Best Plants to Grow Under Bird Feeders

I’ve always loved the peaceful sight of birds visiting my backyard, especially when they gather around my bird feeders. However, over time, I noticed that the ground beneath the feeders was left barren and unattractive. Determined to enhance the overall beauty of my garden, I embarked on a journey to find the best plants that could thrive under bird feeders. After extensive research and experimentation, I discovered a handful of plant varieties that not only added a touch of vibrancy to the area but also attracted even more delightful bird species to my backyard sanctuary.

Best Plants to Grow Under Bird Feeders

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Importance of Planting Under Bird Feeders

Enhancing the Bird Habitat

Planting under bird feeders is an essential aspect of creating a thriving bird habitat in your garden. By adding plants beneath the feeders, you provide birds with a more diverse and natural environment that mimics their natural habitats. The plants offer nesting sites, perches, and food sources, creating a complete ecosystem that attracts a wide array of bird species.

Providing Shelter and Protection

By Choosing the right plants for your bird-friendly garden, you can provide shelter and protection for the birds. The dense foliage of certain plants can act as a shield, protecting the birds from harsh weather conditions and providing a safe haven from predators. The plants also provide a hiding place for birds to escape from potential threats, ensuring their safety and well-being.

Attracting a Variety of Bird Species

Planting under bird feeders allows you to attract a diverse range of bird species to your garden. Different species have different dietary preferences and foraging behaviors, so providing a variety of plants can cater to the needs of various birds. By creating a vibrant and diverse garden, you can enjoy the beauty of different bird species as they visit your feeders and interact with the plants around them.

Improving Aesthetic Appeal

In addition to the practical benefits, planting under bird feeders can significantly enhance the aesthetic appeal of your garden. The colorful flowers, lush foliage, and vibrant garden beds create a visually appealing landscape that can be enjoyed by both humans and birds alike. Watching the birds flit among the flowers and greenery adds a touch of natural beauty and tranquility to your outdoor space.

Assisting with Pest Control

Certain plant varieties can help control garden pests naturally, reducing the need for chemical pesticides. By incorporating these plants under bird feeders, you can create a natural pest management system. For example, some plants attract insect-eating birds, which can help keep the population of harmful insects, such as aphids and caterpillars, in check. This natural pest control contributes to the overall health and balance of your garden ecosystem.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Plants

Sunlight Requirements

Before selecting plants for your bird-friendly garden, consider the amount of sunlight the area receives. Some plants thrive in full sun, while others prefer partial shade. By understanding the sunlight requirements of the plants, you can ensure they receive the optimal conditions for growth.

Soil Type and Moisture

The soil type and moisture levels in your garden are crucial factors to consider when choosing plants. Different plants have specific soil preferences, such as well-draining soil or moist soil. Understanding the soil conditions in your garden will help you select plants that will thrive in your specific environment.

Plant Height and Spreading Habit

When selecting plants for under bird feeders, consider their height and spreading habit. Taller plants can provide vertical structure and perching spots for birds, while bushier plants can offer dense foliage for nesting. Finding a balance between different plant heights and spreading habits will create a multi-layered and visually appealing garden.

Appropriate Maintenance

Choose plants that require a level of maintenance that aligns with your preferences and available time. Some plants may need regular watering, pruning, or fertilizing, while others are low-maintenance and require minimal attention. Considering the level of maintenance required will help you select plants that you can easily care for without feeling overwhelmed.

Non-Toxicity for Birds

When selecting plants for under bird feeders, it is essential to choose varieties that are non-toxic to birds. Certain plants may contain toxins that can be harmful or even fatal to birds if ingested. Research and ensure that the plants you choose are safe for the bird species that visit your garden.

Resistance to Trampling

Bird feeding areas can become active and bustling with bird activity. As birds forage and explore the area, it is crucial to select plants that can withstand occasional trampling. Look for sturdy plant varieties that can recover from mild disturbances caused by the birds’ regular movement.

