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Attracting Birds to Your Yard With Flowers

Updated on September 14, 2012
grandmapearl profile image

Connie knows how very important natural habitats are to our bird populations. That's why she loves bird-friendly flowers, shrubs and trees.

Astilbes, Petunias and Lemon Balm
Astilbes, Petunias and Lemon Balm | Source

What Will Attract Birds To Your Yard?

If you put yourself in a backyard bird’s place, what would attract you to an area? Probably the pleasant and beautiful surroundings. Just as we humans search for a lovely home with a pretty yard, so do the wild birds. If you see a beautiful garden with lots of colorful flowers, you feel immediately drawn to it. You want to take it all in. It instantly changes your whole outlook, right?

Nature has made it easy for them to distinguish which plants will provide for their needs. Birds are attracted to those plants that are bright, colorful and fragrant. They have sweet nectar or produce fruits and seeds as a food source. Those flowers that use the wind to pollinate them don’t need the birds’ help. So they most always have darker, duller colors that tend to blend in with the landscape.

Lovely Lavender Lilacs
Lovely Lavender Lilacs | Source

Busy Hummers in the Garden

Male Ruby Throated Hummingbird
Male Ruby Throated Hummingbird | Source

Do Not Use Toxic Chemicals

I can’t stress this enough: Do not use toxic pesticides or weed killers! Otherwise, you will be poisoning the very things you are trying so hard to attract. Opt instead for organic or natural controls.

Birds Pollinate Flowers

Our little aviators do the job of pollinating and distributing seeds that automatically replant flowers and shrubs. The plants in turn provide an appetizing array of nutritious meals for them. Besides seeds and or nectar, flowers can also harbor creepy crawlies that will offer the necessary protein to help baby birds grow rapidly and strong, as well as provide nutritious snacks for the adult birds.

Planting pest-resistant varieties of flowers, shrubs and trees (and there are many now available) makes controlling insects much easier. The majority of those bugs and weed seeds will be eaten by your loyal and hungry backyard birds. It isn't necessary to resort to poison.

Hummers Love Salvia

Bird Bath
Bird Bath | Source
Trumpet Vine Overloading Trellis
Trumpet Vine Overloading Trellis | Source
Blue Jay on Trellised Vine
Blue Jay on Trellised Vine | Source

Create an Irresistible Bird Magnet

A heated bird bath can mean the difference between survival and death for these feathered creatures. If you have a space to add a water feature like a bird bath, why not consider making it a guaranteed bird lure. Surround your bird bath with cotoneaster or dwarf cranberry viburnum. Then as a backdrop add a trellis. Against the backdrop plant sunflowers, trumpet vine and sweet peas. In front of the cotoneaster or viburnum, add some marigolds, zinnias and asters.

Everyday you’ll want to visit your new ‘bird haven’ to see how the beauty has attracted not only songbirds but maybe a hummingbird or two as well. Hummers can’t resist trumpet vine or sweet peas. And the sunflowers will produce seed heads that your backyard birds will love.

The trellis or framed wooden lattice, by the way, will make a great place for birds to land and use as a shelter from possible predators. They like to have a safe place that is close to their water to dry their feathers and preen after their splash. A bird bath that has plants nearby is safer and much more appealing to birds than one that sits by itself out in the middle of the yard.

Gold Finches and Sunflowers

Bee Balm

Bee Balm is a magnet for Songbirds, Butterflies and Bees and Hummingbirds
Bee Balm is a magnet for Songbirds, Butterflies and Bees and Hummingbirds | Source

Flowers That Are Attractive to Songbirds

As to the flowers that will attract the birds in the first place, consider those that are pink, red, yellow, purple or orange. The birds won’t mind if you plant only one color, or a combination of two or more colors. If it pleases you, it will draw them into your yard.

Easy-care Bee Balm attracts Hummingbirds, Songbirds, Butterflies and I have even seen the tiny Hummingbird Moth sipping nectar from this plant. Varieties now include red, pink, and lavender.

Plants I Have Used To Attract Birds To My Gardens

Flowers to Attract Songbirds
Flowers to Attract Hummingbirds
Old Fashioned Lilacs
Coral Bells
Korean Spice Bush
Ilex (Nellie R. Stevens Holly)
Garden Phlox
Trumpet Vine
Bee Balm
Bee Balm
Purple Coneflower
Korean Spice Bush
Anise Hyssop
Butterfly Bush
Sweet Peas
Sweet Peas
Cornflower (Bachelor Button)
Rose Breasted Grosbeak in Mulberry Bush
Rose Breasted Grosbeak in Mulberry Bush | Source

Other plants that would attract birds include grapes, blackberry and raspberry bushes, mulberry and dwarf apple trees. If it produces a beautiful, fragrant flower, nectar, seed heads, berries or nuts, it will appeal to songbirds and/or hummingbirds as well as butterflies.

