Butterfly Terrarium: A Must-Have for Nature Lovers!

What is a butterfly terrarium?

What is a butterfly terrarium?
A butterfly terrarium is a specially designed enclosure that provides a controlled environment for butterflies to thrive. It is a miniature ecosystem that mimics the natural habitat of butterflies, allowing them to live, feed, and reproduce in a safe and comfortable space.

Butterfly terrariums are typically made of glass or acrylic and can be small tabletop displays or larger freestanding structures.

Benefits of having a butterfly terrarium

Benefits of having a butterfly terrarium

Bringing nature indoors

Having a butterfly terrarium allows you to bring the beauty of nature indoors. It provides a unique opportunity to observe and interact with butterflies up close, without disturbing their natural habitats. The vibrant colors and graceful movements of butterflies can bring a sense of tranquility and joy to any space.

Learning opportunity for kids

A butterfly terrarium can be an excellent educational tool for children. It offers a hands-on learning experience about the life cycle of butterflies, their behavior, and their role in pollination. Kids can witness the transformation from caterpillar to butterfly and learn about the importance of conservation and protecting these delicate creatures.

Creating a peaceful environment

Butterflies are often associated with peace and serenity. Having a butterfly terrarium in your home or office can create a calming atmosphere and reduce stress. Watching butterflies fluttering around can be a therapeutic experience, promoting relaxation and mindfulness.

Choosing the right container for your butterfly terrarium

Choosing the right container for your butterfly terrarium

Size and shape considerations

When selecting a container for your butterfly terrarium, consider the size and shape that will best suit your needs. A larger terrarium will accommodate more butterflies and provide ample space for plants and accessories. The shape can vary from rectangular to cylindrical, depending on your preference and available space.

Material options

Glass and acrylic are the most common materials used for butterfly terrariums. Glass provides better visibility and is more durable, while acrylic is lightweight and less prone to breakage. Both materials allow for proper insulation and maintain the necessary humidity levels for butterflies.

Essential supplies for a butterfly terrarium

Essential supplies for a butterfly terrarium

Butterfly-friendly plants

To create a suitable habitat for butterflies, it is essential to include plants that serve as nectar sources and host plants for caterpillars. Some popular choices include milkweed, butterfly bush, coneflower, and lantana. These plants provide food and shelter for butterflies throughout their life cycle.

Water source

Butterflies need a source of water to drink from. You can provide a shallow dish with water and add pebbles or marbles to create a landing spot for butterflies. It is important to keep the water clean and change it regularly to prevent the growth of bacteria.

Perches and resting spots

Butterflies require perches and resting spots to rest and bask in the sunlight. You can include small branches, twigs, or decorative rocks in your terrarium to provide these resting spots. Make sure they are positioned in areas with access to light and warmth.

Butterfly food and feeders

In addition to nectar from flowers, some butterfly species also require specific food sources. For example, monarch butterflies rely on milkweed as their primary food source. Including a milkweed plant or providing artificial nectar feeders can ensure a balanced diet for your butterflies.

Setting up your butterfly terrarium

Setting up your butterfly terrarium

Creating a suitable habitat

Before introducing butterflies to your terrarium, it is important to create a suitable habitat. Ensure that the temperature, humidity, and lighting conditions are appropriate for the species you plan to keep. Research the specific requirements of the butterflies you intend to house and make any necessary adjustments to the terrarium environment.

Placing the plants and accessories

Arrange the plants and accessories in a way that mimics a natural butterfly habitat. Place taller plants towards the back of the terrarium and shorter ones towards the front. Create different levels and textures to provide hiding spots and perches for the butterflies. Consider adding decorative elements such as rocks, flowers, or small figurines to enhance the visual appeal.

Caring for your butterfly terrarium

Caring for your butterfly terrarium

Providing proper lighting and temperature

Butterflies require adequate lighting and temperature to thrive. Place your terrarium in a location that receives indirect sunlight or use artificial lighting to provide the necessary light spectrum. Maintain a temperature range suitable for the butterfly species you are housing, typically between 70-85°F (21-29°C).

Maintaining humidity levels

Butterflies thrive in environments with moderate humidity levels. Monitor the humidity inside the terrarium and mist the plants and surroundings with water if necessary. Avoid excessive moisture, as it can lead to mold or fungal growth. A hygrometer can help you keep track of the humidity levels.

Cleaning and sanitizing the terrarium

Regular cleaning and sanitizing of the terrarium are essential to prevent the buildup of waste, bacteria, or parasites. Remove any fallen leaves, debris, or dead butterflies promptly. Clean the terrarium with a mild soap solution, rinse thoroughly, and allow it to dry before reintroducing butterflies.

Attracting butterflies to your terrarium

Attracting butterflies to your terrarium

Choosing the right butterfly species

Different butterfly species have specific preferences for plants, climate, and habitat. Research the native butterflies in your area and choose species that are well-suited to your terrarium environment. Providing the right plants and conditions will attract butterflies naturally.

Using attractants and pheromones

To further attract butterflies to your terrarium, you can use attractants and pheromones. These substances mimic the scents and pheromones released by female butterflies to attract males. By strategically placing attractants, you can increase the chances of butterflies visiting your terrarium.


Creating a butterfly terrarium is a rewarding and educational experience. It allows you to bring the beauty of butterflies into your home while providing a safe and nurturing environment for these delicate creatures. By following the guidelines for choosing the right container, selecting suitable plants, and providing proper care, you can enjoy the enchanting presence of butterflies in your own indoor oasis.


  • Can butterflies live in a terrarium?

    Although I haven’t found much information on people who have done it, I learned that the only two species of butterflies that may possibly be able to survive in a closed terrarium are admiral and viceroy butterflies as they are known to withstand higher levels of humidity.

  • What do you put in a butterfly terrarium?

    You need host plants for the caterpillars & a zippered net for when it’s time to enclose them. That’s it really! Anything else you can just use from around the house (aka vase for the host plants, paper towels for the poop etc).

  • How do you make a butterfly habitat?

    You can use an old lantern or a box for your habitat. Cut windows in the box to ensure airflow. Using a piece of thin breathable mesh or fabric, secure screens to the side with hot glue so your caterpillars have fresh air. Be sure to have a solid surface at the top of the enclosure for the chrysalis to hang from.

  • What is a cage for butterflies called?

    Educational Science butterfly cages, terrariums, habitats, rearing sleeves and Lepidtariums are designed to the highest standards and have been tested by professional butterfly breeders.

Originally posted 2023-04-12 14:59:32.

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