Invite the Butterflies to Your Garden With This DIY Butterfly Garden

by Lizzi
6 Materials
20 Minutes

Butterfly gardens are not only beautiful but they also attract bees and butterflies, which are great for the environment. There are a million ways to create your own butterfly garden, but today I’ll show you how I created a mini one in a container. For your own DIY butterfly garden you can use any container you like, however I suggest picking a material that will hold up well to the elements as it will be living outside. Want to see how I did it? Check out my step-by-step tutorial below and create your own DIY butterfly garden!

Tools and Materials

Tools and Materials:

  • Container (I found a coal scuttle at my local thrift store, but you can use any container. I suggest using metal as it's going to live outside and untreated wood won’t hold up as well)
  • River rocks
  • Potting mix
  • Plants
  • Gravel
  • Mini bistro set
Add Some Rocks
Add Some Rocks

My container didn’t have any drainage and I didn’t feel like drilling some holes, so I decided to add some river rocks at the bottom. It will also add some weight to the container to make sure that it doesn’t get blown away if a storm comes through.

Add Potting Mix
Add Potting Mix

Next I added a good amount of potting mix. You want to fill it up to just a few inches from the top. When I add my plants in later, the soil that comes with them will help fill it to the brim. I used moisture control potting soil, which will help prevent me from overwatering.

Add Milkweed
Add Some Plants

The first plant I added was milkweed. Monarch butterflies and bees are attracted to milkweed so it’s a perfect plant to have in your mini butterfly garden. You don’t need to only use plants that they are attracted to, but having a big milkweed is definitely helpful.

Add Some Plants

I also added creeping Jenny hanging over the edge. I use creeping Jenny for groundcover in my yard, and by including it here it will help my mini butterfly garden fit in with the rest of my garden. 

Add More Plants

I continued adding more plants. Make sure that all of the plants that you use like the same kind of sun/shade and moisture level. You can find out this information from a little tag on the plant, or ask the staff at your local nursery.

Add Moss

I also added a bit of moss. Make sure to use natural moss and use it sparingly, as too much can suffocate your plants.

Add Gravel
Add Decor

I wanted my butterfly garden to double as a fairy garden, so I added some gravel to create a little pathway through the middle of my mini butterfly garden.

Add Decor

I also added a mini bistro set to invite local fairies and butterflies to sit and have a cup of coffee! 

DIY Mini Butterfly Garden

DIY Butterfly Garden

I’m in love! There are millions of options for your own butterfly garden. Feel free to experiment with containers, plants, and decor! How would you personalize your own mini butterfly garden? Let me know in the comments below!

Resources for this project:
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Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!
Frequently asked questions
Have a question about this project?
3 of 4 questions
  • Mary Jane Mary Jane on Jul 18, 2020

    What is a mini bistro set?

  • Sharon Gehrke Wolf Sharon Gehrke Wolf on Jul 19, 2020

    Are there any flowering plants in your basket? It is really cute, but I don't see much to attract butterflies.

  • Meme Meme on Jul 26, 2020

    I want to paint a kitchen counter top which is formica. Do I need to apply a primer and what type paint do I use? meme

Join the conversation
5 of 12 comments
  • Emmawilliams1 Emmawilliams1 on Jul 17, 2020

    so cute..from the girl with the artsy arms and hair! I have an old bathroom sink I was going to set on the curb the other day and decided to keep it for "something".. I was thinking along these lines...Wish me luck on finding plants with the virus going on..Everyone be safe and enjoy the moments...

    • See 2 previous
    • Teresa Anderson-Briney Teresa Anderson-Briney on Aug 06, 2020

      I saw a toilet, yes a toilet used as a flower pot!!! It was in the middle of a flowerbed, surrounded by beautiful azaleas. Go figure!!

  • Ladywell Ladywell on Jul 17, 2020

    Yes, I will use my pedestal sink in the garage for 12 years. I already have a butterfly garden in the back yard. I will put this in the front yard.