Attractive Plant Varieties for Bird-Friendly Gardens

Sunflowers (Helianthus)

Sunflowers are a favorite choice for bird-friendly gardens. Their tall, sturdy stems and large, vibrant blooms attract birds with their abundant seeds. Species such as goldfinches and chickadees particularly enjoy feeding on sunflower seeds, making them a delightful addition to your garden.

Coneflowers (Echinacea)

Coneflowers are not only a stunning addition to any garden but also a magnet for birds. Their cone-shaped center, filled with seeds, attracts various bird species such as finches, sparrows, and cardinals. Coneflowers provide a rich source of food and also add a beautiful splash of color to your garden.

Black-Eyed Susans (Rudbeckia)

Black-Eyed Susans are a classic choice for bird-friendly gardens. Their bright yellow petals and dark centers create an eye-catching display. These plants produce heavy seeds that attract birds like goldfinches, juncos, and sparrows. The seedheads provide a long-lasting food source, even after the flowers have faded.

Bee Balm (Monarda)

Bee Balm not only attracts bees but also captures the attention of hummingbirds and certain bird species. The vibrant red, pink, or purple flowers provide nectar for hummingbirds, while the seedheads attract finches and other seed-eating birds. Bee Balm’s aromatic foliage adds an extra element of interest to your garden as well.

Liatris

Liatris, also known as Blazing Star, is a tall, spike-like plant with striking purple flowers. Its unique appearance and nectar-rich blooms attract several species of butterflies and bees, which, in turn, draw the attention of birds like finches and warblers. Liatris adds vertical interest to your garden and provides a valuable food source for wildlife.

Coreopsis

Coreopsis, commonly known as Tickseed, is a cheerful and low-maintenance plant that attracts a variety of birds. Their bright, daisy-like flowers produce seeds that are enjoyed by finches, sparrows, and other seed-eating birds. Additionally, the nectar from Coreopsis flowers attracts butterflies and bees, creating a lively and vibrant garden ambiance.

Butterfly Weed (Asclepias)

Butterfly Weed is a stunning plant that serves multiple purposes in a bird-friendly garden. The vibrant orange flowers are not only a favorite of butterflies but also attract hummingbirds. Additionally, Butterfly Weed is a host plant for Monarch butterfly caterpillars, contributing to their conservation efforts. The plant’s seed pods provide a valuable food source for finches as well.

Goldenrod (Solidago)

Goldenrod is a tall, upright perennial with clusters of bright yellow flowers. The nectar-rich blooms attract a wide range of pollinators, including bees, butterflies, and beneficial insects. The seeds of Goldenrod are also a favorite food source for finches and other seed-eating birds. Its vibrant color and ability to attract wildlife make it an excellent addition to any bird-friendly garden.

Salvia

Salvia, with its vibrant and long-lasting blooms, is a popular choice for bird-friendly gardens. The tubular-shaped flowers attract hummingbirds and butterflies, providing them with a reliable nectar source. Many Salvia varieties produce abundant seeds that are enjoyed by finches and other seed-eating birds. With its striking flowers and ability to attract both birds and pollinators, Salvia is a must-have plant for any garden.

Joe-Pye Weed (Eutrochium)

Joe-Pye Weed is a tall perennial that adds vertical interest to your garden while attracting a host of pollinators and seed-eating birds. The clusters of pink or purple flowers are rich in nectar and provide sustenance for butterflies and bees. The seedheads of Joe-Pye Weed, which form in late summer, are a valuable food source for finches, sparrows, and other seed-loving birds.

Native Plants for Bird Feeders

Eastern Red Cedar (Juniperus virginiana)

The Eastern Red Cedar is an evergreen tree that provides excellent cover and nesting sites for birds. Its blue-colored berries are a favorite food source for birds like cedar waxwings, robins, and bluebirds. Additionally, the dense foliage of the Eastern Red Cedar offers protection and shelter for various bird species, making it an ideal choice for bird-friendly gardens.

Virginia Creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia)

Virginia Creeper is a climbing vine that not only adds a touch of beauty to your garden but also provides food and habitat for birds. The vine produces dark blue berries that attract a variety of bird species, including finches, cardinals, and bluebirds. Virginia Creeper’s dense foliage also offers nesting sites and shelter for birds.

