Emma's Butterfly Ranch Milkweed & Caterpillars

save the monarchs

FAQ's (Frequently Asked Questions)


Q: How many butterflies do I need for a release?

A: How many butterflies you release, plus the choice of release method, depends on your preference and budget. A butterfly release can range from a ‘special wish’ symbolic release where two individual butterflies are released, e.g. for weddings one each by the Bride & Groom…through to a spectacular experience of an individual butterfly being released by each guest. Other options, depending on the event, include an individual butterfly being released by each couple or by each family member.

Alternatively, you can have a mass release of butterflies from one or more Butterfly Release Boxes ~ one dozen, two dozen, three dozen, 100…or more butterflies naturally resting inside an elegantly decorated release box, open the lid and fill the sky with beautiful butterflies!

Of course, the larger the number of butterflies released the more dramatic and spectacular the effect. However, even a few butterflies released at a time can also be beautiful. The choice is yours

Q: How much does a butterfly release cost?

A: The cost of a butterfly release depends on the number of butterflies you wish to release.

We happily cater for any number of butterflies ~ Please contact us to discuss an individually tailored Butterfly Release Package.

Q: When should I order?

A: As we breed our butterflies especially for your wedding day or event ~ at a minimum we require 6 weeks notice for breeding purposes. Although to secure your date in our breeding schedule we recommend ordering with as much notice as possible. We are currently taking orders up to 18 months in advance.

As our breeding schedule does book out we recommend that you order as early as possible to avoid disappointment.

We may be able to fill orders within a shorter time period, subject to availability. We generally have some butterflies on hand for events where notice is not possible (such as funerals). If your event is less than 6 weeks away please > contact us to discuss availability.

Please note: Availability of butterflies is seasonal, as butterflies as cold blooded they will not be available for releasing during the colder winter months (depending on your location ~ but generally between June to August).

Q: Do you deliver to my area?

A: We deliver butterflies with in parts of southern Califorinia

Final delivery arrangements will be confirmed
by telephone approximately 7 days before your event. Please note: For the welfare of the butterflies, it is our policy that butterflies will not be left at an unattended address – it will be necessary to confirm a delivery address where someone will personally take delivery of your butterflies.

Q: What methods are available for releasing butterflies?

A: There are many ways for butterflies to be involved in the celebration of your special occasion ~ three of the most often used are:

- Individual Butterfly Release TrianglesTM

- Butterfly Release Box

- Butterfly Display & Release CagesTM

See our Butterfly Release Methods for further information on the different of methods of releasing butterflies.

Q: What type of butterflies?

A: We specialise in naturally breeding and raising beautiful healthy Painted Lady butterflies. The Painted Lady butterfly is a spectacular butterfly and the most suitable for releasing ~ they are large and colourful and their flight pattern is graceful. They are also ‘people friendly’ (ie. they will not be afraid of humans), strong and travel well.

Q: How do the butterflies survive in the Individual Butterfly Release Triangles / Butterfly Release Box and during transit?

A: As butterflies are cold-blooded all of our packaging is especially designed to keep them cool and dark, the butterflies then go into a natural hibernation-type sleep. When Individual Butterfly Release Triangles are distributed to guests the butterflies begin to warm up. This wakes them up and they will be ready to fly at the time of release. Whilst in transit, as the butterflies are sleeping they are in a reduced metabolic state and are not stressed or harmed in any way.

Q: Do any of the butterflies ever die during transit?

A: It is extremely rare for any of our butterflies to die during transit or whilst in the protection of our especially designed release packaging. Another reason why we specialise in the Monarch butterfly for releases is, not only are they large and beautiful, they are also a very hardy and strong butterfly. While most butterflies only live from two days to two weeks, the Monarch butterfly can live from 3 - 6 months (depending on environmental conditions). The Monarch is naturally hardy and robust to endure its longer lifespan.

Q: Are there particular weather conditions required to release butterflies?

A: Yes - Butterflies should only be released on a warm day and out of strong winds.

Butterflies should not be released in heavy rain. Overcast conditions, in between showers, or light drizzle is OK for releasing the butterflies. If inclement weather is likely you may consider purchasing one of our Butterfly Display & Release Cages™ so your butterflies can make a lovely display in the event of rain.

Q: Are butterflies available for release all year round?

A: No ~ We do not supply butterflies for release in the colder winter months. As butterflies are cold-blooded the atmosphere needs to be warm for effective releasing.

Q: Can butterflies be released at night time?

A: No - Butterflies should be released at least one hour before sunset so they can find food and shelter.

Q: Can butterflies be released indoors?

A: Butterflies are only to be released in an OUTDOORS location - In NO circumstances should you release butterflies indoors.

Q: Do we get any instructions for our butterfly release?

A: All butterfly orders come with easy to follow butterfly care and release instructions. Releasing butterflies is easy - although we do recommend in all the excitement of a special occasion that a designated person ('a butterfly attendant') be given the responsibility of taking care of your butterflies and for ensuring that these instructions are followed.

There is nothing difficult involved ~ releasing butterflies at your event is easy ~ although just with any aspect of an event, having a designated person will ensure the smooth running of your butterfly release and one less thing for you to think about.

Q: What happens to the butterflies after the release?

A: The butterflies continue on their natural lifecycle. They can find patches of nectar and host plants (to feed and to lay their eggs) hundreds of kilometres away, stopping to nectar on plants in the wild and in people's back yards! Releasing butterflies assists in replenishing the depleting butterfly population. Fact: approx. 92% of butterfly eggs laid in the wild do not reach maturity due to envirnomental changes, including pesticides and predators.

Q: How long do butterflies live for?

A: It is a common misconception that all butterflies only live for a day or two. In fact, while many butterflies only live from two days to two weeks, the Painted Lady butterfly can live from 3 - 6 weeks (depending on environmental conditions). The Painted Lady is beautiful and hardy.

If you have additional questions which are not addressed above, please feel free to Email us or call us at 714-904-1550 and we will be happy to answer them for you.