Red admiral on banana

Bananas for Butterflies

Activity time:
Less than 2 hours
Difficulty level:
Suitable for:
Balcony/roof, Small garden, Large garden, Medium garden
To help:
Butterflies & moths

Use old bananas to give autumn butterflies a sugary treat they will lap up.

Many butterflies like a sweet boost to help them stay fit and healthy during the autumn, and some need the energy to see them into hibernation. 

As a mushy banana gradually ferments and oozes in the sunshine, red admiral, painted lady and comma butterflies should find it. When they do, they’re likely to stay for hours and then return day after day for the juicy treat.

Be aware that  wasps and hornets may also visit your banquet, though they will be interested in the banana rather than you. If you get too many, it might be time the banana went in the compost heap instead!


It's really only in autumn that butterflies are likely to take advantage of your feast.


If you eat all your bananas before they go off, you can buy your own butterfly feeding kit from our shop.

Get Nature on Your Doorstep e-news

The best gardening for wildlife tips to your inbox

What you will need

  • Old bananas
  • Knife
Butterfly feeding kit

Butterfly feeding kit

This fantastic kit gives you everything you need to attract butterflies to your garden.

Buy now

Step-by-step guide

  1. Prepare your banana. Take an old banana, one that’s so speckled that you’re not going to eat it. Massage it all over with your fingers without breaking the skin – you’ll feel it go to mush inside. Using a knife, nick three or four small cuts across the upper side of the banana.
  2. Find a place to put your banquet. Put it outside in a sunny, sheltered position at about chest height, somewhere where butterflies are likely to find it and ideally near flowers and vegetation. If you want to really push the boat out, you could make a little wooden shelf for your bananas and fix it to a wall or fence.

    And it’s as simple as that! You give butterflies a helping hand, and in return if you approach slowly and gently you get a chance to see them up close while they’re feeding, in particular, red admirals and commas love a dose of banana juice!

Four butterflies on a banana

Making a butterfly banquet

Here’s how to tempt butterflies with unwanted fruit!

Make a Butterfly Banquet/Prepare/Slice/Arrange/Teatime

Butterfly banquet video screenshot

Completed an activity? Share your picture