Red Chokeberry (Aronia arbutifolia)

Red Chokeberry is a deciduous shrub that produces clusters of red berries. These berries are rich in antioxidants and are a valuable food source for birds, such as robins, thrushes, and waxwings. Red Chokeberry also offers shelter and nesting sites for birds, making it a beneficial addition to bird-friendly gardens.

Elderberry (Sambucus canadensis)

Elderberry is a versatile plant known for its clusters of small, dark purple berries. The berries are high in nutrients and attract various bird species, including thrushes, cedar waxwings, and orioles. Elderberry also provides dense foliage for nesting and offers protection for birds against predators.

Serviceberry (Amelanchier)

Serviceberry, also known as Juneberry or Saskatoon, is a multi-stemmed shrub that produces clusters of edible berries. The berries are enjoyed by many bird species, including thrushes, finches, and waxwings. Serviceberry also offers spring blossoms that attract bees and other pollinators, contributing to the overall biodiversity of your garden.

Winterberry (Ilex verticillata)

Winterberry is a deciduous holly shrub known for its bright red berries. The berries persist through the winter, making them an essential food source for birds during the colder months. Various bird species, including robins, thrushes, and bluebirds, rely on Winterberry for sustenance when other food sources are scarce.

Sumac (Rhus)

Sumac is a versatile plant that grows as a shrub or a tree, depending on the species. These plants produce clusters of small red berries that are a favorite food source for birds. Finches, sparrows, thrushes, and other seed-eating birds flock to Sumac for its abundant and nutritious berries.

Wild Bergamot (Monarda fistulosa)

Wild Bergamot, also known as Bee Balm, is a native perennial that offers both visual appeal and benefits for birds. Its lavender-colored blooms are rich in nectar and attract hummingbirds, butterflies, and bees. The seedheads of Wild Bergamot, which resemble a miniature pinecone, provide a food source for finches and other seed-eating birds.

Milkweed (Asclepias)

Milkweed is a crucial plant for bird-friendly gardens as it serves as a host plant for Monarch butterflies and provides nectar for many pollinators. The bright and colorful flowers attract hummingbirds, bees, and butterflies. Asclepias produces unique seed pods that burst open, releasing silky seeds that are carried by the wind, ensuring the plant’s spread. These seeds also serve as a valuable food source for finches and other seed-eating birds.

Perennial Plants for Bird Feeders

Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea)

Purple Coneflower is a classic perennial that attracts birds, butterflies, and bees. The daisy-like flowers have a distinctive cone-shaped center that is filled with seeds. Finches, sparrows, and other seed-eating birds are attracted to the seeds, providing both beauty and functionality to your garden.

Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia fulgida)

Black-eyed Susan is a popular perennial known for its golden yellow flowers with dark centers. The flowers produce seeds that are eagerly sought after by a variety of bird species. As the seedheads mature, finches, sparrows, and other seed-eating birds flock to the plants, adding movement and liveliness to your garden.

Blazing Star (Liatris spicata)

Blazing Star, with its eye-catching spike-like flowers, is a native perennial that attracts birds and pollinators. The purple flowers provide nectar for butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds, while the seedheads attract finches and other seed-eating birds. Blazing Star’s vertical growth and vibrant blooms add an architectural element to your garden.

Cardinal Flower (Lobelia cardinalis)

Cardinal Flower is a striking perennial with vibrant red flowers that attract hummingbirds and butterflies. The tubular-shaped blossoms provide a source of nectar, making it a favorite of pollinators. Additionally, the plant’s seed pods are enjoyed by finches and other seed-loving birds, enhancing the overall appeal of your garden.

Bee Balm (Monarda didyma)

Bee Balm is a perennial herbaceous plant that entices birds, bees, and butterflies with its bright blooms. The red or pink flowers attract hummingbirds, while the nectar-rich blossoms host various pollinators. The showy seedheads of Bee Balm also serve as a valuable food source for finches and other seed-eating birds.

