How To Make A Butterfly Container Garden | Making A Butterfly Garden

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!

Butterflies visit a garden for two things: In search of food (nectar), which they get from butterfly-friendly 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, type of plants that caterpillars prefer to eat.

Making a Butterfly Garden in Containers


1. Choose a Right Location

Usually, butterfly prefers to flutter in a sunny location that is less windy. For a butterfly container garden choose a location that receives at least 6 hours of sunlight daily and remains less windy.

2. 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.

3. Plant Host Plants

Growing host plants when making a butterfly garden is essential. Host plants attract the 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.

4. Arrange Plants at Different Heights

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Arrange plants that at different heights. For this purpose, 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.

5. 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.

Also Read: How to Make a Bee Friendly Garden

6. Flower Color Matters

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Do you know butterflies can see colors and they attract more towards bold and warm colors: Yellow, pink, red, purple, lavender, bluish green or orange. Also, the flowers that bloom in clusters, short tubular flowers or those with large flat petals lures them.

7. Do Mulching with Leaves

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.

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. You can 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. 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. Avoid using them. Instead, introduce beneficial insects like ladybugs, praying mantis and lacewings and introduce organic solutions.

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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Even if you're short of space, making a butterfly garden in containers is possible with some of the amazing hacks in this article!


  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!


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