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Butterfly Garden | Outdoor Crafts for Kids

Butterfly Garden

Total Time Needed: Weekend Project

It's a sparkling summer day, and in the flower garden in the front yard the butterflies have arrived: Monarchs on the zinnias. White admirals on the purple coneflowers. Fritillaries on the black-eyed Susans. It's a magical sight, but it's really no surprise. Attract these gentle visitors by planting precisely the types of nectar-producing flowers that butterflies love.

As it turns out, butterflies are easily attracted to yards and gardens. Plant their favorite flowers in a protected yet sunny spot. The first step is to find a site for the butterfly garden, ideally one that receives at least six hours of sun a day and offered shelter from the wind.


  • Basic gardening tools
  • Butterfly guidebook for information about the butterflies in your region and their preferred flowers
  • Garden book with recommendations for five annuals and five perennials that agree with the butterfly book
  • Plants as recommended above


Dig the garden, brake up the big clods with a garden fork, and peat moss, creating a loose, fluffy soil for the young plants' tender roots.

Plant short flowers up front and tall ones in the back. This design works visually and keeps both low-feeding and high-feeding butterflies happy

Soak the ground well. This is good for the plants but also helps butterflies, who suck the wet soil for salts and fluids--a behavior known as puddling.


Tip: Try planting groups of flowers rather than single plants. Also take into account the varieties of butterflies that visit your region and their food preferences. And keep your butterfly garden pesticide-free.