ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How to Create a Thriving Butterfly Garden in 7 Steps

Updated on January 22, 2023
Kenna McHugh profile image

Kenna loves helping others take care of plants, both indoors and out. She wrote an orchid care booklet—a companion piece for workshops.


Steps to Creating a Butterfly Garden

Butterflies are considered by many as one of the most beautiful creatures in the world. With over 28,000 species identified on the planet, you may have seen one or two species, like the butterfly monarch. If you desire to see more butterflies around your home, a butterfly garden is a simple but rewarding way to enjoy these colorful creatures.

1. Research the Type of Butterflies in Your Area

2. Type of Plants Attract the Butterflies

3. Plan Your Garden

4. Buy Your Plants and Garden Supplies

5. Plant Your Garden

6. Add Garden Accessories

7. Caterpillars

1. Research the Type of Butterflies in Your Area

Make a list of the type of butterflies that thrive in your area. Scroll down to the link at the end of this article. You can click on it and discover the variety of butterflies that live or migrate to your area. Note the kind of butterflies and months of the year they are predominantly in your area. Make a list of butterflies in your area, and decide which ones you’d like to have in your garden based on the information. Consider the time of year and what you can grow in your garden during that particular time. Most likely, the plants coincide with the time the butterflies arrive in your region.

“Butterflies are self propelled flowers.”

— Robert A. Heinlein

2. Type of Plants Attract the Butterflies

After making your list of butterflies, you want to attract to your garden, continue your research and discover what plants you need to attract the butterflies you picked.

Plants that attract butterflies are called butterfly nectar plants and butterfly host plants. Butterfly Bush is a popular plant as well.

Once you find out what type of plants your desired butterflies need, you then find out about the plants.

You need to know the following:
What the plants look like

  • Do they match the rest of your garden
  • How much room do they need to grow
  • Are they annuals or perennials
  • How do you care for them

3. Plan Your Garden

Based on your research of the type of butterflies and plants, decide how big you want your garden to be.

Sketch a rough diagram of how you want to design the garden. Like placing the annuals in front of the designated area, they are easier to replace yearly. Add a water fountain or birdbath. Consider getting topsoil and other gardening products. Now, you know how many plants and items to purchase at the nursery.

4. Buy Your Plants and Garden Supplies

Go to the neighborhood nursery and purchase your plants, soil, and other gardening items. Ask the staff when is the best time to plant, how to grow the plants, and if there are any special needs. Take the plants home and prepare them for planting.

5. Plant Your Garden

Consider your garden design, and see if it has changed since visiting the nursery. Once you know the design you want is sound, start placing our plants according to your sketch of the garden.

Once everything is laid out and planted, step back, and appreciate all your hard work. You are helping colorful butterflies have a garden and a home for them to live their brief lives.

6. Add Garden Accessories

Step back and admire your garden. Notice areas where you can place a couple of butterfly accessories, like a butterfly house or a nectar source. The butterfly house has slits, protecting the butterflies from birds and other elements.

T.S. Sure has a wooden butterfly house that you or your kids put together and paint. I recommend this butterfly house because it is simple and not expensive.
A nectar source is a flowering plant that offers more food for the butterflies, attracting even more butterflies and encouraging them to stay. You might have enough nectar sources, but consider these flowers after your garden is flourishing for a month or more.

  • Daisy
  • Sunflower
  • Petunia
  • Zinnia
  • Marigold
  • Mustard Seed
  • Lavender

7. Caterpillars

Caterpillars need to eat, too, when they hatch from the eggs the female butterfly lays. They are pickier than their parents, so include plants they will like to eat. Add plant pawpaw or zebra swallowtails. I even heard they like milkweed or have passion vines and maypops or other passion vines.

Taking care of caterpillars is part of maintaining a butterfly garden.
Taking care of caterpillars is part of maintaining a butterfly garden. | Source

Your Butterfly Garden

Not only have you created a lush and thriving place to watch butterflies, but you also created a haven for butterflies to live and breed.

You help many butterfly species to continue to survive in your neighborhood. Now, you can maintain the garden as the seasons continue throughout the year.

“We don't see snakes because they wear suits, but we see butterflies because they wear pajamas.”

— Anthony T. Hincks

© 2017 Kenna McHugh


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)