Things You'll Need
Brightly colored paints
Butterfly houses provide a convenient area for butterflies to find shelter from the elements and to hide from hungry predators. Not only are they an attractive addition to your yard and garden, but they help to attract and keep butterflies as well. Whether you have made your own butterfly house or have purchased a commercial product, you may need a little help to attract butterflies to the area to use the house.
Paint the butterfly house in bright colors. Butterflies are attracted to purple, red, yellows and pink. Try images of flowers or simple designs in a combination of colors to attract their attention.
Plant flowers that attract butterflies. Brightly colored flowers like asters, daisies, zinnias and purple coneflower attract butterflies and provide the perfect place to perch. (See Resources for a list of flowers that attract butterflies.)
Place your flowerbed in a sunny location. Butterflies feed in the sun and will frequent gardens in full sun. Consider a butterfly feeder filled with sweet nectar or with decaying fruit. Although it may not be appealing to you, butterflies will swarm to soft fruit as it begins to decay.
Provide a water source. A shallow saucer provides more than enough water for delicate butterflies. Pour water on flat rocks or on stone walkways. Placing a butterfly house near sources of moisture will encourage them to investigate and will increase the chances they'll choose the house for shelter.
Plant host plants, the plants on which butterflies lay their eggs (see Resources). Young caterpillars feed on the foliage when they emerge and may form a chrysalis on the same plant. When butterflies emerge, they are likely to seek shelter in your butterfly house.
Nannette Richford is an avid gardener, teacher and nature enthusiast with more than four years' experience in online writing. Richford holds a Bachelor of Science in secondary education from the University of Maine Orono and certifications in teaching 7-12 English, K-8 General Elementary and Birth to age 5.