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Plants, Flowers and Trees that
Attract, provide Shelter and Feed the Birds in Your Garden

Most gardeners choose the plants for their garden based on color, fragrance, or any number of other criteria.
While a garden devoted solely to flowers whose seeds attract birds may be out of the question in your overall scheme of things, you should at least consider adding a few "song bird plants" to your landscape.
Trees and shrubs, annuals and perennials, native and cultivated plants can all be used to attract, feed and provide shelter for birds in your garden.
Grow a few plants from each of these groups, to provide seeds and fruits for all seasons.
Annual plants provide fast color in the garden Trees provide shelter and protection. Larger trees planted at the borders of your property provide a safe starting point for visiting birds. They are important for escape from predators, winter shelter, and summer nesting sites. They may also provide food in the form of seeds, berries, and sap.
Flowering annual and perennial plants produce large quantities of seed each year. This is a very important food source for many sparrows, finches and other songbirds. At the end of the blooming season, don't cut the spent flowers off, but allow them to dry and hang in place.
Flowering Shrubs and Vining Plants... Plant shrubs in clumps or hedgerows so birds can observe the yard while hidden from the view of cats and other predators. By the same token, place your bird feeders and bird baths away from places where cats may lay in waiting for an unsuspecting bird. Almost any fruiting plant provides food for the birds, but plants like raspberries tend to be picked clean, long before the summer is over. Once your birds have become accustomed to eating in your yard, they will develop a certain dependency on you and your garden.
When the winter months roll around, natural food will become scarcer.
Provide plenty of seed, fruits or suet during these times to keep your feathered friends around your yard, and happy!
When it is at all possible, a water supply should be included into your garden plan.
This is easily accomplished by the inclusion of a birdbath, which gives them the water they need and enjoy.
Common Name Botanical Name Height Plant Characteristics and Notes USDA
Zones
Growing Requirements
Benefits
Photo
Aster Aster novae-angliae 12-24" Asters grow into a dense mound of light green foliage. In May and through June, the plant will become covered with soft, 1 1/2" white, purple, pink or red flowers 4-9 This plant grows best with full sun for most of the dayThis plant needs a thorough, deep weekly watering, Double icons require boggy or wet conditions
Hummingbird FlowerButterfly FlowerNo Deer
White flowering plantRed flowering plantPink flowering plantPurple flowering plant
A photograph of Aster novae-angliae is available
Bachelor's Button Centaurea cyanus 18-36" Bachelor's Button is the annual version of the Mountain Cornflower. It is an easy to grow plant that quickly forms a nice clump. It begins producing it's bright flowers in late spring and will often continue blooming well into fall. Excellent for dried flowers and potpourri. This is an annual plant or it is commonly grown as an annual This plant grows best with full sun for most of the dayOnce established this plant requires little or no supplemental wateringThis plant will tolerate some drought, but benefits from periodic watering
Butterfly FlowerBird Plant or Flower
White flowering plantRed flowering plantPink flowering plantblue flowering plantPurple flowering plant
A photograph of Centaurea cyanus is available
Beard Tongue Penstemon Barbatus 12-24" Tubular flowers in red, pink, purple, or white will be sure to attract butterflies and hummingbirds to your garden. 4-9 This plant grows best with full sun for most of the dayThis plant requires or will tolerate shade during the heat of the dayThis plant will tolerate some drought, but benefits from periodic watering
Hummingbird FlowerButterfly Flower
White flowering plantRed flowering plantPink flowering plantPurple flowering plant
A photograph of Penstemon cambridge is available
Beauty Berry Callicarpa bodinieri 6-8 ft. Beautyberry grows to a height of 6-8 feet. The foliage is a beautiful bronze color as it emerges in spring. Small lavender flowers in mid-summer produce clusters of intensely purple berries in the Fall 6-8 This plant grows best with full sun for most of the dayThis plant requires or will tolerate shade during the heat of the day This plant will tolerate some drought, but benefits from periodic watering
