December 2, 2023

How to Make a Butterfly House a Home

I’m hanging a new Butterfly House today!  Over the years, my backyard has become a haven for butterflies and hummingbirds and I love it.  The old butterfly house was made of wood and I couldn’t see inside so I’m really excited about the new one which is made of cedar wood (which ages well) and glass giving me a view I’ve never had until this year.  So exciting!

Do butterflies really use butterfly houses?  Well, the answer is yes… and no.  Some species of butterflies will use a butterfly house but most won’t.  Most of the woodland species, such as Cloaks and common Wood Nymphs will because they spend winters in the protective cover of wood piles and tree cavities.  A butterfly house is perfect for these butterflies!  However, those butterflies that migrate south won’t stay to enjoy the free rent no matter how nice the digs.  In either case, a butterfly house make a wonderful addition to your garden decor, a great home for your woodland butterflies, and they also make great conversation pieces!

Many gardeners who want to attract butterflies may not know what to do with their butterfly houses.  Where to place them and what to put in them.  How to make your butterfly house a home for the flying flowers.  Here, we will talk about butterflies and how to use a butterfly house to attract butterflies and how to set one up.

If you are a do- it- yourselfer, Garden Gate magazine has some free plans for building your own butterfly house but if you are like me, you can find the one I bought in the links below.

Once you have a butterfly house you may be wondering what to do with it and what to put in it.  I use a hanging butterfly house and use a short shepherds hook to place it just where I think it’s going to be the most visible but also keeping it well within the habitat.  This is a good reason to use the hanging butterfly house on the shepherds hook method so that you have the ability to be able to move it as your plants grow and reserve your view.  Place your hanging butterfly house or a pole mounted butterfly house in your butterfly habitat surrounded by all the things that butterflies love.  A complete butterfly habitat needs two types of plants.  “Host Plants” that caterpillars feed on, and “Nectar Plants” for the food source for adult butterflies.

Attracting Butterflies:


Host Plants: Clover, Dill, Fennel, Hollyhock, Rue, Spicebush, Kale, Milkweed, Nettle, Parsley, Passionflower, Willow, Asters, Bee Balm, and Black-eyed Susan.

Nectar Plants: Butterfly bush, Butterfly weed, Cosmos, Goldenrod, Lantana, Lavender, Marigolds, Mexican sunflower, Pentas, Phlox, Purple Coneflowers, Salvia, Zinnias.

Be sure to place a piece of tree bark or some long twigs inside for the butterflies to use as a roost.

If you love butterflies, please visit the butterfly shop inside of my garden store.  There you will find more information on butterfly habitats, a video on the best plants to use for attracting butterflies, the butterfly house for sale that I’ve talked about today, a butterfly feeder, and lots of garden decor featuring butterflies for yourself or gifts for your favorite gardener.

If you like this information, so will all the other butterfly lovers you know.  I’d be pleased and honored to have you Tweet this article, bookmark it, or just forward my article to a friend you know who likes butterflies too.

Happy Butterfly Gardening!

P.S.  If you are like me, you’ll want to have the hummingbirds showing up too.  you can find lots of info both on this blog and online by visiting me at my garden store’s hummingbird Shop.


  1. That’s a nice addition to the garden. We’ve just added a hot tub to our garden, bit bigger than a butterfly house, but certainly relaxing.

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