Raise Butterflies & Build Them a Home
What better way to start a butterfly garden than to raise your own butterflies for it? This can be an activity that the whole family can enjoy and learn from. You will first want to design and start your butterfly garden. Then you will need to either learn how to gather and raise butterflies from eggs, or you can purchase a butterfly kit and follow the instructions. This is the easier way to go, and with the instructions you shouldn’t have any problem raising healthy butterflies. Then release them into your garden and you have a ready-made butterfly habitat.
To start your garden, you will need to know what kind of butterflies you will be raising. Find out what kinds of plant nectar they like to feed on, as well as what kinds of plants they lay their eggs on and what their caterpillars like to eat. The caterpillars will eat the plant that they hatch on, but they tend to be picky and if they won’t eat it, they won’t survive, so it is important to have the right kinds of food for them. The host plants (caterpillar plants) are for the adult butterflies to breed once you have released them into the garden. If you want more types of butterflies, simply plant more types of host and nectar plants in your garden.
Once your garden begins to flourish, you can order your butterfly kit. The kit will come with everything you need to begin raising your butterflies, including live caterpillars and all of the instructions you need to keep them healthy. You and your family can enjoy watching the life cycle of the butterfly as it happens. The caterpillars will feed, and then form their cocoons, and they will complete their metamorphosis into butterflies right in the provided butterfly observation house that you get with the kit.
Once your butterflies have emerged and are in flight, you will want to release them soon into your butterfly garden. Some will fly away, perhaps all of them will, but many will either stay or return because you have provided them with a perfect habitat with your butterfly garden.
Some butterflies migrate for the colder months, so they won’t stay forever. The ones that don’t migrate only live for a few weeks. This is why you will want to provide a place for them to breed, so that you will have new butterflies naturally the next season. And if it takes a while for the wild butterflies to find your habitat and begin to breed there, you can always order more live caterpillars and raise more butterflies to release into your garden for the next season.