Columbine (Aquilegia)

Columbine is a delicate perennial with unique and intricate flowers that attract birds and bees. The tubular-shaped blossoms provide a source of nectar, making them a favorite of hummingbirds. Finches and other seed-eating birds also enjoy the plant’s seedheads, adding another layer of interest to your garden.

Hollyhock (Alcea rosea)

Hollyhock is a tall and dramatic perennial that adds a vertical element to any garden. The large, colorful flowers provide a nectar source for hummingbirds and butterflies. The abundance of pollen attracts a wide range of bees, ensuring a steady stream of pollinators in your garden. Hollyhock’s tall stems can also provide a perch for birds to rest and observe their surroundings.

Catmint (Nepeta)

Catmint is a perennial herb famous for its fragrant foliage and attractive purple flowers. The plant’s aromatic leaves are irresistible to cats but also attract bees, butterflies, and other beneficial insects. The nectar-rich blossoms serve as a valuable food source for hummingbirds, making Catmint an essential addition to any bird-friendly garden.

Bergamot (Monarda)

Bergamot, also known as Bee Balm, is a perennial plant that offers both visual appeal and functionality for birds. The flower clusters produce nectar, attracting hummingbirds, bees, and butterflies. Finches and other seed-eating birds are drawn to the seedheads of Bergamot, adding movement and interest to your garden.

Obedient Plant (Physostegia)

Obedient Plant is a versatile perennial known for its showy flowers and attractivity to hummingbirds. The pollinators are drawn to the nectar-rich blossoms, which feature an interesting “obedient” quality – if a stem is bent, it will temporarily hold its shape. From mid to late summer, Obedient Plant provides a vibrant splash of color and feeds both birds and pollinators.

Annual Plants for Bird Feeders

Sunflowers (Helianthus annuus)

Sunflowers are a tried and true annual for attracting birds to your garden. Their large, vibrant flowers produce an abundance of seeds that are highly sought after by finches, sparrows, and other seed-eating birds. The towering stalks and cheerful faces of sunflowers create a visually stunning display while offering a delicious food source for birds.

Zinnia

Zinnias are vibrant annual flowers that come in a wide range of colors and attract a variety of birds and pollinators. The nectar-rich blooms are irresistible to hummingbirds and butterflies, creating a lively and colorful garden scene. The seedheads of Zinnias also provide sustenance for finches and other seed-eating birds, ensuring a continuous source of food.

Cosmos

Cosmos is an annual flower that blooms in various colors, including shades of pink, white, and purple. The delicate, daisy-like flowers attract bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds with their nectar. As the flowers fade and form seedheads, finches and other seed-eating birds flock to the plants to enjoy the nutritious seeds.

Marigold (Tagetes)

Marigolds are annual flowers known for their bright colors and distinct scent. The vibrant blooms attract a wide range of pollinators, including bees, butterflies, and beneficial insects. Finches and other seed-eating birds also enjoy Marigold’s seedheads, making it a dual-purpose plant for bird-friendly gardens.

Nasturtium (Tropaeolum spp.)

Nasturtiums are unique annual flowers that offer both visual appeal and functionality for bird-friendly gardens. The brightly colored flowers attract hummingbirds and butterflies with their nectar, providing a reliable food source for these pollinators. Additionally, Nasturtiums produce round, peppery-tasting seeds that are enjoyed by finches and other seed-eating birds.

Mexican Sunflower (Tithonia)

Mexican Sunflower is an annual plant with vibrant orange or red flowers that attract hummingbirds, butterflies, and bees. The nectar-rich blooms provide sustenance for these pollinators throughout the summer. As the flowers fade, finches and other seed-eating birds flock to the plant to enjoy the abundant seeds.

Snapdragon (Antirrhinum)

Snapdragons are popular annual flowers known for their unique “snapping” blooms. The vibrant, tubular-shaped flowers attract hummingbirds with their nectar. The seedheads of Snapdragons provide additional sustenance for finches and other seed-loving birds, enhancing the overall appeal of your garden.

