Butterfly Palace: Homemade Butterfly Food

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See how to make your Own Homemade Butterfly Food!

Background to our Butterfly Food Post:

We were able to visit the Butterfly Palace & Rainforest Adventure in Branson, Missouri a few years back.

It’s a fun and relaxing place to stop in Branson if you’re a nature lover like we are. We loved the Butterfly Palace since that they do have a variety of beautiful butterflies, and the fun thing is– you can actually feed the butterflies yourself!

Monarch on feeder in my hand

This photo is of me holding a real butterfly on my Nectar Feeder at the Butterfly Palace. Each visitor receives 1 complimentary Nectar Feeder, which they can show you how to gently hold to allow the butterflies to land and have a snack!

It gives the perfect photo opportunity as you can see, and of course is such a fun thing for kids and adults to get to do.

Butterfly Picture

I do recommend the Butterfly Palace if you’re traveling to (or through) Branson this year. For 2020 Travel, keep in mind they may have modified hours so we would recommend calling ahead.

As of the date of this post, the Butterfly Palace is open. See more information and hours here!

How to Make Your Own Butterfly Food!

Now is the fun part! After we came back from our trip and started sprucing up our back yard space, my husband mentioned making a butterfly garden in the corner of our yard. Of course that meant a little more research into butterflies and what is recommended for them to eat.

Monarch butterfly on feeder

I had some bird feeders from our recent project, our Bird Sanctuary. For a butterfly feeder, you just need a brightly colored tray type feeder or bird bath.

You can probably make your own if needed. It’s pretty simple!

How to Mix Your Butterfly Food:

Butterfly nectar ingredients

To make the food, you will need the Orange Gatorade Powder, sold in a can. If you haven’t used this before, it’s usually located with the Gatorade products on the upper shelves in the grocery store.

A little will go a long way! So find a small can like the one I have pictured above.

Orange Gatorade powder

Just one scoop is needed for this recipe- so you can also make the family some fresh Gatorade while you have it out. πŸ™‚

Making Butterfly Nectar

Add to a clean pitcher. I know it’s obvious it needs to be clean. Just take care not to use the old garden pitcher or watering can, even though this mixture is going outdoors.

Since we are making nectar, it’s important not to use any container that may have dirt, rust, mold, or residue in it. Those things could be toxic to any butterflies that stop in to drink the nectar.

Butterfly Nectar

This Gatorade mix won’t be as concentrated as the mixture you’re used to drinking, so if you’re dedicating this all to the butterfly feeder, labeling is a good idea.

Supplies to Have:

Butterfly Feeder

As you can see, I used a simple tray bird bath for my Butterfly Nectar.

The one I have is brightly colored. While it’s not necessary to find a specific color, remember butterflies are attracted to flowers! So the more it looks like a flower, the easier it is for your butterflies to find their treat!

See some Butterfly Feeders Here:

Butterfly Feeder with Nectar

Next, you will need a small sponge, like the one I have pictured here. As with the pitcher, be sure to use a new sponge that doesn’t have any possibility of having mold or grime in it.

I got the plastic sponge from the Dollar store, and would recommend just picking one up there. You can find them on Amazon but will probably pay a lot more.

Using this sponge is important because it allows a safe place for the butterflies to land and eat the nectar without drowning.

Again, you can see I used a brightly colored sponge! πŸ™‚

Monarch on Feeder

Time to Eat!

I love the pictures I was able to capture of these gorgeous butterflies having a snack! It’s hard to believe we have our own butterfly garden right in our back yard! While it’s on a much smaller scale than the Butterfly Palace was, we still get to enjoy these majestic insects.

Do you know which types of butterflies are common in your area?

Here’s a quick reference I picked up and saved from our tour of the Butterfly Palace. While types vary in each area of the country, I’ve had fun trying to spot a few common ones that have stopped in to visit!

Butterfly Chart

I hope you’re able to use this post as some inspiration for your own home and garden. Let us know on here or on Facebook if you decide to make your own Butterfly Nectar!

Butterfly purple with stripes


Ingredients and Supplies:

  • 1 scoop Orange Gatorade Powder 
  • 2 Quarts fresh, clean water (can be tap water)
  • Absorbent material such as a sponge
  • Pieces of soft or rotten fruit such as bananas, grapes, watermelon, or oranges.
  • Small bird feeder with tray


  • Mix Gatorade Powder and Water well in large, clean pitcher.  
  • Saturate the absorbent material with enough of your Gatorade mix to soak it, but do not leave standing water around it. It should keep its shape.
  • Place rotten fruit around the sponge, but monitor your feeder for any unwanted pests like flies, bees, wasps, ants and other bugs.
  • Finally, Have your camera ready!

This recipe is what the Butterfly Palace in Branson uses but you can also use 4 parts water and 1 part sugar if you don’t want to use gatorade.

See More Here:

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