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How to Make Butterfly Nectar

By Betty Lewis | Updated November 01, 2017

Jens Lambert/Demand Media

Items you will need

  • 1 cup of granulated sugar

  • 4 cups of water

  • Sauce pan

  • Shallow pan, such as a pie pan

  • Paper towels

  • Red, yellow and/or orange sponges or pot scrubbers to line the pan

  • Storage jar

Butterflies are more than pretty insects; they perform an important ecological role by pollinating a host of plants -- in fact, only bees are more productive pollinators. There's also a peacefulness that comes with watching a beautiful butterfly flit through the garden. There are a variety of plants to attract butterflies, but if your thumb is more brown than green, or you don't feel like maintaining a garden, you can make your own butterfly nectar at home.


Bring water and sugar to boil in a sauce pan, stirring to dissolve the sugar thoroughly.


Allow the mixture to cool to room temperature.


Line the pan with several layers of paper towels topped with the colorful sponges -- butterflies are attracted to bright colors such as red, yellow and orange.


Pour the cooled sugar water into the pan to saturate the paper towels and sponges.


Position your feeder in your garden, in a spot about 6 inches above the tallest flowers in a warm, sunny spot.


Store leftover nectar in the refrigerator for up to a week.

Photo Credits

  • Jens Lambert/Demand Media