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Gardening Activity - Create a Butterfly Puddle

Make your butterfly garden even more attractive to these beautiful creatures by adding a special water and nutrient source for them.


    Shallow container
    Soil, composted manure or salt

Approximate Time to Complete: 15 minutes
Location: Outdoor
Ages: All Ages

Season: Spring - Fall

In addition to foliage plants for the larval stage and blooming plants for the adult stage, puddles or other shallow water sources are important, primarily for male butterflies, as a source of salt and amino acids. If you have no naturally occurring puddles, try making one to add to your butterfly garden.

Locate a shallow container like a large clay or plastic pot saucer. You can also make your own creative design using concrete or purchase a pre-made puddling stone. The only requirement for your container is that it be able to hold water.

Fill your container with sand up to the very top.

To provide the salts and amino acids the butterflies are searching for, add a small amount of soil, composted manure or a pinch of salt and mix with your sand.

Smooth out your sand and create a slight indention in the center for your puddle.

Add water and then place in your butterfly garden. Next sit back and watch for large congregations of male butterflies and their drinking buddies.

Replace water as needed. Depending on the weather, you may need to add more water every couple of days.

Want to add more accessories? Try placing a couple of flat, dark stones in your garden to offer a spot where butterflies can bask in the sun and warm their bodies for flying.

 KidsGardening.org is a national nonprofit focused on creating opportunities for kids to learn though gardening, engaging their natural curiosity and wonder by providing inspiration, community know-how and resources to parents and educators. Our website features a wide variety of lesson plans (https://www.kidsgardening.org/lesson-plans/), garden activities (https://www.kidsgardening.org/garden-activities/) and an extensive toolbox of gardening content(https://www.kidsgardening.org/gardening-toolbox/). 

We also offer annual grant and award programs (https://www.kidsgardening.org/garden-grants/) and print publications (https://www.kidsgardening.org/kidsgardening-books-and-curricula/). You can visit our website at www.kidsgardening.org or contact us by email at info@kidsgardening.org.
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