Top 10 Grow Your Own Butterfly Kits

Caterpillar to butterfly kits give you the chance to observe close-up the fascinating life cycle of butterflies. Seeing a tiny caterpillar grow into a large fat grub, then turning into a chrysalis, and emerging as a butterfly is a fantastic experience. Butterfly kits can be a wonderful gift for kids. Or, you can raise butterflies to release into your garden to help pollinate plants.

If you are looking to buy a caterpillar to butterfly kit, it’s essential to choose the best one. If this is your first kit for raising butterflies, then you need one with a mesh terrarium, feeders, and other equipment. Many kits also come with several live caterpillars, so you should check outdoor temperatures before ordering.

Here we will take a look at the top 10 butterfly kits currently for sale and compare them. Descriptions of the kits, as well as the advantages and disadvantages of each one, will help you make an informed choice.

Top 10 Growing Butterfly Kits

1. Insect Lore Butterfly Growing Kit


The Insect Lore butterfly kit is one of the most popular caterpillar to butterfly kits on the market. The kit comes with all the equipment you need to get started raising caterpillars. You get a large terrarium/habitat, feeding dropper, and instructions. This kit is also STEM-approved for people interested in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. The kit doesn’t have live caterpillars; however, there is a voucher to order these for free separately.


What we liked:

  • The large mesh terrarium has a full zipper side for easy access.
  • Excellent instructions.
  • Top seller on Amazon

What we didn’t like:

  • No live caterpillars are included. A voucher for five caterpillars is included to redeem later. You still have to pay extra for shipping.

2. Nature Bound Butterfly Growing Habitat Kit


This complete caterpillar to butterfly growing kit has a pop-up tubular mesh habitat. As with most of the top butterfly growing kits, easy-to-follow instructions are included. There are no caterpillars included; however, the package includes a 50% off coupon. Or, you could look in your yard for caterpillars to raise in the habitat.




What we liked:

  • The terrariums come in a choice of two colors—green or pink.
  • Easy Velcro opening.
  • Easy to store habitat.

What we didn’t like:

  • The kit doesn’t include live caterpillars. The voucher is only for 50% off the cost of purchasing caterpillars plus shipping fees.

3. Insect Lore Cup of Caterpillars


This “cup of caterpillars” is a small kit that includes five baby caterpillars. The grubs are shipped along with food for safe transit. Along with the plastic container and caterpillars, you get a deluxe log for a chrysalis station where the chrysalises hang during metamorphosis. The kit doesn’t include the mesh habitat. So, you either have to release them straight into your garden or already have a terrarium.

What we liked:

  • It comes with five baby caterpillars.
  • Unique chrysalis station.
  • STEM-approved

What we didn’t like:

  • No mesh habitat is provided.

4. Insect Lore Butterfly Garden and Live Cup of Caterpillars


Insect Lore is a top Amazon seller, and this butterfly kit contains all you need to get started. The kit includes five painted lady caterpillars, a tent-type pop-up habitat, a clear viewing panel, and a butterfly feeder. You also get a cool chrysalis station to observe the hanging pupae before the butterflies emerge.




What we liked:

  • Everything you need to get started.
  • Live butterfly farm.
  • Flower feeder included.
  • Five caterpillars included.

What we didn’t like:

  • Some reviewers say the caterpillars didn’t make the journey.

5. Nature Gift Store Live Butterfly Kit with 10 Lady Painted Caterpillars


One of the best caterpillars to butterfly kits is this one by Nature Gift Store. The package comes complete with a large 18-inch (45 cm) mesh terrarium, ten baby lady painted caterpillars, detailed instructions, and a butterfly feeder. The pop-up mesh cage is ideal for storing when not in use and gives plenty of room for butterflies to flutter around in.




What we liked:

  • From the ten caterpillars supplied, six are guaranteed to become butterflies.
  • Large mesh terrarium—an ideal size for butterflies.
  • Food is provided as well as a feeder.
  • Excellent value for money.

What we didn’t like:

  • The tubular-style mesh doesn’t offer clear viewing of butterflies.

6. Nature Bound Toys Butterfly Garden Habitat & Terrarium


This top-rated butterfly kit with a terrarium is another excellent choice for observing caterpillars turning into butterflies. The mesh terrarium has a clear vinyl panel to see the flying insects. Also, the terrarium is one of the largest on this review—a massive 2 feet (60 cm) tall. So, plenty of room for butterflies to fly around. The kit doesn’t come with live caterpillars, but a 50%-off coupon is included to buy caterpillars.



What we liked:

  • Extra-large terrarium with a clear vinyl panel for easy observation.
  • Easy to set up and use.
  • Complete instructions for growing live caterpillars

What we didn’t like:

  • No live caterpillars included. The voucher is only for 50% off, and you still have to pay shipping costs.