Bird Plant or Flower
White flowering plantPink flowering plantPurple flowering plant
A photograph of Callicarpa bodinieri is available
Bee Balm Monarda didyma 2-4 ft. Like other members of the Mint Family, Bee Balm can become invasive. The plant should be divided every 3 years to keep it tidy. Stimulate a second flowering in the same year by cutting the bright crimson flowers right after they bloom 4-8 This plant grows best with full sun for most of the dayThis plant requires or will tolerate shade during the heat of the dayThis plant will tolerate some drought, but benefits from periodic wateringThis plant needs a thorough, deep weekly watering, Double icons require boggy or wet conditions
Hummingbird FlowerButterfly FlowerNo Deer
White flowering plantRed flowering plantPink flowering plantPurple flowering plant
A photograph of Monarda didyma is available
Bunchberry Cornus canadensis 4-6" Bunchberry Dogwoods are probably the ultimate ground cover plants for growing in moist, woodland areas or in your shade garden. These short, bright green plants only reach six inches tall. They produce bright red berries that are eaten by many species of wild birds. 3-8 This plant requires shade during the heat of the dayThis plant may not tolerate any direct sunlightThis plant will tolerate some drought, but benefits from periodic wateringThis plant needs a thorough, deep weekly watering, Double icons require boggy or wet conditions
Bird Plant or Flower
White flowering plant
A photograph of Cornus canadensis
Butterfly Gaura Gaura lindheimeri 2-4 ft. Butterfly Gaura are shrubby, perennial wildflowers that are closely related to the Evening Primrose. From late spring until first frost, they produce 8"-24" spikes of 1" flowers that are white when they open at dawn and fade to rose-pink as the sun sets. 5-10 This plant grows best with full sun for most of the dayThis plant requires shade during the heat of the dayOnce established this plant requires little or no supplemental wateringThis plant will tolerate some drought, but benefits from periodic watering
Hummingbird PlantButterfly FlowerBird Plant or FlowerNo Deer
White flowering plantPink flowering plant
Gaura lindheimeri
Chilean Mitre Flowers Mitraria coccinea 6 ft. The Chilean Mitre Flower is a gorgeous creeping and climbing, plant with glossy, dark green leaves arranged in pairs along woody stems. They produce an abundance of intensely colored, scarlet-orange, tubular 1½" flowers with a soft, velvety texture. 9-11 This plant grows best with full sun for most of the dayThis plant requires or will tolerate shade during the heat of the dayThis plant will tolerate some drought, but benefits from periodic wateringThis plant needs a thorough, deep weekly watering, Double icons require boggy or wet conditions
HousePlant IconHummingbird PlantButterfly FlowerBird Plant or Flower
Red flowering plantorange flowering plant
Mitraria coccinea
Cockscomb Celosia Argentea 12-16" Plumosa cultivar flowers resemble plume like feathers, while Cristata flowers looks like a rooster's comb with crested heads and ridges. Low maintenance, good for dried flowers This is an annual plant or it is commonly grown as an annual This plant grows best with full sun for most of the dayThis plant requires or will tolerate shade during the heat of the dayThis plant will tolerate some drought, but benefits from periodic watering
Red flowering plantYellow flowering plantorange flowering plant
A photograph of Celosia Argentea is available
Cosmos Cosmos bipinnatus 3-5 ft. Cosmos are extremely heat and drought tolerant. They prefer full sun and do well in poor, infertile soil. Cosmos plants come in a rainbow of summer blooming flower colors This is an annual plant or it is commonly grown as an annual This plant grows best with full sun for most of the dayThis plant requires or will tolerate shade during the heat of the dayOnce established this plant requires little or no supplemental wateringThis plant will tolerate some drought, but benefits from periodic watering
Hummingbird PlantButterfly FlowerNo Deer
Red flowering plantYellow flowering plantorange flowering plant
A photograph of Cosmos bipinnatus is available
Cotoneaster Cotoneaster 3"-15 ft. Cotoneaster is an extremely diverse genus of plants which includes ground covers, dwarf sized bushes and large sprawling shrubs. The flowers are generally small and appear from spring to early summer followed by bright red or orange berries for the birds to eat in winter. vary This plant grows best with full sun for most of the dayThis plant requires shade during the heat of the dayOnce established this plant requires little or no supplemental wateringThis plant will tolerate some drought, but benefits from periodic watering
