. Since butterflies are most active during the hottest parts of the day, they seek shade when temperatures exceed 100 degrees. Spring and summer, when flowers bloom and butterflies are active, is the best time to build a butterfly garden. Additionally, ensure your yard has adequate room for the plants and flowers used in the butterfly garden.

Select Flowers That Attract Butterflies

Not all flowers attract butterflies. So, ensure that you select the right flowers to attract and keep butterflies in your garden.

Keep in mind that butterflies are not just beautiful to look at; they also help pollinate plants. Therefore, when you plant some of these flowers, you will attract butterflies to your garden and increase the number of insects pollinating your plants.


Perennials attract butterflies by being tall and colorful, as they can be spotted from a distance. They also live for more than two years and have long blooming seasons, so butterflies can return to them repeatedly.

Nectar-Rich Flowers

Flowers with a lot of nectar are great for attracting butterflies because they provide nourishment. If you want to attract butterflies using flowers, choose ones with sweet nectars, such as the blazing star.

 Cheerful female gardeners working with lush plants in hothouse

Flowering shrubs

If you have a lot of space in your garden, you can plant flowering shrubs to attract butterflies. Besides providing shade, shrubs also attract butterflies thanks to their nectar-rich flowers, which make it easy for them to find food in your garden. There are several types of shrubs that you can plant, such as the Butterfly Shrub or the Lilac Bush (Syringe Vulgaris).

Provide Flowers of Varying Heights

There are various types of butterflies, each with unique preferences. Some butterflies prefer tall flowers, while others prefer shorter ones, so it is essential to include both in your butterfly garden. Therefore, you need to provide flowers of varying heights so that the butterflies can find their nectar easily.

Add a Butterfly House or Shelter and Remember the Rocks

Butterflies can be temperamental, so ensure you have everything they need to feel at ease by including a butterfly house or shelter. Butterflies can relax and recharge after a long day flying about your yard.

A butterfly shelter can be made using various materials, including wood or bamboo. You can also, use natural materials like sticks and branches.

Then, remember to add the rocks. Invite butterflies to sunbathe, as they are cold-blooded insects and like to warm themselves in the sun.

You should place the rocks in an area that gets direct sunlight and shade. Doing this will help warm the stone enough for butterflies to come in and cool off when needed. Rocks can also provide a place for butterflies to rest, and you can add a water source during dry spells.

Attract Butterflies with Water and Food

Considering there are 20,000 species of butterflies in the world, one of the most rewarding ways to participate in their conservation is by creating a butterfly habitat in your garden. To do this, you need to provide food and water for them.

Butterflies can get their nutrition from nectar, which comes from flowers in the garden. When you are setting up a butterfly garden; you must also provide water for them to drink. Butterflies enjoy a variety of nutritious flowers, but some of the most popular are Black-eyed Susan, Butterfly Weed, Indian Pink, Goldenrod, and Milkweed. In addition, include alternate foods in your butterfly gardens, such as overripe apples, bananas, or pears. You can also sweeten some of the water ponds with sugar or occasionally use fruit juice.

Stay Clear of Toxic Pesticides

A butterfly garden in your yard is a great way to bring beauty and delight to your home while also helping the environment. The hazardous pesticides you might use in your garden, however, have the potential to harm your health and the butterflies if you are not careful. To keep butterflies safe from toxic pesticides and help them thrive in your garden, here are some tips for staying clear of these harmful chemicals:

Use organic mulch rather than chemical-based ones, such as insecticides containing herbicides. By doing this, pests can be kept away without harming butterflies. Organic pest management methods, such as insecticidal soap or neem oil, should be avoided since they can kill butterflies or disturb their eating and breeding routines.

However, if there is an insect outbreak, pesticides can be used as a treatment but not as a preventative measure.

Create a Butterfly Garden

If you are an aspiring garden enthusiast, butterflies are one more way to pair your love of nature with gardening. Butterflies are beautiful creatures that will add color and life to your yard but need certain conditions to thrive. With a bit of planning and some colorful plants, you can attract butterflies to your garden and create a welcoming sanctuary in your backyard.

Therefore, by implementing the tips suggested above, you will provide a livable habitat for butterflies in your backyard.