Bachelor’s Button (Centaurea cyanus)

Bachelor’s Button, also known as Cornflower, is an annual flower with delicate blue blooms. The flowers attract butterflies, bees, and other pollinators with their nectar. The seedheads of Bachelor’s Button also provide a valuable food source for finches and other seed-eating birds, making it a wonderful addition to any bird-friendly garden.

Calendula

Calendula, with its cheerful yellow and orange flowers, adds a vibrant touch to any garden. The nectar-rich blooms attract bees, butterflies, and other pollinators. The seedheads of Calendula are also appreciated by birds, as they provide a source of seeds during the fall and winter months.

Lantana

Lantana is a heat-tolerant annual plant that offers a pop of color and attracts a wide range of pollinators. Its clusters of delicate flowers produce nectar that is highly attractive to butterflies, hummingbirds, and bees. The seeds of Lantana are also enjoyed by finches and other seed-loving birds.

Herbaceous Plants for Bird Feeders

Aster

Asters are herbaceous perennials that offer beautiful fall blooms and attract a variety of beneficial insects. The nectar-rich flowers serve as a food source for butterflies and bees, contributing to the overall biodiversity of your garden. As the flowers fade, finches and other seed-eating birds enjoy the seeds provided by the plant.

Tickseed (Coreopsis)

Tickseed, also known as Coreopsis, is a cheerful herbaceous perennial with bright yellow or red flowers. The nectar-rich blooms attract bees, butterflies, and other pollinators. The seeds produced by Tickseed are also enjoyed by finches and other seed-eating birds, making it a valuable addition to bird-friendly gardens.

Joe-Pye Weed (Eutrochium)

Joe-Pye Weed is a tall herbaceous perennial that offers a late summer burst of color and attracts various pollinators. The nectar-rich flowers are particularly attractive to butterflies, which, in turn, draw the attention of seed-eating birds such as finches. Joe-Pye Weed’s towering height adds drama and vertical interest to your garden while providing valuable resources for wildlife.

Coral Bells (Heuchera)

Coral Bells are herbaceous perennials known for their attractive foliage and delicate flowers. The nectar-rich blooms attract hummingbirds and bees to your garden, ensuring a steady stream of pollinators. As the flowers fade, finches and other seed-eating birds appreciate the seeds produced by Coral Bells.

Mullein (Verbascum)

Mullein is a unique herbaceous plant that adds architectural interest to any garden. Its tall, erect stem is covered in soft, woolly leaves and produces spikes of yellow flowers. The flowers attract a variety of pollinators, including bees and butterflies. The seed pods of Mullein provide sustenance for finches and other seed-loving birds, making it a valuable addition to a bird-friendly garden.

Speedwell (Veronica)

Speedwell is a herbaceous perennial with clusters of small, vibrant blue or purple flowers. The nectar-rich blooms attract bees, butterflies, and other beneficial insects. As the flowers fade, finches and other seed-eating birds flock to the plant to enjoy the seeds, adding life and movement to your garden.

Blazing Star (Liatris)

Blazing Star, an herbaceous perennial, is known for its tall spike-like flowers that bloom in shades of purple. The vibrant blooms attract butterflies, bees, and other pollinators, creating a lively and buzzing garden environment. The seedheads of Blazing Star provide a valuable food source for finches and other seed-eating birds, ensuring a continuous supply of nourishment.

Bergamot (Monarda)

Bergamot, also known as Bee Balm, is a herbaceous perennial that entices birds, bees, and butterflies with its fragrant blooms. The red or pink flowers offer nectar to hummingbirds, while attracting a variety of pollinators. The showy seedheads of Bergamot also serve as a valuable food source for finches and other seed-eating birds, adding another layer of interest to your garden.

Goldenrod (Solidago)

Goldenrod is an herbaceous perennial that adds a burst of yellow color to any garden. The nectar-rich flowers are attractive to a wide range of pollinators, including bees, butterflies, and beneficial insects. The seedheads of Goldenrod also provide a valuable food source for finches and other seed-eating birds, adding both beauty and functionality to your garden.

