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
  • We visited in Sept 2016 and we loved the farm So much to see and learn about and Molly was just amazing!!! We hope that they can restore the farm after Irma passed through so we ... read more

    - Todd
  • Visited your farm just last week with a friend. Our visit was the highlight of our week long cruise. Thanks for the ideas to cultivate our own butterfly farm. Hanson, MA

    - Barbara
  • We visited last year during spring break and had a wonderful time! Guides were very knowledgeable and butterflies were flying freely. Plenty of time to photo butterflies or relax. ... read more

    - Debra Hood
  • We had the pleasure of visiting your beautiful butterfly farm on Jan. 27th, 2013. What a beautiful peaceful place. The staff is very friendly and knowledgeable. Sitting on one of t ... read more

    - Cindy Stewart
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