Butterfly Garden Certification Program

To join NABA’s Butterfly Garden Certification Program your garden needs to meet the following requirements:

  • At least three different caterpillar food plants must be grown, preferably at least three of each selected species so caterpillars can find adequate food. One milkweed plant, if the only milkweed around, may be targeted by an egg-laying Monarch because she can find no other food. She may return many times to lay her eggs on that one plant. Butterfly Gardeners never want caterpillars to go hungry, so plant for abundant egg-laying! Use of plant species native to your area is strongly encouraged, but not required. 
  • At least three different butterfly nectar sources must be grown, preferably more than one plant of each selected species. NABA encourages the use of plant species native to your area, but does not require it. 
  • Because butterflies and many other beneficial pollinators are insects, insecticides and pesticides should not be used in your butterfly gardens, including Organic pesticides (they kill too).
NABA Butterfly Garden Certification sign at Edison Ford Garden

If your garden meets the requirements it is ready to be Butterfly Garden certified:

There are two ways to certify:

With certification, you will receive a customized NABA Butterfly Garden and Habitat certificate (which is suitable for framing but is not weatherproof)

Butterfly signs to display in your garden

When you certify your garden, you will also be able to buy outdoor, weatherproof signs.

NABA certified butterfly gardeners may buy an outdoor, weatherproof certification sign with a Monarch image if their gardens contain at least one milkweed plant.

NABA certified butterfly gardeners may buy an outdoor, weatherproof certification sign with a Swallowtail image that is suitable for all types of butterfly gardens.

Signs cost $25 each and are available only to gardeners who have certified their gardens with NABA.

NABA’s outdoor weatherproof sign measures 7 inches tall by 10 inches wide. Constructed of rigid plastic with two holes centered on top and bottom for attaching to a stake or fence (stake and mounting hardware not included). Please note that colors represented on computer monitors do not always show the true colors printed on the sign.

Although the colors in the outdoor sign should stay vibrant for several years, our manufacturer recommends placing the sign where it will not receive direct, intense sunlight (at least for part of the day). They also recommend taking the sign inside for the winter if you live in a climate with freezing temperatures.

Not sure where to get started? NABA Members get our quarterly magazines and back issues free online!

Butterfly Gardener

Butterfly Gardener features content spotlighting various aspects of establishing and maintaining a butterfly garden. Published quarterly, the magazine is a benefit of membership. Mary Anne Borge is the editor. She can be reached at [email protected].

Latest Edition of Butterfly Gardener

Winter 2023

How Monarchs Changed our Minds and our Landscape by Janet Smith Moore
Wanted: Viceroy by Steve and Mary Jane Krotzer
Invasive Species Threaten Butterflies – and Everything Else! by Michael Van Clef
Lana Edwards Butterfly Garden of the Year Contest
Western Whites Arrive in the Upper Midwest! by Allison Snopek Barta