Cannas

Cannas are herbaceous perennials with large, tropical-looking leaves and vibrant flowers. The nectar-rich blossoms attract hummingbirds and butterflies, adding a touch of exotic beauty to your garden. While Cannas do not produce seeds commonly consumed by birds, they offer a reliable nectar source for pollinators, contributing to the overall health of your garden ecosystem.

Flowering Plants for Bird Feeders

Columbine (Aquilegia)

Columbine is a delicate perennial with unique and intricate flowers that attract birds and bees. The tubular-shaped blossoms provide a source of nectar, making them a favorite of hummingbirds. Finches and other seed-eating birds also enjoy the plant’s seedheads, adding another layer of interest to your garden.

Butterfly Bush (Buddleja)

Butterfly Bush, as the name suggests, is a magnet for butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds. The cone-shaped clusters of flowers produce abundant nectar, attracting various pollinators to your garden. Finches and other seed-eating birds also appreciate the seedheads of Butterfly Bush, making it a functional and attractive addition to any bird-friendly garden.

Hollyhock (Alcea rosea)

Hollyhock is a tall and dramatic flowering plant that adds a vertical element to any garden. The large, colorful flowers provide a nectar source for hummingbirds and butterflies. The abundance of pollen also attracts a wide range of bees, ensuring a steady stream of pollinators in your garden. Hollyhock’s tall stems can also provide a perch for birds to rest and observe their surroundings.

Coneflowers (Echinacea)

Coneflowers, with their distinct cone-shaped centers, are a popular choice for bird-friendly gardens. The daisy-like flowers produce seeds that are eagerly sought after by finches, sparrows, and other seed-eating birds. The sturdy stems of Coneflowers provide perching spots and add architectural interest to your garden.

Cardinal Flower (Lobelia cardinalis)

Cardinal Flower is a striking perennial with vibrant red flowers that attract hummingbirds and butterflies. The tubular-shaped blossoms provide a source of nectar, making it a favorite of pollinators. Additionally, the plant’s seed pods are enjoyed by finches and other seed-loving birds, enhancing the overall appeal of your garden.

Phlox

Phlox is a beautiful perennial that offers clusters of fragrant flowers in shades of pink, purple, and white. The blossoms attract bees, butterflies, and other pollinators with their nectar, ensuring a lively and buzzing garden. Finches and other seed-eating birds also appreciate the seedheads of Phlox, providing an additional food source.

Bee Balm (Monarda)

Bee Balm is a native perennial that not only attracts bees but also captures the attention of hummingbirds and certain bird species. The vibrant red, pink, or purple flowers provide nectar for hummingbirds, while the seedheads attract finches and other seed-eating birds. Bee Balm’s aromatic foliage adds an extra element of interest to your garden as well.

Penstemon

Penstemon is an attractive perennial that offers tubular-shaped flowers in various colors, such as pink, purple, or red. The nectar-rich blossoms attract hummingbirds and bees, creating a vibrant and lively garden environment. Finches and other seed-eating birds also appreciate the seedheads of Penstemon, adding movement and interest to your garden.

Salvia

Salvia, with its vibrant and long-lasting blooms, is a popular choice for bird-friendly gardens. The tubular-shaped flowers attract hummingbirds, butterflies, and bees, providing them with a reliable nectar source. Many Salvia varieties produce abundant seeds that are enjoyed by finches and other seed-eating birds. With its striking flowers and ability to attract both birds and pollinators, Salvia is a must-have plant for any garden.

Coral Bells (Heuchera)

Coral Bells are herbaceous perennials known for their attractive foliage and delicate flowers. The nectar-rich blooms attract hummingbirds and bees to your garden, ensuring a steady stream of pollinators. As the flowers fade, finches and other seed-eating birds appreciate the seeds produced by Coral Bells.