7. Insect Lore Platinum Edition Butterfly Pavilion Kit


This butterfly kit is one of the largest and most comprehensive kits on sale. Not only do you get a sizeable 2-foot terrarium (60 cm), but you get four cups of live painted lady caterpillars. The deluxe set comes with 20 caterpillars, and they guarantee that at least 12 will turn into butterflies. Four chrysalis stations allow for closeup observation as the butterflies emerge from the pupae.




What we liked:

  • One of the largest butterfly kits on sale.
  • Makes for a super fun kids’ project.
  • It comes with instructions, stickers, and informative material.

What we didn’t like:

  • More expensive than other butterfly kits.

8. Insect Lore World of Eric Carle Caterpillar Butterfly Growing Kit


Another complete caterpillar-butterfly kit to observe these fascinating insects. The kit includes five caterpillars, a mesh pop-up terrarium, feeder, instructions, and a chrysalis station log. Due to the popularity of the classic children’s book, this kit could be an exciting gift for a child.




What we liked:

  • It comes complete with live caterpillars.
  • Everything you need to raise your own butterflies.
  • Easy instructions.

What we didn’t like:

  • Some customers complained that the caterpillars didn’t turn into butterflies or seem to be sick.
  • An inflated price due to the branding.

9. Uncle Milton Butterfly Farm Live Habitat


This butterfly kit contains one of the best-looking mesh habitats in this review. The dome-shaped terrarium has a decorative vine inside for the cocoons to hang from. Included in the kit are a magnifying glass, vine, base cap with a sponge, and educational poster. Unfortunately, the product doesn’t get great reviews because of poor design.


What we liked:

  • The dome-shaped terrarium looks attractive, especially with the decorative vine.
  • Low-cost butterfly kit.

What we didn’t like:

  • Poor customer reviews criticizing the design and quality.
  • No caterpillars included, although a voucher is provided.

10. Educational Insights Butterfly Bungalow


This butterfly kit is designed as a starter kit to get small children interested in the world of butterflies.  The small terrarium is large enough for five butterflies, and there’s a small opening in the sides for easy access. The kit comes with a magnifying glass, chrysalis log station, and activity guide. You have to order the butterflies separately and pay for shipping.




What we liked:

  • Affordable butterfly kit with everything to get your child interested in butterflies.
  • The mesh bungalow can be reused.
  • Includes a chrysalis log.
  • Good reviews from customers.

What we didn’t like:

  • The terrarium is small compared to other butterfly kits.

Reasons for Purchasing a Butterfly Kit

Buying a high-quality butterfly kit is the perfect way to get your kids interested in science. The durable mesh terrariums provide the ideal habitat for caterpillars to grow into beautiful butterflies. The transformation from bug to butterfly is a great educational experience for children and adults alike.

However, butterfly kits aren’t just for educational purposes. You can raise butterflies at home to release into your garden. Many gardeners do this because butterflies are excellent pollinators. Or, from an ecological perspective—there is a decline in butterfly populations. So, raising butterflies at home to release outdoors is a great way to do something for the environment.

FAQ’s About Butterfly Kits

When is the best time to buy a butterfly kit?

Many butterfly kits are sold with live caterpillars. Because of this, you should only order butterfly kits when the temperature is over 40°F (4°C) and below 85°F (29°C). Some suppliers hold off sending live butterflies until the weather warms up. Others put the responsibility on the buyer to ensure that conditions are right to send live insects through the mail.

How long does it take for caterpillars to grow into butterflies?

Generally, it takes between five and 21 days for caterpillars to change into butterflies. The length of time depends on various factors such as species of caterpillar, environment, and outdoor temperature. During this time, the caterpillar goes through a complete metamorphosis. After the transformation, the ugly grub emerges from the chrysalis as a beautiful butterfly or moth.

When is it the best time to release the butterflies into the garden?

Weather conditions generally determine when the best time to release butterflies is. Release butterflies into your garden when the temperature is between 60°F and 65°F (16°C – 18°C), the sun is shining, and there’s no wind. If the butterflies are a day old, then some slight rain won’t hurt them. If conditions aren’t right for releasing butterflies, keep them indoors in the mesh terrarium and feed them regularly.

What will they need in the garden to continue to breed?

Growing the right plants in your garden is the best way to encourage butterflies to continue breeding in your garden. Some excellent plants to attract butterflies are nettles, cabbage, and various type of grasses. Also, butterflies feed on nectar, so you should grow brightly colored flowering plants and make sure that there are sheltered spots in your backyard.

Do I need a butterfly house in my garden?

You don’t need a butterfly house to help butterflies hibernate over the winter. Most species of butterflies prefer overwintering in shaded forests, away from open gardens and yards. Of course, there is nothing wrong with having a butterfly house in your garden—it may work. However, the best way to attract butterflies is by growing the right type of plants, providing food sources, and sheltered areas in sunny spots.