Getting Started

Butterfly feeding on nectar
Butterfly feeding on nectar
Butterfly gardening is one way that everyone can take part in conserving nature and at the same time take great joy in bringing your own garden to life with these glorious jewels of creation. It's easy:

First
you need to provide lots of nectar producing flowers that will attract the butterflies to your garden. Nectar is the butterfly's main source of food and everyone loves a free meal! The more flowers the more butterflies you will attract. However, if you want the butterflies to stay and multiply, then you must also provide the host or larval plants that the female butterflies will lay their eggs on. This is very important and a bit trickier. Why? Well, most butterflies will take nectar (food) from a wide variety of flowers, but female butterflies will only lay their eggs on the leaves of the specific plant that the caterpillar will eat. These are called host or larval plants. It is important to choose the correct host or larval plants for those butterflies native to your area. So, first is to plant lots of nectar producing flowers.



Second
Identify and plant the host or larval plants that the butterflies native to your area will lay their eggs on. Use the Regional Gardening Guide to find the easiest to attract butterflies in your region.

Plant clumps of flowers
Plant clumps of flowers
Lime Butterfly (papilio demoleus) mud-puddling
Lime Butterfly (papilio demoleus) mud-puddling
Flowers flowers flowers
Flowers flowers flowers
Hungry caterpillar
Hungry caterpillar
  • Flowers Flowers, flowers, flowers. You cannot have too many from the butterflies point of view. Red is their favorite color. Plant groups of similar colored flowers together.
  • Make sure you have plants that will flower throughout the season.
  • Provide a muddy puddle in a sunny spot. Avoid the use of chemicals and pesticides.
  • Plant in large groups or clumps. Choose the sunniest spot in your garden and try to protect your beds of nectar flowers from the prevailing wind.
  • Butterflies like to bask in the early morning sunshine on sun-warmed rocks, bricks or gravel paths.
  • Caterpillars are hungry. Provide plenty of host/larval plants for them to eat

Random visitors photos:

You can send us your photos at photos@thebutterflyfarm.com, for more visit our photo galleries.

  • You would not think on a twelve day cruise, this was one of the things We enjoyed the most, but it was. Whenever We visit St. Martins, we will stop and visit The Butterfly Farm. Th ... read more

    - Ed Dillio
  • My wife and I visited the Butterfly Farm and we were very impress with the beautiful butterflies. I am ordering some asclepias-curassavica (milkweed) seeds, hoping to help in this ... read more

    - Felix and Nelida Morales
  • We really enjoyed our visit and learned so much from our guide. Beautiful gardens along with such a wide variety of butterflies

    - Sharon and Grant Bullock
  • Our visit to your farm on St Maartin was the highlight of our Caribbean cruise last year. We offer you our prayers and best wishes for the future following Hurricane Irma.

    - Mrs Robinson
  • We visited the farm on St Maarten in February and had a very enjoyable trip being entertained by our countryman William, very educational and have returned to the UK with plans to ... read more

    - Wayne and Heather Dixon
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