Shade-Tolerant Plants for Bird Feeders

Liatris

Liatris is a versatile perennial that thrives in partial shade and attracts both pollinators and birds. The tall spikes of purple flowers are a favorite of butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds. As the flowers fade and form seedheads, finches and other seed-eating birds are drawn to the plants to enjoy the nutritious seeds. Liatris adds beauty and functionality to shaded areas of your bird-friendly garden.

Joe-Pye Weed (Eutrochium)

Joe-Pye Weed is a tall, shade-tolerant perennial that offers late summer blooms and attracts various pollinators. The nectar-rich flowers are particularly attractive to butterflies, which, in turn, draw the attention of seed-eating birds such as finches. Joe-Pye Weed’s towering height adds drama and vertical interest to shady areas while providing valuable resources for wildlife.

Columbine (Aquilegia)

Columbine is a delicate perennial that thrives in partial shade and attracts birds and bees. The tubular-shaped blossoms provide a source of nectar, making them a favorite of hummingbirds. Finches and other seed-eating birds also enjoy the plant’s seedheads, making Columbine an excellent choice for shaded areas of your garden.

Hollyhock (Alcea rosea)

Hollyhock is a tall and dramatic flowering plant that can tolerate some shade. The large, colorful flowers provide a nectar source for hummingbirds and butterflies. The abundance of pollen also attracts a wide range of bees, ensuring a lively and buzzing garden even in shaded areas. Hollyhock’s tall stems can also provide a perch for birds to rest and observe their surroundings.

Bee Balm (Monarda)

Bee Balm, also known as Bergamot, is a shade-tolerant perennial that attracts birds, bees, and butterflies. The red or pink flowers provide nectar for hummingbirds, while the seedheads attract finches and other seed-eating birds. Bee Balm’s aromatic foliage adds an extra element of interest to shady areas of your garden while providing valuable resources for wildlife.

Coral Bells (Heuchera)

Coral Bells are herbaceous perennials known for their attractive foliage and delicate flowers. They can thrive in partial shade and offer nectar-rich blooms for hummingbirds and bees. The seedheads of Coral Bells also provide sustenance for finches and other seed-eating birds, making them a versatile and functional choice for shaded areas of your garden.

Phlox

Phlox is a beautiful perennial that thrives in partial shade and offers clusters of fragrant flowers in shades of pink, purple, and white. The blossoms attract bees, butterflies, and other pollinators with their nectar, ensuring a lively and buzzing garden even in shady areas. Finches and other seed-eating birds also appreciate the seedheads of Phlox, providing an additional food source.

Salvia

Salvia, with its vibrant and long-lasting blooms, can tolerate partial shade and attracts both birds and pollinators. The tubular-shaped flowers are a reliable nectar source for hummingbirds, butterflies, and bees. Salvia varieties that produce abundant seeds also offer sustenance for finches and other seed-eating birds, making them suitable for shaded areas of your bird-friendly garden.

Cardinal Flower (Lobelia cardinalis)

Cardinal Flower is a striking perennial that can thrive in partial shade and attracts hummingbirds and butterflies. The tubular-shaped blossoms provide a source of nectar, making it a favorite of pollinators. Additionally, the plant’s seed pods are enjoyed by finches and other seed-loving birds, even in shaded areas, enhancing the overall appeal of your garden.

Bee Balm (Monarda didyma)

Bee Balm is a perennial herbaceous plant that can tolerate partial shade and entices birds, bees, and butterflies with its bright blooms. The red or pink flowers offer nectar for hummingbirds, while the seedheads attract finches and other seed-eating birds. Bee Balm’s aromatic foliage adds an extra element of interest to shady areas while providing valuable resources for wildlife.

Butterfly Bush (Buddleja)

Butterfly Bush is a shade-tolerant perennial that attracts butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds. The cone-shaped clusters of flowers produce abundant nectar, providing a valuable food source for these pollinators even in shaded areas. Finches and other seed-eating birds also appreciate the seedheads of Butterfly Bush, making it a functional and attractive addition to any bird-friendly garden, even in partially shaded areas.

