small butterfly garden plans butterfly garden

Small Butterfly Garden Plans – Invite the Butterflies in!

small butterfly garden plans spring wordsWith Spring well upon us, it’s time to get started on my small butterfly garden plans. As with all garden adventures, a little planning goes a long way. The good news is, that as long as you know which flowers attract local butterfly species, the rest of the “plan” is mostly creating a habitat that welcomes the butterflies to stick around.

What butterflies are in your local area?

small butterfly garden plans speciesThe most important part of considering starting a butterfly garden is- you guessed it- the butterflies!  If there are not a a particular species of butterfly in your area, then growing a flower that attracts it might give you a pretty bloom, but no winged visitors.  There are lots of different habitats, and to figure out what your local butterfly population is, check out this site, it’s a great resource!

small butterfly garden plans flowersThere are also flowers that bloom at different times. You’ve got your spring bloomers like daffodils, snowdrops, Snapdragons, the Pansy,  Ameria, Candytuft and Dianthus. You’ve got your summer blooms like clemantis, iceplant, foxglove irises, black-eyed susan, butterfly bush, coneflower, daisy, aster, oriental lilly and lavender. A couple fall bloomers are daylilly and sedum.

small butterfly garden plans monoarchWith the timing of your bloomers considered, you also have to take into account the butterflies themselves.  Not all are great migraters like the famed and far-traveling Monarch. Knowing the expected native varieties of butterflies to your area will assist you in your efforts to match up potential migration, mating, and nursery times of the species with the blooming of your flowers, therefore increasing the likelihood of attracting the beautiful visitors to your garden!

What plants are the local butterfly population drawn to?

What kind of plants are your local butterfly population drawn to?  Depending on where you live, there are a wide variety of plants that can bring butterflies to your yard. Knowing the type of butterfly makes plant selection a much easier task. I have found a couple useful websites (here and here) that give a break-down of the general area a species of butterfly frequents and their preferred food source.

Some of the more common plants that can attract the desired garden visitors are:


small butterfly garden plans thistle


small butterfly garden plans lillies


small butterfly garden plans mint


small butterfly garden plans aster


small butterfly garden plans coneflower


small butterfly garden plans milkweed


small butterfly garden plans zinnea

Tree sap

small butterfly garden plans tree sap


small butterfly garden plans mustards

What other features encourage butterflies to stay in the garden?

small butterfly garden plans basking butterflyA few things butterflies like in general are shallow pools of clean water that have large, flat rocks or sand for them to perch on and bask in the sun. The large surface area of a butterfly’s wings means a place to shelter from the wind can be of particular import to the fluttering insects.

A small woodpile in the corner of the garden is a great natural habitat but there are actually butterfly houses you can purchase to encourage the beauties to stay and set up shop. small butterfly garden plans timeSome species of butterflies migrate, while others stay in the same regional area their entire life-cycle. Which you will have more encounters with depends on your location. Is your area where a particular species over-winters, or are you simply on the migratory path?

small butterfly garden plans fruitSome butterflies are attracted to overripe fruit, so a small dish can come in handy. Make sure to change out the fruit frequently to avoid attracting wasps and the like.


What issues might attracting butterflies to your garden create?

One of the hazards of butterflies taking a liking to your garden is that before they are butterflies, they are caterpillars.  Caterpillars can be the bane of any gardeners existence if they are not wanted or if they are not prepared for. small butterfly garden plans caterpillar

Creating that irresistible habitat for the butterflies is a great idea until the next spring when all the caterpillars eat all the young tender seedlings and sprouts you’re planning on using to attract the butterflies later in the growing season.

Preparing for this both mentally as well as agriculturally will help keep the frustration with the young butterflies at bay. Anticipating the caterpillar population, and providing an extra source of suitable food that won’t end up wiping out your blooms is essential to a sustainable and long lasting butterfly garden.

Butterfly Gardens Bring Joy and Wonder to any Yard, Now You can Create One With These Small Butterfly Garden Plans!

small butterfly garden plans child butterflyWith all the screens and virtual reality taking our kids and ourselves further and further away from the beauty of creation makes getting outdoors and fostering a connection with nature even more essential than ever before.

With all the extra time a lot of us are spending around the house, creating the improvements that will keep us as entertained as the newest streaming service can be a fulfilling and frustrating experience, but all the more worth it when you see the spark of creativity and imagination ignite in someone’s eyes.

Simple things like a butterfly garden can accomplish so much more than you realize, and with a little research, planning and a good execution, it will seem effortless to neighbors, family and friends who reap the rewards of our colorful, fluttering friends.