Hummingbird PlantBird Plant or FlowerNo Deer
White flowering plantPink flowering plant
A Franchet's Cotoneaster showing its Fall Fruit
Creeping Lily Turf Liriope spicata 8-10" Creeping Lily Turf is a grass like ground cover that grows as spreading clumps of fine, dark green leaves that turn to bronze-green in the winter. Lily Turf produces spikes of tiny flowers in late summer, followed by dark blue berries in late fall. 4-10 This plant requires or will tolerate shade during the heat of the dayThis plant may not tolerate any direct sunlightOnce established this plant requires little or no supplemental wateringThis plant will tolerate some drought, but benefits from periodic watering
Bird Plant or Flower
White flowering plantPurple flowering plant
A photograph of Liriope spicata is available
Elderberry Sambucus 10-20 ft. Elderberries are fast growing, low maintenance, multi-stemmed deciduous shrubs with deeply veined, serrated foliage. They produce large flat clusters of flowers in late spring to early summer, followed by small berries which may or may not be poisonous, by species 4-10 This plant grows best with full sun for most of the dayThis plant requires shade during the heat of the dayThis plant will tolerate some drought, but benefits from periodic watering
Some or all parts of this plant may be toxic or poisonousBird Plant or FlowerNo Deer
White flowering plantPink flowering plantYellow flowering plantPurple flowering plant
A Black Lace Elderberry in Bloom, Sambucus nigra
Evergreen Smilax Smilax lanceolata Vining Plants Smilax is a vigorous growing, durable evergreen vine with thick, dark green, lance shaped leaves. It spreads by underground tubers so it may become invasive. Produces clusters of trumpet shaped flowers in April and May and berries for the birds in the fall 6-8 This plant requires or will tolerate shade during the heat of the dayThis plant may not tolerate any direct sunlightThis plant will tolerate some drought, but benefits from periodic wateringThis plant needs a thorough, deep weekly watering, Double icons require boggy or wet conditions
Bird Plant or Flower
White flowering plantYellow flowering plant
 
Fairy Fan Flower Scaevola aemula 8-12" Fan Flower plants are fast growing tender evergreen perennials that only grow 8"-12" tall but will spread up to 5 feet. Fan Flowers are sprawling plants with light green, coarsely toothed foliage. The 1"-1½" flowers are produced in abundance from spring through fall. 9-11 This plant grows best with full sun for most of the dayThis plant requires or will tolerate shade during the heat of the dayOnce established this plant requires little or no supplemental wateringThis plant will tolerate some drought, but benefits from periodic watering
Bird Plant or Flower
Pink flowering plantYellow flowering plantblue flowering plantPurple flowering plant
A Fanflower Plant in Bloom, Scaevola amuela
Floss Flower Ageratum 6-24" Ageratum is known for its furry mounds of long lasting floss-like blue flowers, occasionally you can find them in white and pink. Deadhead regularly for continued bloom This is an annual plant or it is commonly grown as an annual This plant grows best with full sun for most of the dayThis plant requires or will tolerate shade during the heat of the dayThis plant will tolerate some drought, but benefits from periodic wateringThis plant needs a thorough, deep weekly watering, Double icons require boggy or wet conditions
Bird Plant or FlowerNo Deer
White flowering plantRed flowering plantPink flowering plantblue flowering plantPurple flowering plant
A photograph is available
Flowering Quince Chaenomeles speciosa 3-10 ft. Flowering Quince is a twiggy, rounded upright deciduous shrub. The 1" foliage opens to a beautiful reddish bronze color before turning dark green by mid summer. Showy cup shaped flowers cover each stem in the spring before turning to an edible fruit by summers end 4-8 This plant grows best with full sun for most of the dayThis plant requires shade during the heat of the dayOnce established this plant requires little or no supplemental wateringThis plant will tolerate some drought, but benefits from periodic watering
Hummingbird PlantBird Plant or FlowerNo Deer
White flowering plantRed flowering plantPink flowering plantorange flowering plant
A photograph is available
