FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q: When Will You Have Butterflies?
A: Idlewild Butterfly Farm only raises butterflies that are native to Kentucky. The availability of butterflies is extremely dependent on the weather. Typically from late-May to September we have butterflies available for viewing in our flight house and butterfly kits available for education. Availability of all species is extremely variable, we will always update our website and social media with the latest.
Q: HOW DO I VISIT?
A: In order to focus on rearing thousands of butterflies for exhibits, Idlewild is open to the public on a limited basis on Fridays from 12pm-4pm and Saturdays from 10am-4pm. The best way to get an in depth look at our operations and amazing insects is through a tour or workshop! If you visit without scheduling a tour you may visit the gift shop, garden and butterfly rearing flight house. Please note that our flight house is used for rearing butterflies, it is not a formal exhibit and may be closed depending on the cycle of butterflies at the time.
Q: WHEN WILL YOU HAVE NATIVE PLANTS IN STOCK?
A: We stock a wide variety of pesticide-free native plants that are friendly to butterflies and all pollinators in Spring (until early May) and Fall (September through October). Keep an eye out for workshops on creating pollinator habitats!
Q: WHAT DO I DO WITH AN INJURED BUTTERFLY?
A: To support an injured butterfly allow it to eat as it ends its life. We suggest placing it on a nectar flower or making a little sugar water or gatorade available on a paper towel or cotton ball.
Q: I FOUND A CATERPILLAR, WHAT NEXT?
A: If you are concerned about the well being of a caterpillar, ensure that it has plenty of food to eat on it’s host plant, which is unique to each butterfly species. We offer books and workshops on raising butterflies in the garden. You may consider using a sleeve over the plant material outdoors or a butterfly enclosure inside to prevent predators and watch the life cycle take place, but we recommend first learning how to care for caterpillars and maintain a pesticide and disease-free environment.
Q: DO YOU DO SCHOOL VISITS?
A: Yes! We provide a range of educational opportunities including school visits. Due to the demands of the Butterfly Season from April-August, our greatest availability for off-site educational programming is the rest of the year. We recommend booking your educational experience in advance.
Q: DO YOU ACCEPT INSECTS?
A: We share your enthusiasm for backyard insects! Unfortunately we are not able to accept or re-home your pets or insects found in nature.
Q: HOW DO I LEARN TO RAISE BUTTERFLIES?
A: Raising butterflies in your home garden is a fascinating and educational hobby for all ages. We recommend getting started with one of our Butterfly Kits that are available during Butterfly Season. We offer workshops, guidebooks and supplies for raising butterflies at home.
Q: HOW DO I ATTRACT BUTTERFLIES TO MY GARDEN?
A: Butterflies need to eat and will be attracted to sources of nectar from flowers. They lay eggs exclusively on the host plants that their caterpillars eat, so host plants will also attract adult butterflies as well as provide habitat for hungry caterpillars. Learn more at one of our workshops and find more resources here.
Q: CAN I ORDER BUTTERFLIES TO RELEASE IN MY GARDEN?
A: Yes, however once butterflies are released they will fly to find nectar and host plants. Releasing butterflies in your garden will not guarantee that they establish a population there. Remember that if “you plant it they will come” and focus on providing a variety of nectar and host plants throughout the growing season for wild butterflies.