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Do you want to send me any stories or pictures of the start (and current picture) of your garden?, Send me an email at

If you have any questions, comments or tips to share with myself or the community, leave a comment below and I’ll get right back to you!



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12 thoughts on “Small Butterfly Garden Plans – Invite the Butterflies in!

  1. Hi Randi,

    I must say that I had no idea about the work that goes into attracting butterflies to your garden.
    However I’m sooo glad I came across this post.
    You have covered so much valuable information and given me plenty of options in helping these beautiful creatures come to my place.

    We do get quite a few in the garden and there’s a meadow down the road and that is bursting with them!

    It’s like a fantasy film when you walk through there!

    Some of the colours they possess are mesmerising that’s for sure.

    This really is a great read for anyone looking to get butterflies to their garden.

    Thank you so much for this.


    1. I am so glad you enjoyed the article! I do hope free butterfly garden plans information will increase the number of butterfly gardens out there! 🙂

      I would love a few pictures from that fantasy film meadow if you’re ever out for a walk with your phone. 🙂
      Thank you for your kind words, and good luck gardening!

  2. Hi Randi,

    What a great article! I’ve thought about creating a butterfly garden in the past, but never really looked into it much. This year in Alaska – where I live – we’ve seen a TON of butterflies so far. In all my life growing up here, I’ve never seen quite so many as I have this spring. But, maybe they’ve come out because we had a really bad wasp infestation last year and I know wasps and butterflies don’t really get along. I don’t think many bugs get along with wasps actually.

    But this is great! I’m going to have to look into my region up here on what they love. We do have some issues with some flowers growing up here, but that’s because of the cold. We do get great flowers in the summer, it’s just the spring that can be harder to plan for.

    Thanks for sharing this!


    1. Katrina, I’m so glad to hear the butterfly population is booming right now up there! They tend to go through cycles of booms and busts within their ecosystem. I’m sure a small butterfly garden in a place where flowers are difficult will attract a host of fluttery friends! I would love to see what you put together!

  3. I love butterflies and I always enjoy seeing them on my property. I have kept many native flowers and plants on my land, and they attract butterflies (and also many
    birds). The type of butterflies that come here are the bright yellow ones. I’ve also seen different colors. I love watching them.

    The caterpillars eat a lot, that’s true! What extra food can I leave out for caterpillars? Fruit as well?

    1. The best way I have found to manage the caterpillar population is to plant more of whatever they like to eat, and try to move them from your centerpiece plants, to the plants that are not right out front, use a deterrent spray that won’t damage the plant or caterpillar, or to attract the caterpillar’s natural predators. It sounds like you have done some of those already!
      I am so pleased you already have a thriving butterfly population, and I hope they continue to bring you joy for years to come!

  4. I have heard about Home Gardening but honestly never came across “butterfly gardens”. It would be so amazing, every morning, waking up to see colorful butterflies in your backyard.

    I really love this concept…however there is bit of an effort and planning required. You have listed some key pointers (& website links) and I am bookmarking them. I must you tell your post has encouraged me to have a “butterfly garden” in our backyard 🙂

    1. It is wonderful to see the butterflies fluttering around. My kids just love it! As with any good project, a failure to plan is a plan to fail. I am glad I was able to provide you with some resources to make the planning easier, and hopefully, FUN!
      Good luck gardening!

  5. Hello Randi,
    This is such a beautiful idea about butterfly gardens!I must confess that I really never realized that you could actually create one – I guess I have simply taken for granted the beautiful butterflies that continually play in my garden. Looking at the list of plants that attract them, it is easier now for me to understand why they are attracted to my garden as I grow quite a few from your list – zinnias, lilies and asters. The one drawback are the caterpillars, but thanks for the tips about what to do as I used to be pretty upset as they devoured the plants.


    1. Ceci,
      Isn’t it amazing how you can find out you’re a natural at a talent?! Your garden sounds lovely, and I would love to feature some of the flowers and butterflies in your garden if you like! Caterpillars can also be dealt with by attracting their natural predators, but that brings on a whole new set of variables to contend with. Good luck Gardening
      Thank you.

  6. As a kid I have always love butterflies, I liked to run after them and was afraid to touch them in order not to hurt them and even now I still love them. Butterflies like to be around places that have a lot of non-harmful flowers and all. You made having your own butterfly garden three steps easier and I must say I am impressed with the information you have provided. This has been very helpful
    Thank you Randi and keep up the good work

    1. Thank you so much! I too have always loved our colorful fluttering friends! I am so glad I helped to make it easier for anyone to bring the joy of gardening and butterflies into their lives. Have a blessed day!

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