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Rainbow’s End Butterfly Farm and Nursery has the plants you need to create your own backyard butterfly habitat.

The nursery at Rainbow’s End is unique…we supply Habitat Kits for attracting specific butterflies. The Kit consists of: biodegradable packaging, plants grown without pesticides or chemicals and plants that not only attract butterflies, but also help create habitat! …the plants must feed both the butterfly (nectar plants) and the caterpillar (host plants).
Many butterflies spend their entire lives in an area not much bigger than most backyards, so we can provide a habitat that can support the entire life history of some butterflies… and how cool is that!
To create your butterfly habitat, select plants from our Butterfly Friendly Plants section and purchase them at our nursery at Rainbow’s End Farm or order from our Farm Stall.
Remember, creating habitat is not difficult!



To create our miniature wildlife sanctuary, there are a number of steps that are easy to take to supply the magnets that will draw the butterfly into it, and into our lives…

  • We must choose both caterpillar food (host plants) and butterfly food (nectar plants). Aside from nectar rich foods that most butterflies are attracted to, be sure to include caterpillar host plants, where the female butterflies will lay their eggs and provide food for their caterpillars.
  • Butterflies require very specific plants for laying their eggs, and will lay their eggs only on these plants. For example, monarch butterflies will only lay their eggs on milkweeds. The monarch caterpillars will only eat milkweed… so you see if the milkweed dies, so does the monarch butterfly. That is why we stress habitat! What good is a pretty garden if it only supplies food for the adult and not the caterpillar? These plants will also attract males that are looking for females.
  • We must all learn that where there are host plants and caterpillars, there eventually will be butterflies!
  • Include flowers that bloom at different times so that your garden provides nectar from spring through autumn… and include colors like red, orange, yellow and purple, particularly attractive to butterflies!
  • The use of native plants and wildflowers is preferable in attracting the native butterflies in your area. It makes sense. Look around and see which plants the butterflies in your area are attracted to.
  • Create a sunny area with shelter and perches, and a place for a puddle.
  • Lose the lawn and hold the poisons. Insecticides kill butterflies too.
  • Rearrange your idea of pretty and think of all the critters that sustained themselves in the tall grasses and along the driveway before it became a manicured/sterile environment.
  • Let your love for butterflies show. Enjoy your garden. Butterflies pay less attention to people than do birds, so you can sit nearby and watch without disturbing them. If you wear bright colors, they may even mistake you for a nectar source and visit you right up close!





A note about milkweed…

Monarch butterflies desperately need our help. The destruction of the milkweed through loss of farmland, urban sprawl, and just plain mowing and using chemicals, has threatened the existence of the beautiful monarch butterfly. If the monarch cannot find milkweed, she will not lay her eggs. Milkweed is the only food her caterpillars can eat. There is no reason to lay the eggs on grasses or in trees as the emerging caterpillars will have nothing to eat.

We cannot replace the amount of milkweed that has been lost, or even keep pace with the habitat loss each year; however, we can make a difference one garden at a time.

Rainbow’s End Farm has been designated as a monarch waystation through the efforts of  Monarchwatch. And as we create, conserve and protect milkweed/monarch habitats, we encourage you to do the same. Please consider purchasing milkweed as part of your butterfly habitat garden. We can guarantee you, you will make a monarch happy. And you will know you are making a difference too… one garden at a time.


Just stop by Rainbow’s End Farm & Nursery in Pawling NY.  We’ll help you select the plants you need to create a butterfly habitat.



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