What do Butterflies Eat? How to Feed These Wonderful Creatures + DIY Butterfly Feeder Ideas!

by Anjelina

Nature is truly unique in terms of species diversity. It gives us so many reasons to smile and appreciate the beauty of life! Even the tiny insects are so interesting to observe and even breed. Some of the most beautiful insects are undoubtedly butterflies, with their different sizes and colors – from as big as a human palm with fabulous patterns to tiny, barely noticeable moths. They all delight us with their presence, but is there any way to attract them and take good care of them? Of course! In today’s article, we will answer the question “What do butterflies eat?” and give you some great ideas for butterfly feeders that you can place in your garden or balcony and enjoy these wonderful creatures’ company.

What do butterflies eat in the wild?

what do butterflies eat in the wild flower nectar and fruit

The first and very interesting fact we want to share with you is that some butterflies do not actually eat. Some of the species on the island of Madagascar are just that. They feed on the accumulated nutrients during the caterpillar-like phase.

Of course, these species are not many. Most butterflies feed once a day, mostly on flower nectar, which contains everything they need to live and delight us with their beauty. So it is not surprising that groups of these wonderful insects can often be seen on brightly colored flowers.

Butterflies also like rotting, overripe fruits, which are particularly suitable given the thin proboscis with which they consume them. But there are other reasons butterflies like them so much, after all, everything in nature has a deeper meaning. These fruits contain a lot of water, sugar and vitamins, which are very necessary for them to live.

How to feed butterflies at home?

what do butterflies eat fruit and flower nectar


If you notice these beautiful insects hanging around your home, then you probably want to take a little care of them and feed them so that they visit you again. In some cases, butterflies like the places where they always find food so much that they also produce offspring. Isn’t that wonderful?

So far so good, but here comes the question of how and what to feed butterflies? It makes sense to provide them with the same or at least close to the food they find in nature. We’ll give you a few ideas, but actually one of the simplest options is to mix tap water (letting it come to room temperature) and some sugar. This homemade nectar will appeal immensely to your new little friends.

Butterflies can also be given over-ripe fruit cut into small pieces. In turn, the butterfly will pierce the fruit with its little proboscis and suck out the juice. If you are wondering which fruits are suitable for this purpose – these are bananas, oranges, kiwis, mangoes, as well as grapefruit.

Ideas for homemade butterfly feeders

what do butterflies eat beautiful creatures wild nature

We’ll show you some options for a homemade butterfly feeder that you can make right now. Keep in mind that it is better to place it in a well-lit and easily accessible place for the insects in your garden or on your balcony.

Easy wire butterfly feeder

easy wire butterfly feeder orange placed inside

All you need to make this easy butterfly feeder is aluminum wire, preferably in bright colors. Create a spiral structure in which to place the fruit, narrowing the very end so it doesn’t fall to the ground.

Decorative plate in bright colors

decorative plate that attracts butterflies

If you have a colorful decorative plate, it would be very suitable as a feeder, as butterflies will quickly be attracted to the bright colors on it. All you need to do is leave some overripe fruit in it or why not a sponge soaked in sugar syrup and then place the plate in a suitable spot in your garden. As well as butterflies, however, the feeder can attract ants and wasps, so think carefully about where you place it.

Terracotta pots and plates are also a suitable option

dcoration de jardin extrieur mangeoire pour papillons diy 14.jpg

Idea with plastic cups

plastic cups butterfly feeder idea flower inspired

You don’t need many materials to make a butterfly feeder. If you have some plastic cups, you can reuse them by making a hanging feeder in the shape of a flower (as shown in the picture). The cups should be shallow so that the butterflies can easily reach their food.

Simple DIY butterfly feeder

diy butterfly feeder simple idea with an empty can and flowers

If you have an empty can, you can turn it into an amazing butterfly attractor. Use your imagination and decorate it any way you like, then fill it with suitable flowers or other butterfly food. Hang the feeder in a prominent place in your garden or balcony.

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