Red Flowering Currant Ribes sanguineum 6-10 ft. This 6-10 foot tall deciduous shrub is hardy in USDA Planting Zones 5-8 In early spring it produces pendulous clusters of red or pink flowers that attract and feed hummingbirds, bees and butterflies. The small bluish-black berries are eaten by a wide variety of wild birds. 5-8 This plant grows best with full sun for most of the dayThis plant requires or will tolerate shade during the heat of the dayThis plant will tolerate some drought, but benefits from periodic watering
Hummingbird FlowerButterfly FlowerBird Plant or Flower
White flowering plantRed flowering plantPink flowering plant
A photograph is available
Four o' clock Mirabilis jalapa 24" Four o' clocks are fragrant, colorful and very easy to grow. The plants got their name, Four o' clock, because the flowers do not open till around 4 o'clock in the afternoon, except on cloudy days. Can be easily grown from seed This is an annual plant or it is commonly grown as an annual This plant grows best with full sun for most of the dayThis plant will tolerate some drought, but benefits from periodic watering
Hummingbird FlowerBird Plant or Flower
White flowering plantPink flowering plantYellow flowering plantPurple flowering plant
 
Goldenrod Solidago virgaurea 12-36" Goldenrod is an aggressively spreading, upright clumping, deciduous perennial plant with light green foliage. It produces sprays of bright yellow flowers from mid summer until mid fall
Attracts Butterflies: Common Orange Sulphur, Gray Hairstreak, American Painted Lady, Red Admiral, Viceroy
3-9 This plant grows best with full sun for most of the dayThis plant requires or will tolerate shade during the heat of the dayOnce established this plant requires little or no supplemental wateringThis plant will tolerate some drought, but benefits from periodic watering
Butterfly FlowerBird Plant or Flower
Yellow flowering plant
A photograph is available
Goldflame Honeysuckle Lonicera heckrottii Vining Plants Honeysuckle vines are easy to grow, vigorous, heat-tolerant, and nearly indestructible. The flashy and fragrant flowers will attract hummingbirds and butterflies all summer long. 5-9 This plant grows best with full sun for most of the dayThis plant requires shade during the heat of the dayThis plant will tolerate some drought, but benefits from periodic watering
Hummingbird FlowerButterfly FlowerBird Plant or Flower
Red flowering plantPink flowering plantYellow flowering plant
A photograph is available
Heavenly Bamboo Nandina domestica 3-5 ft. Nandina can be grown in partial shade, but the foliage colors will be much more intense if it is grown in full sun. Produces berries for birds. 6-9 This plant grows best with full sun for most of the dayThis plant requires or will tolerate shade during the heat of the dayThis plant will tolerate some drought, but benefits from periodic wateringThis plant needs a thorough, deep weekly watering, Double icons require boggy or wet conditions
Bird Plant or Flower
White flowering plant
A photograph is available
Holly Ilex aquifolium 50 ft. Holly trees require well-drained, slightly acidic, fertile soil. They can tolerate either sun and shade. The male and female flowers of the holly tree are produced on separate plants. Therefore to ensure berry production, both male and female plants need to be planted. 6-8 This plant grows best with full sun for most of the dayThis plant requires or will tolerate shade during the heat of the dayOnce established these plants require little supplemental wateringThis plant will tolerate some drought, but benefits from periodic watering
Bird Plant or FlowerNo Deer
blue flowering plant
A photograph is available
Hollyhock Mallow Malva alcea 2-4 ft. Hollyhock Mallow plants are multi-stemmed, upright perennials that grow 2-4 feet tall, forming 2 foot clumps. From mid summer until fall, they produce spikes of 2" rose-pink or white flowers that resemble Hollyhocks. Mallow are reliable, easy to care for plants. 4-8 This plant grows best with full sun for most of the dayThis plant requires shade during the heat of the dayOnce established this plant requires little or no supplemental wateringThis plant will tolerate some drought, but benefits from periodic watering
Hummingbird PlantButterfly FlowerBird Plant or Flower
White flowering plantPink flowering plant
A photograph is available