If you dedicate a space in your garden as a bird haven, however large or small, you will be rewarded with plenty of wonderful fragrance, colorful beauty and birds! Enjoy your bird-friendly garden!

Which Flowers Will You Plant to Attract Birds?

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    • grandmapearl profile imageAUTHOR

      Connie Smith 

      6 years ago from Southern Tier New York State

      Dear Eddy, your supportive and lovely comments make me very happy! The feeling is mutual. I so look forward to reading your wonderful poetry. And thank you so much for the votes. It is always so nice to have you visit, my friend. Pearl

    • Eiddwen profile image


      6 years ago from Wales

      Oh how I love each and every one of your hubs Pearl!!!You are natural writer and I am so happy to have found you on here.

      Up up and away for you my dear friend.


    • grandmapearl profile imageAUTHOR

      Connie Smith 

      6 years ago from Southern Tier New York State

      Oh sgbrown, I am so glad you stopped by. Your visits always brighten my day! Several times a day I take a moment to watch the birds at my feeders and bird baths. No matter how busy I am, it never ceases to take the stress out of my day to study the special gift of the wild birds. I have tried to add a few more bird-friendly plants each year. You just can't have too many feathered friends! Thank you so much for visiting and your wonderful comments. And thank you also for the votes and share--they are very gratefully appreciated!

    • sgbrown profile image

      Sheila Brown 

      6 years ago from Southern Oklahoma

      I love watching birds. I have a birdhouse and 2 bird baths for them. They are in great view from windows, so we can watch them. I love to take pictures of them as well. I try to keep flowers that bloom all year around too. I love your list of "bird friendly" flowers and I am sure I will add some of these to my yard this coming spring. Voting this up +++ and sharing! Have a beautiful day! :)

    • grandmapearl profile imageAUTHOR

      Connie Smith 

      6 years ago from Southern Tier New York State

      My bird bath gets a lot of use these days. I think because of the warmer weather lasting so much longer than usual. I located my bird bath very near my spice bush. Chickadees wait in the branches for their turn! So much fun to watch the birds splashing and drinking. Thanks for stopping by and commenting. It is very much appreciated!

    • OldRoses profile image

      Caren White 

      6 years ago from Franklin Park, NJ

      At my former home, I had a birdbath in a shady corner of my yard which was surrounded by a chainlink fence. Birds would like up on the fence and take turns using the bird bath, usually one at a time, large birds first, then smaller ones. On really hot days, it was not unusual to see a crowd of large and small birds all sitting in the bird bath together trying to cool off.

    • grandmapearl profile imageAUTHOR

      Connie Smith 

      6 years ago from Southern Tier New York State

      Hi Movie Master! I am so glad you stopped by and commented. You are very welcome. Watching the birds helps me stay grounded and takes away any stress I may have been feeling. I am just learning to use my new 'bridge' camera for capturing some of their antics at the feeder. Thank you for the Vote and Share. Your support is very much appreciated!

    • grandmapearl profile imageAUTHOR

      Connie Smith 

      6 years ago from Southern Tier New York State

      Nice to see you newusedcarssacram! I am so glad to hear that you will be planting these flowers in your garden. Both you and your song birds will enjoy them. I have found that they also attract butterflies and hummingbirds. You will be helping birds in a very significant way. With more good food sources like nectar and seeds, we insure that our backyard birds will survive and thrive! Thank you for stopping by and commenting. It is very much appreciated.

    • newusedcarssacram profile image


      6 years ago from Sacramento, CA, U.S.A

      Nice and very unique topic. I had never tried this things before in my garden. But I find it useful so I am going to plant all these beautiful flower plants. thank you for this hub!

    • Movie Master profile image

      Movie Master 

      6 years ago from United Kingdom

      I love lilac - your pictures and detailed information are excellent, I get great pleasure from watching all the birds visiting my garden, thank you for all the tips!

      Voted up and shared.

