Creating a Small-Scale Butterfly Garden In Your Backyard

Learn how to create a small-scale butterfly garden in your backyard!

Learn how to create a small-scale butterfly garden in your backyard!

Do you love butterfly gardens and wish you could have one in your backyard? Good news, you can! Even those with smaller yards can create a beautiful butterfly garden, as you will only need a small space. Continue reading to learn how to transform your yard into a small-scale butterfly garden!


It’s true that butterflies are attracted to sunny areas, but they also may need shade and shelter from the wind. Plant your butterfly garden near a wall or shed, so they can receive sunshine but also have a space that blocks the wind and provides shelter. Also, the same plants that attract butterflies also attract bees and other insects, so it’s best to keep the garden away from frequently used areas in your yard.


You won’t need to supply any drinks for butterflies, as they prefer shallow sources of water such as puddles. This means you don’t need any ponds or bird baths in the garden, but instead want to ensure your garden collects water after it rains. If you’re not sure where rain collects in your yard, you can always create your own puddles for the butterflies to drink from.


Nectar is the most important thing to attract butterflies, as they love nectar-producing plants like sweetpea and marigolds. Not all species of butterflies like the same plants, however, so be sure to include a wide range of plants and flowers in your garden. These plants may also vary by region, so be sure to check online which plants will work best in your area. In Maryland, many flowers attract butterflies, including Asters, Bee Balm, Goldenrod, Ironweed, Purple Coneflower, Turk’s cap Lily, and more!

Planting Tips

Before starting your butterfly garden, have your soil tested. The University of Maryland Soil Testing Lab is a great resource and can be contacted through your county extension office. Also, you don’t want to easy any pesticides in your butterfly garden. Instead, try a more natural way for pest control, as insects such as ladybugs, green lacewings, spiders and praying mantises are great at naturally controlling garden pests.

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