Honeysuckle Lonicera Vining Plants Honeysuckle are easy to grow, vigorous, heat-tolerant, and nearly indestructible. The flashy, fragrant flowers will attract hummingbirds and butterflies all summer long. The resulting fruit will provide a fall treat for your local songbirds as well. 4-10 This plant grows best with full sun for most of the dayThis plant requires shade during the heat of the dayOnce established these plants require little supplemental wateringThis plant will tolerate some drought, but benefits from periodic watering
Hummingbird FlowerButterfly FlowerBird Plant or Flower
White flowering plantRed flowering plantPink flowering plantYellow flowering plantorange flowering plant
 
Knotweed Persicaria bistorta 2-3 ft. Knotweed or Bistort plants are low maintenance, quick growing, semi-evergreen perennials with bright green, lance shaped leaves. Knotweed plants produce -bottlebrush-like spikes of tiny, pink, bell-shaped flowers on leafless stems that rise above the foliage from late spring into early fall. 4-9 This plant grows best with full sun for most of the dayThis plant requires or will tolerate shade during the heat of the dayThis plant will tolerate some drought, but benefits from periodic wateringThis plant needs a thorough, deep weekly watering, Double icons require boggy or wet conditionsThis plant needs a thorough, deep weekly watering, Double icons require boggy or wet conditions
Butterfly FlowerBird Plant or FlowerNo Deer
Pink flowering plant
Persicaria bistorta
Larkspur Consolida ambigua 1-5 ft. Larkspur is a low maintenance, upright growing annual with many stems of sparsely covered with light green, needle-like foliage topped with a spire of brightly colored flowers throughout the summer. Remove spent blooms to prolong flowering. This is an annual plant or it is commonly grown as an annual This plant grows best with full sun for most of the dayThis plant will tolerate some drought, but benefits from periodic wateringThis plant needs a thorough, deep weekly watering, Double icons require boggy or wet conditions
Bird Plant or FlowerSome or all parts of this plant may be toxic or poisonous
White flowering plantRed flowering plantPink flowering plantPurple flowering plantorange flowering plant
 
Lily Turf Liriope muscari 18" Lily Turf are relatively slow spreading plants that eventually form large, 24"-30" wide clumps of loose, 18" tall, ½" wide leaves. Lily Turf plants form 6"-8", spikelike clusters of ¼", white or purple flowers in late summer. 6-10 This plant requires or will tolerate shade during the heat of the dayThis plant may not tolerate any direct sunlightOnce established this plant requires little or no supplemental wateringThis plant will tolerate some drought, but benefits from periodic watering
Bird Plant or Flower
White flowering plantPurple flowering plant
Liriope muscari
Oregon Grape Mahonia aquifolium 3-6 ft. Oregon Grape is a deer resistant, low maintenance, durable, evergreen shrub with glossy green, holly like foliage. It produces spikey clusters of Butterfly attracting, bright yellow flowers in the spring, followed by bluish-black berries to feed the birds. 5-9 This plant grows best with full sun for most of the dayThis plant requires or will tolerate shade during the heat of the dayThis plant may not tolerate any direct sunlightThis plant will tolerate some drought, but benefits from periodic wateringThis plant needs a thorough, deep weekly watering, Double icons require boggy or wet conditionsButterfly FlowerBird Plant or FlowerNo DeerYellow flowering plant Mahonia aquifolium
Peruvian Lily Alstroemeria 2-3 ft. Peruvian Lily plants are easy to care for, tuberous rooted perennials with bright green, lance shaped foliage that grow 2-3 feet tall. They produce loose clusters of speckled, 1½"-2" Azalea-like flowers on long, leafy stems in late spring into mid summer. 7-10 This plant grows best with full sun for most of the dayThis plant will tolerate some drought, but benefits from periodic wateringThis plant needs a thorough, deep weekly watering, Double icons require boggy or wet conditions
HousePlant IconHummingbird PlantButterfly FlowerBird Plant or FlowerNo Deer
White flowering plantRed flowering plantPink flowering plantYellow flowering plantPurple flowering plantorange flowering plant
A Peruvian Lily in Bloom, Alstroemeria
Pincushion Flower Scabiosa columnaria 1-2 ft. The Pincushion Flower is a long blooming, clump forming perennial. From early summer until the first frost of fall, Pincushion Flowers produce an abundance of rounded, 1½" flowerheads on top of wirey, 12"-24" stems. 4-8 This plant grows best with full sun for most of the dayThis plant requires or will tolerate shade during the heat of the dayOnce established this plant requires little or no supplemental wateringThis plant will tolerate some drought, but benefits from periodic watering
