How to Make a Butterfly Container Garden | Making a Butterfly Garden

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Even if you’re short of space, Making a Butterfly Garden in containers is possible with some of the most amazing hacks in this article!

Making a Butterfly Garden

Butterflies visit a garden for two things—nectar, which they get from flowers, and for host plants to lay their eggs. So if you are Making a Butterfly Garden, ensure you grow both butterfly-friendly flowers that are nectar-rich and host plants—ones that caterpillars prefer to eat.

Here are the best flowers you can grow to attract butterflies!

Making a Butterfly Garden in Containers

1. Choose a Right Location


Usually, butterfly prefers to flutter in a sunny location that is less windy. Choose a location that receives at least 4-6 hours of sunlight daily and remains less windy.

2. Plant Host Plants

Growing host plants when making a butterfly garden is essential. They attract butterflies to lay their eggs on them, once the eggs hatch and caterpillars emerge, they start to feed on the host plants.

You can grow black-eyed Susan, common milkweed, asters, coneflowers, hollyhock, nasturtiums, herbs like dill and fennel, and climbers like passionflower vine for this purpose.

3. Grow Butterfly-Friendly Plants


Grow nectar plants in containers to attract butterflies. Wildflowers and weeds and flowers of non-hybrid varieties are suitable. Also, choose plants that have a long blooming season.

Mums, yarrow, Queen Anne’s lace, gaura, lantana, nemesia, zinnia, lavender, petunia, marigold, cosmos, verbena, butterfly weed, and pentas are some of the names.

4. Avoid the Use of Chemical Pesticides and Herbicides


If you’re making a butterfly garden, you must know the use of pesticides discourage the beneficial insects, birds, and pollinators and ultimately kill them as well.

Introduce beneficial insects like ladybugs, praying mantis, and lacewings and introduce organic solutions.

5. Arrange Plants at Different Heights

Use planter pots of different sizes. A combination of low-growing flowers, tall shrubs, and trailing plants is sufficient. You can also apply the thriller-spiller-filler technique.

6. Plant Densely and Grow Flowers in Masses


Pollinators attract towards the areas where plants are planted densely and flowers appear in masses as they prefer to flutter from flower to flower.

7. Flower Color Matters


Do you know butterflies can see colors and they attract more towards bold and warm colors. Yellow, pink, red, purple, lavender, blue-green, or orange work the best.

Also, the flowers that bloom in clusters, short tubular flowers, or those with large flat petals lures them.

8. Obtain a Puddling Source


You often see butterflies on moist sand or mud and it looks like they are nibbling something. This behavior is called puddling, they do this to obtain the minerals from the soil.

Create a puddling place in your butterfly container garden by placing a saucer or shallow pan, filling it with coarse moist sand. You can also add salt ½ to ¾ cup (table salt or rock salt) to 1 gallon of sand, mix it well, and keep the sand evenly moist or wet all the time.

9. Do Mulching with Leaves

Making a Butterfly Garden 3

Some butterfly species lay eggs and hibernate in the covering of leaf litter or mulch to save themselves from predators, you can do thick mulching on each pot to help them.

10. Apply Pesticides in Evening or Night


To save the beneficial insects and pollinators like bees and butterflies, it is best to apply pesticides in the evening or night when they are not active.

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  1. This is an awesome amount of information in a much readable format. I learned more from this page than the five or more that I’ve read on butterfly gardens. Being able to grow “butterfly” plants in containers is amazing. Now I’m going to have to go through my garden and/or the patio to find the perfect place. I love the versatility of options for every gardener. And the soil advice, the sun advice…I can’t wait to start!

  2. What’s with Number 10? You can’t use pesticides period…..not even at night. Pesticides are killing off our pollinators. And ultimately us! Let’s ALL stop using them!

    • Just as with every other concept, providing safer instruction yields better results than promoting abstinence-only! We all have free will and will do what we want regardless of others’ opinions, so at least the safer alternative is out there!

    • There are times when pesticides are indeed needed. If we completely stop using them, we will just be trading one problem for another.

  3. There are natural peaticides like neem oil and natural pesticide containing flowering plants like crysanthemum and marigold.
    Lovely article though. Cant wait to try.

  4. I really don’t understand why even mention applying pesticides at all. The use of pesticides has hurt pollinators and should be avoided at all costs.

  5. Thank you for the information, it is just what I’ve been looking for on trying to grow the right plants in pots to attract these little pollinators.


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