​​Butterfly Gardening


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Daggerwing Nature Center’s butterfly garden garden challenge icon 


Have you seen Daggerwing Nature Center’s butterfly garden?  It is located directly in front of the nature center as you approach the lobby doors. A butterfly garden is an environment that is designed to attract and sustain a variety of butterflies through providing food for both caterpillars (host plants) and adult butterflies (nectar plants), and meets their needs for sunshine and shelter. Our butterfly garden is a “certified butterfly sanctuary” recognized by the Florida Federation of Garden Clubs, Inc. (FFGC). In order to become certified, we had to meet the following guidelines:​

Butterfly Sanctuary Guidelines

  1. No harmful chemicals or biological control agents shall be used in or near the area that is to be declared a Butterfly Sanctuary
  2. Specific larval and nectarous food sources shall be available continuously and in sufficient quantities
  3. A variety of habitats shall exist to fill all the needs of as many butterflies as possible: sunny, dappled and shaded areas; damp spot for salts and water.

(Courtesy of FFGC, Inc.)

Do you have an interest in butterfly gardening, but don’t have the space to do it at your home? You could help maintain ours! If you would like to volunteer your time to help us with our garden, check out our Volunteer Opportunities page to see how you can get involved! 

Cassius Blue Butterfly

Click to enlarge image.



Are you interested in creating your own butterfly garden?  Check our Program Calendar page to see when the next Butterfly Gardening class is scheduled.  You can also check out the below resources for more information.

Butterfly Gardening Resources:

Daggerwing Butterfly Garden Guide
This guide provides visuals of the variety of butterfly plants that we have in the Daggerwing Nature Center butterfly garden.  Plants are identified as host or nectar plants. 

Daggerwing Nature Center Butterfly Garden Article
This article was published after the Daggerwing gardens became certified in 2010.

Butterfly Gardening In South Florida Brochure
This brochure includes information on the types of plants needed to start a butterfly garden and will introduce you to a few butterfly species found in south Florida.  Also included are listings of local places to see butterfly gardens, and nurseries that sell butterfly plants. Courtesy of the North A​merican Butterfly Association - Atala Chapter

Butterfly ID Sheets
These pages provide pictures of both adult butterflies and their caterpillars that may be seen locally.  Also included are listings of the host plants that attract each butterfly.  Courtesy of the North American Butterfly Associa​tion - Atala Chapter

Getting Started in Butterfly Gardening
This article outlines the basics of starting a successful butterfly garden. (Courtesy of University of Florida IFAS Extension. Courtesy of the University of Florida IFAS Extension.

Butterfly Gardening in Florida
This publication provides information on the plants and butterflies that thrive in each region in Florida. Courtesy of the University of Florida IFAS Extension.

Florida Wildflowers & Butterflies Pamphlet
This pamphlet provides photos of Florida butterflies and wildflowers that attract them.  Information is also supplied about the sun and water requirements for the plants, so that you may best design your butterfly garden.   Courtesy of the Florida Museum of Natural History. 

North American Butterfly Association [externall ink]