Butterfly FlowerBird Plant or FlowerNo Deer
White flowering plantRed flowering plantPink flowering plantblue flowering plantPurple flowering plant
Scabiosa columbaria
Oriental Poppy Papaver orientale 18-36" Poppy plants form 18"-36" tall clumps of deeply divided green leaves that are covered with fine bristles. These undemanding perennials slowly spread by rhizomes to form nice two to three foot colonies. Their flowers have the texture of silky crepe paper. 3-7 This plant grows best with full sun for most of the dayOnce established this plant requires little or no supplemental wateringThis plant will tolerate some drought, but benefits from periodic watering
Hummingbird PlantBird Plant or FlowerNo Deer
White flowering plantRed flowering plantPink flowering plantorange flowering plant
A photograph of a Poppy flower
Purple Coneflower Echinacea purpurea 2-4 ft. Purple Coneflowers produce large, fragrant pink flowers beginning in April and May. The three to five foot flower stalks make them an excellent background planting for your landscape, or in a butterfly garden. 3-9 This plant grows best with full sun for most of the dayOnce established these plants require little supplemental wateringThis plant will tolerate some drought, but benefits from periodic watering
Butterfly FlowerBird Plant or FlowerNo Deer
Pink flowering plantPurple flowering plant
A photograph is available
Red Twig Dogwood Cornus stolonifera 15 ft. The Red Twig Dogwood is native to most of the northern United States and Canada. The white blooms appear in the Spring, white berries appear in late summer and provide a treat for the birds, then in the fall the foliage turns to a deep crimson red. 3-8 This plant grows best with full sun for most of the dayThis plant requires or will tolerate shade during the heat of the dayThis plant will tolerate some drought, but benefits from periodic wateringThis plant needs a thorough, deep weekly watering, Double icons require boggy or wet conditions
Bird Plant or FlowerNo Deer
White flowering plant
A photograph is available
Silverberry Eleagnus commutata 8-15 ft. Silverberry is a trouble free, very spiny evergreen shrub with waxy, olive green foliage. It produces small clusters of vase shaped flowers in fall, which develop into berry-like fruits 7-9 This plant grows best with full sun for most of the dayOnce established this plant requires little or no supplemental wateringThis plant will tolerate some drought, but benefits from periodic watering
Bird Plant or FlowerNo Deer
White flowering plantSilver flowering plant
 
Sunflower Helianthus annuus Sunflowers are single stemmed annuals with large, fuzzy, silvery green, lance shape leaves. They produce long lasting, large single or multiple flower heads that range range from 4-12" deending on the variety. This is an annual plant or it is commonly grown as an annual This plant grows best with full sun for most of the dayThis plant requires shade during the heat of the dayThis plant will tolerate some drought, but benefits from periodic watering
Bird Plant or Flower
Red flowering plantYellow flowering plantorange flowering plantBurgundy flowering plantBrown flowering plant
A photograph is available
Tickseed Coreopsis species 1-3 ft. Coreopsis plants form nice, slow spreading clumps of green, fern-like or thread-like foliage with profusely blooming flowers that stand above the foliage on long, wirey stems. Coreopsis are excellent border or rock garden plants, and are great for cut flower arrangements. 4-9 This plant grows best with full sun for most of the dayThis plant requires shade during the heat of the dayOnce established these plants require little supplemental wateringThis plant will tolerate some drought, but benefits from periodic watering
Butterfly FlowerBird Plant or Flower
Red flowering plantPink flowering plantYellow flowering plant
Coreopsis rosea
Wild Strawberry Fragaria chiloensis 6" Wild Strawberries look about the same as the Strawberries that are cultivated for their fruit and their care is the same, but this variety is grown primarily as a ground cover due to its thick growing, glossy foliage. The fruit is edible but not very flavorful 4-9 This plant grows best with full sun for most of the dayThis plant requires or will tolerate shade during the heat of the dayThis plant will tolerate some drought, but benefits from periodic wateringBird Plant or Flower
White flowering plant
A photograph is available