Garden Planting to Attract Birds

With Spring arriving, along with it will be our friendly backyard birds. No garden is complete without the songs and antics of local wild birds. There are numerous books to read on how to feed birds, or what to feed, birds, but why not just grow plants for birds.  Feel free to put up a bird feeder or two, and fill with compatible bird seed for the birds in your area. Your feeders can be as decorative or as practical as you like, you can buy them or make them yourself out of just about anything.


Robin Eggs / Sensible Gardening and Living

Another choice though, and a money saving choice at that, is to grow your own birdseed in your garden. There are many plants that you can easily grow which will attract many different bird species into your yard. Along with the birds you will have the added bonus of also attracting butterflies and pollinators.

Agastache, often grown as an annual or short lived perennial sports lovely spears of blue-purple tubular flowers. Flowers are long lasting and the seeds will make great bird food as well as the plants will self seed for a supply next year.

Millet, is an annual grass great for the hot, sunny border or even in large containers. Millet is very attractive with long narrow green or purple leaves. In late summer the seed heads that are produced are a real favorite of wild birds.

Sunflowers, of course, who doesn’t like sunflowers. Such an easy plant to grow, looks great out in the veggie patch or along a fence and the birds adore it.


Sunflower / Sensible Gardening and Living

Cosmos, which comes in a multitude of colors works well in borders or even cutting gardens. With feathery foliage and pinwheel flowers, cosmos grows in a variety of conditions and is also drought tolerant. Seed production is huge.

Liatris, or commonly known as Blazing Star, are a favorite of hummingbirds, tufted titmice, goldfinches and butterflies. A hardy perennial with spikes carrying clusters of tubular, pinkish-purple or white flowers.

Echinacea, Purple Coneflower, is a perennial suited for the mixed flower border. Daisy like flowers in shades of purple, red, pink and white. Great strong stems and seed heads for winter gardens. Many new cultivars have lately hit the market, however for bird seed I like to stick with the basics.


Pink Echinacea / Sensible Gardening and Living

For more ideas to attract birds into your garden check out




12 thoughts on “Garden Planting to Attract Birds

  1. Deirdre in Seattle

    I put out suet in the winter. Suet attracts the bug eating birds. I want the bug eating birds to know where I live. Come spring, when the bugs are active. I take down the feeder.

    I read once that the cheapest way to grow a hedge of plants birds love was to run lines at several heights where one wanted the hedge. The birds would sit on the lines and poop their favorite seeds below.

  2. Sunil Patel

    Hi, we have ended up with several of these plants without even knowing they were useful to birds (we’ll, we know they’d enjoy the sunflowers), it’s good to know they’re also beneficial. These plants together with the various feeders mean we quite often have mobs of sparrows and other birds regularly visiting, they’re great fun to watch especially when it comes to bird bath antics.

  3. Anastasia Abboud

    I garden for the birds, bees, and butterflies as well! It is very good advice to pick and choose the spots carefully; I learned that the hard way. But no matter what, it’s always worth it. Plant it, “and they will come.”


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