danie henry

Butterfly Ranching

Since I’m a homeschool mom, I can tailor our education to our interests. We hit the books with all of the minimums, but when it comes to the extras we have fun!

Monarch chrysalis

Off to the museum for a butterfly lesson

Last year we went to a lecture at the LA Natural History Museum. They discussed the importance of propagating milkweed to encourage the population of monarch butterflies.They also covered the need to local, native plants in general, which support native pollinators. While Monarchs use milkweed, they also use nectar from other plants after they become butterflies.

Back home for an adventure

So, we planted milkweed in our yard! It was very slow growing and I thought that it was a waste of time. I was SO WRONG! A few months ago we noticed the first black and yellow caterpillar. Then there were 50! I realized we were butterfly ranching in Redondo Beach!


Monarch butterfly caterpillar on backyard milkweed


We checked on them daily, we made sure each one had plenty of milkweed to chomp on, and we make sure that when they left the milkweed that they were headed in a good direction to make a chrysalis. We found them all over the back yard, some 10-20 feet away from the milkweed.

Monarch chrysalis

A Monarch chrysalis hiding under a railing. How did it get there without us seeing?



It was such a pleasure to be able to watch each one go through an entire life cycle. I am so surprised at how much my little children loved them, watched them, and cheered them on.

Monarch Butterfly leaving it's chrsyalis

Coming out of metamorphosis and ready to spread it’s wings!


If you head over to Instagram and search for the hashtag #henryfamilybutterflies you can see more of our butterfly farming or simply keep following us on our blog here. .



danie henry