Joy Blooms, follow my adventures in Lubbock as I garden here

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Last Updated on:  12/16/2015 04:00 PM

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Joy Blooms in the Garden
Butterflies all a Flutter

What could bring more joy than watching a beautiful butterfly fluttering?

The Joy of Butterfly Gardens --  Butterfly Feeders, Bait & Nectar -- Life-Cycle of Butterflies
What I Learned about Butterflies -- Simple Steps to a Butterfly Garden -- Great Plants for Butterfly Gardens -- Butterflies etc.

This page was Last Edited on 12/16/2015 04:00 PM

Making Butterfly Feeders

Feeder Ideas
Simple Saucer Feeder
  • Start with a any glass or plastic dish that has a curved rim.  A pie plate, plant saucer, dessert plate etc are examples.  You can buy an ample supply at the Goodwill or other thrift stores.
  • Make a simple hanger out of twine.   Cut 4 length of twine - each 3-4 feet long.  Fold in the half and tie with an other piece of cord.  You will use that cord to tie the hanger to a branch.
  • Gather all the loose end and tie into a big knot.   This becomes the bottom of your hanger.
  • Slip the plate or saucer so that it's center rests on the knot.   Adjust the twine evenly around the plate so that it won't fall out.
  • Tie securely to a branch.  The feed should be visible and somewhat protected from predators.
  • Add slices of over-ripe (the more over-ripe or rotting the better) fruit. You can Drizzle molasses or a little fruit juice over it for an added appeal. See Butterfly Bait recipe
Homemade Butterfly Jar Feeder
  • Start with a small glass jar with a lid that seals well; a new kitchen sponge; and twine.
  • Punch a small hole in the center of jar lid.  Hit an awl or a small nail with a hammer to make the hole.
  • Add Sugar/water mixture to fill the jar 3/4 full.
  • Cut the sponge to fit snuggling inside the lid.  And place inside the lid.
  • Screw the lid firmly onto the jar.
  • The sponge will become saturated with the sugar/water mixture.
  • Make a simple hanger out of twine.   Cut 4 length 2 feet long.  Follow the direction above.
  • Invert the jar and hang it close to your flowers.
  • Clean your feeder every few days, with hot water and a mild (10%) bleach solution to inhibit mold. Rinse thoroughly before refilling with butterfly nectar.
Feeding Sponge
  • Instead of pour the Sugar/water mixture into a glass jar feeder, pour it directly on a red or orange colored new kitchen sponge.
  • The butterflies will land on the sponge and enjoy the feast.

Butterfly Puddles

In addition to providing feeders and growing flowers that butterflies like, you can also provide the type of puddles that entice butterflies to congregate.

  • Start with a saucer, plate or plant saucer.
  • Fill the container with sand or small aquarium gravel. 
  • Saturate with water or fruit juice or stale beer.
  • Either place on the ground or on a basking rock.
Homemade Butterfly Nectar Recipe -- This Sugar/Water mixture is an alternative food for butterflies. Make it in any quantity you want keeping the ration of 4/1 (4 parts water to 1 part sugar).

Boil the water; add the sugar;  stir until the sugar is completely dissolved.  Large batches can be made and stored in the fridge for 3-4 weeks. This nectar recipe can also be used for hummingbird feeders.

Cool before offering it to the butterflies.

You can pour a small amount of the solution into your homemade jar feeder
OR into a hummingbird feeder,
OR in a shallow container,  
OR onto a new kitchen sponge placed in a dish. 

Note:  Butterflies are attracted to the colors red or orange.  Selecting those colors for sponges will attract more butterflies.

Butterfly Bait

Use a fork to mash overripe bananas on a paper plate.
Add an equal amount of brown sugar and mix.
Put a dollop of the mixture on a saucer

The bait can be stored in a container with a lid in the refrigerator for several days.

To ferment the bait add a bottle of beer (not lite) to the contain. 
Do NOT tighten the lid
Place in the garage
It can be used immediately, but will become most effective if left to ferment.

I've not tried this version so have no comment to make about it.


At the Butterfly Pavilion in Colorado, plain over-ripe bananas were offered.  
The butterflies tended to stay a while which gave visitors time to snap pictures.

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