Low-Maintenance Plants for Bird Feeders

Daylilies (Hemerocallis)

Daylilies are a low-maintenance perennial that adds beauty to any garden. The robust plants produce a profusion of colorful blooms, attracting butterflies and hummingbirds. Daylilies require minimal care and are highly adaptable, making them an ideal choice for low-maintenance bird-friendly gardens.

Yarrow (Achillea)

Yarrow is a versatile perennial known for its hardiness and low-maintenance nature. The clusters of small flowers attract butterflies and bees, while the foliage provides nesting sites and cover for birds. The plant’s ability to tolerate a wide range of growing conditions makes Yarrow an excellent choice for low-maintenance bird-friendly gardens.

Sedum

Sedums are succulent plants that thrive in various growing conditions and require minimal care. The fleshy leaves and vibrant flowers of Sedums attract butterflies and bees, providing a valuable source of nectar. Sedums are drought-tolerant and can add interest to rock gardens, containers, or border plantings with their low-maintenance nature.

Russian Sage (Perovskia)

Russian Sage is a drought-tolerant perennial that requires minimal care. Its silvery-grey foliage and smoky purple flowers provide a soft and elegant display in any garden. The nectar-rich blooms attract butterflies and bees, making Russian Sage an excellent choice for low-maintenance bird-friendly gardens.

Kniphofia

Kniphofia, also known as Red Hot Poker or Torch Lily, is a low-maintenance perennial that adds a dramatic and fiery touch to your garden. The spikes of tubular-shaped flowers attract hummingbirds, butterflies, and bees with their nectar. With their vibrant blooms and minimal care requirements, Kniphofia is a stunning addition to any low-maintenance bird-friendly garden.

Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum)

Switchgrass is a hardy and low-maintenance grass that adds texture and movement to your garden. The attractive seedheads provide food for finches and other seed-eating birds. Switchgrass is also an excellent choice for bird-friendly gardens due to its ability to provide cover and nesting sites for ground-nesting birds.

Catmint (Nepeta)

Catmint is a low-maintenance perennial that adds fragrance and beauty to any garden. The aromatic foliage attracts cats but also entices bees, butterflies, and other pollinators. Catmint’s low-maintenance nature, combined with its ability to attract various bird species, makes it an ideal choice for creating a hassle-free bird-friendly garden.

Goldenrod (Solidago)

Goldenrod is a hardy and low-maintenance perennial that adds a burst of yellow color to your garden. The nectar-rich flowers are attractive to a wide range of pollinators, including bees, butterflies, and beneficial insects. The seedheads of Goldenrod also provide a valuable food source for finches and other seed-eating birds. Its ability to thrive with minimal care makes Goldenrod an attractive choice for low-maintenance bird-friendly gardens.

Coneflowers (Echinacea)

Coneflowers are a low-maintenance perennial that adds beauty and functionality to any bird-friendly garden. The daisy-like flowers produce seeds that are eagerly sought after by finches, sparrows, and other seed-eating birds. Coneflowers require minimal care, allowing you to enjoy their vibrant colors and activity from birds with ease.

Black-eyed Susans (Rudbeckia)

Black-eyed Susans are a low-maintenance perennial that offers a burst of yellow color and attract birds to your garden. The flowers produce seeds that are enjoyed by finches, sparrows, and other seed-eating birds. Black-eyed Susans require minimal care, ensuring that you can enjoy their vibrant blooms and the lively presence of birds with minimal effort.

In conclusion, planting an assortment of plants beneath bird feeders is an excellent way to enhance the bird habitat, provide shelter and protection, attract a variety of bird species, improve the aesthetic appeal of your garden, and assist with natural pest control. When choosing the best plants for your bird-friendly garden, consider factors such as sunlight requirements, soil type and moisture, plant height and spreading habit, appropriate maintenance, non-toxicity for birds, and resistance to trampling. By incorporating attractive plant varieties like sunflowers, coneflowers, bee balm, and native plants such as eastern red cedar, Virginia creeper, and winterberry, as well as low-maintenance and shade-tolerant plants, you can create a thriving and beautiful ecosystem that benefits both birds and your garden.


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