How to Create a Butterfly Sanctuary

Butterflies are one of the most beautiful, tranquil and amazing insects to behold. If you provide a butterfly sanctuary on your patio, porch or yard, you can catch the attention of lots of butterflies to take pleasure in. Butterflies are unique and do require specific features to deem your creation a butterfly sanctuary. You will have to supply all of the needed requirements for the complete life cycle of the butterfly to provide them with a safe haven and the following will tell you all you need to know to achieve this. Read on to learn how to create a butterfly sanctuary of your own.


Step 1

Select the perfect location for butterflies. You do not have to have a lot of room, but it should be an area that is calm and provides a windbreak for the butterflies’ shelter. Many of the plants used in your butterfly sanctuary will provide this. Pick a spot that you can watch from nearby without disturbing the butterflies.

Step 2

Supply the caterpillars (butterflies) with food. In order for you to attract butterflies, you must give them the necessary food supply they crave as caterpillars. Check with your local nursery to find native plants that will work in your area. Also select different varieties, since many caterpillars only feed on a specific plant. See Resources below for a listing of these plants.

Step 3

Provide a special water supply and sunny area for your butterflies. Butterflies will not use a birdbath or open water to drink from, but they are content with a wet sand or dirt filled birdbath (or similar container). The secret is to keep the sand or dirt moist at all times (like a puddle). Butterflies also like to warm up on rocks or stones placed in sunny areas, so be sure you have plenty of these in your butterfly sanctuary.

Step 4

Feed your adult butterflies. You must supply the butterflies with plenty of nectar producing plants that will generate nectar all summer long. It is best to grow a variety of these plants to attract differing types of butterflies. Check with your local nursery for plants that will work in your area and also see Resources below for a listing of some.

Tips and Warnings

Do NOT use any type of insecticides anywhere near or around your butterfly sanctuary.

Things You'll Need

Butterfly (caterpillar) larval plants, Butterfly flowers (nectar producing), Water supply container, Stones or rocks, Sand or dirt

About this Author

Diane Dilov-Schultheis has been writing professionally since 2000. She is a food and travel writer who also specializes in gaming, satellites, RV repair, gardening, finances and electronics. She is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists and has been published on Yahoo!, the Travel Channel and Intel.

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