    • grandmapearl profile imageAUTHOR

      Connie Smith 

      6 years ago from Southern Tier New York State

      Hi Peggy W! I absolutely love lilacs as well. The fragrance is intoxicating to me. We are so fortunate to live about and hour and a half away from Rochester, NY, the home of the anuual Lilac Festival. Every other year or so, we make the trip in May. However, due to the strange spring weather, the lilacs did not do very well this year.

      I was thrilled just 2 days ago to witness a female Baltimore Oriole gathering nesting material. In fact, it was comical to watch her tug at a shred of plastic tarp on top of my husband's old jeep. She kept scolding it and trying to fly away with it. Unfortunately, it was securely attached. So I cut many lengths of cotton yarn and jute twine. I draped them over a branch above the old jeep. To my amazement she accepted my offerings, and returned again and again. Just thought I'd share that with a fellow gardener and bird lover! And thank you very much for the votes.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      6 years ago from Houston, Texas

      We certainly do have similar interests! I love gardening and have loads of flowers and flowering bushes. We have a birdbath and 2 bird houses in our backyard that are always occupied with bringing forth new batches of baby birds. Butterflies abound and we also see the occasional hummingbird.

      I loved that photo of the lilacs at the top of this hub. Wish they grew down here in Houston. We have crape myrtles instead. Wrote a hub about crape myrtles...and they are certainly pretty, but I miss the fragrance of the lilacs. My parents had them when I was growing up as a child in Wisconsin.

      Voting this up and useful.

    • grandmapearl profile imageAUTHOR

      Connie Smith 

      7 years ago from Southern Tier New York State

      Wonderful to have you stop by Nell! I hope your sweet peas do attract some birds. I do so enjoy hearing their songs and watching their antics. It's a great way to relax and unwind. Thanks for the Vote and for the nice comments!

    • grandmapearl profile imageAUTHOR

      Connie Smith 

      7 years ago from Southern Tier New York State

      So great to see you Dale, and thank you for the lovely comments and votes! I'm glad you found some new info. Birds are gifts from nature, as are all creatures in one way or another. Thanks for stopping by, and the votes!

    • grandmapearl profile imageAUTHOR

      Connie Smith 

      7 years ago from Southern Tier New York State

      Hi Lilleyth, We do seem to have a lot in common, don't we! I will definitely check out your hummingbird feeder hub. Hummers are one of my very favorite birds. So glad you stopped by!

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 

      7 years ago from England

      Hi, this is great information, I never realised that certain flowers and plants would help to attract birds, I love sweet peas so hopefully I will get a few birds landing on my balcony too, I hope! rated up! cheers nell

    • Dale Hyde profile image

      Dale Hyde 

      7 years ago from Tropical Paradise on Planet X

      Very well done, grandmapearl, as always! This hub is most informative for those of us who love to have the energy of those Divine creatures, the birds, around us to brighten our days! Some of these I was familiar with, however, I have picked up some "new" information from this hub! Thanks! Voted up, useful and interesting!

      By the way, the videos added greatly to the hub! Thanks!

    • Lilleyth profile image

      Suzanne Sheffield 

      7 years ago from Mid-Atlantic

      You're a gal after my own heart. Great hub. You might enjoy my hub about my hummingbird feeder.

    • grandmapearl profile imageAUTHOR

      Connie Smith 

      7 years ago from Southern Tier New York State

      Hi Betsy, So glad you stopped by and left a comment. It is very much appreciated! I will be adding more of these flowers to my gardens this year. I just love the colors and fragrances, and of course the birds that these flowers attract.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Hi there! Great article and nice photos!! :)

    • grandmapearl profile imageAUTHOR

      Connie Smith 

      7 years ago from Southern Tier New York State

      Hi Millionaire Tips, thanks so much for the nice comment and the Vote. I appreciate it. I hope you use some of these plants in your garden! Rest assured if I can grow these flowers successfully, anyone can! Most are carefree and deer and rabbit resistant.

    • Millionaire Tips profile image

      Shasta Matova 

      7 years ago from USA

      I can just imagine all the birds coming to my beautiful floral garden. Thank you for the list of flowers that attract different types of birds. Voted up.

    • grandmapearl profile imageAUTHOR

      Connie Smith 

      7 years ago from Southern Tier New York State

      Hi Lilleyth, Thanks for stopping by and commenting. I love to garden for songbirds, butterflies and hummingbirds. I just love to watch them all! I'm glad to meet a fellow bird watcher.

    • Lilleyth profile image

      Suzanne Sheffield 

      7 years ago from Mid-Atlantic

      Great hub. My husband and I are avid bird watchers.


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