Moving Day for Caterpillars….


I am sure that many of you have been on the edge of your seats for the next installment of my youngest daughter’s butterfly raising adventures 😉  In case you missed it, you can read the first installment here.

We have been waiting for the caterpillars to form their chrysalis so that we could take them out of their containers and transfer them to their new butterfly enclosure.  

butterfly enclosure

The caterpillars attached themselves to the underside of the lids and formed a chrysalis.  And so, the next step was to carefully take the lids off and take the caterpillars (chrysalis) out. 


To be honest, I was a little nervous about this part.  I didn’t want to accidentally dislodge any of the chrysalis from the undersides of the container lids.

butterfly enclosure

At this point, one of the caterpillars within the chrysalis began wiggling madly about.  Now, I usually pride myself on not being squeamish around bugs, but the wiggling kind of grossed me out a bit.

butterfly enclosure

The next step was to pin the lids to the lower sides of the butterfly enclosure.  

*You may notice that the enclosure comes with its own beautiful silk flowers, something that I try to stay from….I like real flowers best 😉

butterfly enclosure

The last step was to hang the butterfly enclosure outdoors and wait for the new butterflies to emerge in a few days.  

We can hardly wait….

Noelle Johnson, aka, 'AZ Plant Lady' is a author, horticulturist, and landscape consultant who helps people learn how to create, grow, and maintain beautiful desert gardens that thrive in a hot, dry climate. She does this through her consulting services, her online class Desert Gardening 101, and her monthly membership club, Through the Garden Gate. As she likes to tell desert-dwellers, "Gardening in the desert isn't hard, but it is different."
22 replies
  1. Sheila
    Sheila says:

    You are a good mother! I think I might be a bit too squeamish, but I guess we just do what we need to do! Looking forward to seeing your butterfly offspring!

  2. Kiki
    Kiki says:

    Yay…how will be so neat to see and experience for you and your kids..super lovely! Wishing you many happy butterfly!

  3. Gail
    Gail says:

    That was way cool and I think I would be a bit squeamish, too. I wished they had had something like this when my son was a boy! gail

  4. Rose
    Rose says:

    I've been reading this very carefully and taking mental notes, Noelle, so when Granddaughter gets her butterfly pavilion, I'll know what to do. How long did it take for the caterpillars to form their chrysalises? (chrysali??) How exciting this will be when the butterflies finally emerge!

  5. noel
    noel says:

    aloha noelle,

    love your post on transferring the chrysallis to your enclosure with the plastic flowers…ha! what a sweet thing to do with your children 🙂

    btw, the hot, loud and proud meme is going on again at the end of this month, so i hope you can join us, please, it will be on my plantfanatic blog this friday.

  6. VW
    VW says:

    So exciting – good luck waiting! My daughter 'just can't wait' for anything exciting in the future. Well, you'll have to wait, I have to keep saying. It hasn't gotten through yet, though . .

  7. gippslandgardener
    gippslandgardener says:

    I had missed your first post on this Noelle, so I'm glad there was a follow up! I can't wait to show my own daughter who is also very interested in butterflies. I'm now wondering if we can get butterfly enclosures here in Aus!

  8. Andrea
    Andrea says:

    that small net enclosure is something i myself want to do but still haven't found the net to buy. I got crazy over raising butterflies 2 years ago, that i studied them endlessly, now i even was able to memorize many host plants for larvae and nectar plants for the adults, the scientific names too, hehe! My niece and nephew were a little brain-washed with it also.

    But your adults when they emerged must also be fed. Or you already have the plans which you might be posting as part 3? One ready solution if a whole pot of flowers will not be possible is to put honey in there, or slices of overripe plantains or whatever very sweet fruit. You can hang them in the small enclosure, they will sip it, better than none!

  9. Kyna
    Kyna says:

    I'm so glad the move went well. Killing potential butterflies in front of your children's eyes would not have been fun for you, to say the least lol. Can't wait to see what happens next!

  10. Autumn Belle
    Autumn Belle says:

    I am loving it all and getting excited over this too. Now, I am thinking, how can I grow my own butterflies? I can't to see the real butterflies that will emerge from your enclosure.

  11. says:

    Thank you all for your comments. The chrysalis are hanging on our Palo Verde tree right now. The chrysalis now have a shiny look to them as the caterpillars are transforming. It should take 7 – 10 days for them to emerge from the time that they formed their chrysalis.

    I will keep you updated 🙂

  12. Jan (Thanks For Today)
    Jan (Thanks For Today) says:

    I read your first post just now so I could get the whole story;-) I have heard of these kits but have never seen them up close like this, so again, thanks for sharing! It will be exciting for your kids to watch these turn into butterflies!

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