*this post is not sponsored or paid… I received one of these Butterfly Gardens as a sample and it came with a voucher for caterpillars. We tried it out ourselves and loved it and can’t wait to do it again! This post may contain affiliate links.
This post is quite honestly MONTHS overdue… we did this butterfly garden back in the fall and I kept meaning to post about it, but by the time I got around to it, it was winter and not practical to post about in winter. So, I held off and I’m sharing it with you now. Over the summer, I got a sample of the Insect Lore Original Butterfly Garden with a voucher for your “cup o’ caterpillars” and so we decided to give it a try. I thought it would be a fun activity / project to do with Lilly and, sure enough, I was right. This was SO MUCH FUN! (Honestly, I think it would be fun even if you didn’t have kids… but having kids made it more fun, too!)
So, if you get the box with the voucher, you basically just “order” your caterpillars online and they come within a few days. You can also get a kit with the caterpillars but you have to be ready to use it right away. The box with the voucher is best if you want to give it as a gift or if you want to wait and get your caterpillars at a more convenient time.
The whole butterfly garden process takes about 2-3 weeks (give or take… time of year / weather / sunlight can all play a part in how long it takes). Our caterpillars arrived and Lilly was so excited. Basically they come in the cup and that’s it for awhile. You just set them out on your counter and wait. They’re so tiny at first!!
The cup already has food for the caterpillars so you don’t need to do anything but literally sit and watch them. They get big really fast!
Here’s them getting bigger and bigger… Lilly LOVED coming down every morning and checking on the caterpillars to see how big they got overnight.
Then after about 7ish days, they will climb to the top of the cup and start making their chrysalides. You have to wait about 3 full days for them to fully harden. This process is kinda crazy to watch because they will move and shake in their chrysalides. Not gonna lie, I was really fascinated, too! Also, they don’t all turn at the same time… we had a few stragglers that took a couple extra days.
Once they fully harden, you remove the cap and remove all the “web-like” substances around them and place them in the chrysalis station inside the butterfly habitat and you wait. And wait.
It is likely that you’ll have a chrysalis or two not make it or fall off. They have tips for what to do to try and help it along… we ended up with 3 of 5 chrysalides hatching all the way to make a beautiful butterfly garden… Not much you can really do about it. They do have a “guarantee” though that if at least 3 of your butterflies don’t make it, they’ll send you another cup of caterpillars to try again.
Then after about another 7 days or so, your caterpillars will begin to hatch. We came down one morning and we could tell they were starting. This was SUCH a fun process to watch. It was seriously amazing watching the butterflies fight their way out.
We have one!
Then they all started to hatch and made our butterfly garden. It is REALLY important you do not touch them or try to “help” them in any way. Because you need to let them gain their strength so they can survive in the wild. Once they hatch, you can keep them in their habitat about 3 days or so…
Lilly and I made them their “food” which is basically just sugar water. You can also put cut up fruit like oranges in there for them to eat.
Then we just enjoyed our butterflies for a couple days. Lilly loved her butterfly garden! Watching the butterflies flutter around and gain their strength… eat… it was all so cool! I loved being able to watch the whole process of metamorphosis and talk to Lilly about it. She really learned so much about the life cycle of a caterpillar and butterfly. And honestly, it made me in awe of God’s handiwork, too! What a creator He is!
Then after three days, we let our butterfly garden go! Lilly was sad to say goodbye to them, but it was time! 🙂
There they go!
Seriously, we had the BEST time with this butterfly garden and we will definitely do another one this summer.
Want to do a butterfly garden with your family? You can get a butterfly garden with the cup of caterpillars voucher here on Amazon or you can get one with the actual cup here on Amazon.
What about you? Have you done a butterfly garden before? Will you try it out?