Top 10 Plants to Attract Birds to Your Garden

Do you want to attract birds to your garden? Placing feeders will give a nice food supply, but flowers and plants attract even more birds. Flowers have so much more to offer than just their beauty. And these flowers prove that by attracting many birds to the garden.


attract birds

Top 10 Plants to Attract Birds



Most people know that having flowers in the garden are beneficial to the bees and butterflies. Those insects carry pollen back and forth and even make their homes for larvae within the leaves. But did you know that having flowers in the garden also will attract birds too? Read to find out the top ten flowers that you can plant in your garden today to attract the birds.


Attract birds


These are the queens of the birdseed world and birds love sunflower seeds. Sunflowers are annuals. There are many varieties to choose from.  They grow from 1 foot to 15 feet tall. They come in many wonderful colors too. Grow these beauties in full sun from spring to late fall. If you are fortunate enough to live in the southern states you can grow them year-round.

At the end of the season, the flower turns into a large seed head that will attract birds from all over. If you are able to harvest a large abundance of sunflower heads at the end of the season, you can dry them by hanging the heads upside down in a dry warm place. Once dried, these can be placed in bird feeders to continue to feed your feathered friends through the winter. This can save you money on bird seed as well!



attract birds with coneflowers


This is another favorite if you want to attract birds to your garden. Coneflowers come in a beautiful array of colors. They grow from summer through fall in full sun. They are hardy from zone 3 through zone 9. The cones of these flowers will attract finches for the seeds they produce in fall within the flower heads. They are versatile because they are drought tolerant too.

Purple coneflowers, also known as Echinacea, are attractive and rugged flowers that draw butterflies and songbirds to the garden! This flower has a double benefit because Echinacea can be used as a healing herb in the medical garden also. Coneflowers are perennial so they will continue to bloom year after year. These flowers are also very popular in an edible food forest!



attract birds with golden rod


Growing in full sun from summer to fall, this annual provides an endless food supply for your feathered visitors if you deadhead these flowers as necessary. The feathery flower heads turn to seeds and those seeds attract birds from all over.

Goldenrod is a member of the aster family. Many people believe Goldenrod is the cause of allergies however this is simply not true. It grows the same time as Ragweed which many people are allergic to so it often gets false blame.  It is actually an herb and has many healing powers.




attract birds with black eyed susan

Black-Eyed Susan:

 A classic preference of birds in the garden. Black-Eyed Susans come in many more colors than the traditional yellow most people are used to. Grow these in full sun to light shade from summer through fall. These flowers can endure up until a freeze sets in. In the southern states, they will continue as long as the weather stays warm enough.

Some varieties are annuals, however, if the seeds set into the ground come fall it isn’t unusual for new plants to bloom into the warmer months. These flowers attract birds once again for the seeds they form come late summer and into the fall.



attract birds with cosmos flower


Growing in single and double blooms, this daisy-shaped flower is a low maintenance beauty that attracts birds. Again this plant grows in full sun from summer to fall but prefers loamy soil. The spiky seed heads are adored by our feathered friends in the fall.  Cosmos is known to be a self-pollinator which is an added benefit. This means plant them once and the birds enjoy the benefits year after year.



attract birds with millet


This plant comes in many forms and sizes and can be grown as a small cover crop. Birds love millet. Commonly used as a treat for indoor birds such as parakeets in the home. It grows in sun or shade, can get up to 6 feet tall and grows from summer to fall. Anyone can grow millet! Just rake up the ground, spread the seed, water it often and voila, instant bird treats!

Millet is an excellent crop to grow surrounding a chicken run. The chickens can devour the seed heads through the fence without destroying the entire plant. Millet is also a great quick crop to plant near a water source on your homestead to attract birds of the wild too.





Grown as an annual and a perennial, also called Tickseed. This is a great drought-tolerant plant that blooms late spring until fall. Watch out because the perennial will eventually take over if you let it. However, if you let the flower go to seed in the fall and winter goldfinches will definitely be seen as it is their favorite!

Coreopsis is hardy in zones 3 to 9 and grows up to 18″ tall. They grow in full sun and many varieties self-sow. If you want to attract birds this is one of the favorites for the smaller wild birds.



shrimp plant

Shrimp Plant:

Unlike the other flowers and plants above, this one is a favorite to Hummingbirds. They love the nectar from these plants and can be seen all day long fluttering around the flowers. The Shrimp Plant is more for tropical regions unless brought indoors in the winter, as it is a perennial. These plants attract birds because of both their nectar supply and the color as most come in red and yellow.





 One of the favorite staples of birds in the winter is the berries of the holly plant. This is a perennial that grows almost anywhere and makes a nice addition to the food source for birds in the winter. Especially relevant, do not let children eat the berries because they are highly poisonous. This is one of the few plants that actually thrive and provides fresh food that attracts birds in the garden during the winter.





Honeysuckle is a perennial that will attract birds with its nectar. It is a vine that produces mass amounts of flowers that will attract birds of all types. The aroma can be enjoyed by people as well as this is a highly fragrant plant. Purple Finches, Cardinals, Blue Jays, and Baltimore Orioles favor this plant. This plant is recommended for the edible food forest.




If you want to attract birds to your garden year after year, plant these flowers in your garden. Then sit back and enjoy the feathered friends that will make your garden a frequent feeding place on their flight. Who knows, you may get lucky and have a few even make a nest and stay! Make sure to always provide a water source for your feathered friends also!

For more information on how to attract birds to your yard, check out, their website is filled with information about birds. Do you grow specific plants to attract birds to your landscape? Tell me about them in the comments below.

For another attraction for birds, see how to make DIY Birdseed Treats. And don’t forget the bees when you are planting your flowers.





Are you trying to attract birds to your garden? Here is a list of the top 10 plants you need to plant today!
Are you rying to attract birds to your garden? Here is a list of the top 10 plants you need to plant today!


  1. These are all beautiful plants! It’s a bonus that they also attract birds to your garden! Thanks for the info 🙂

  2. I love these flowers! I need to add more this year especially my cone flower, I love those as do my Birds!! Love watching them !
    Thanks Annie! Great information and photos!

    1. Author

      So glad you liked it! Try adding as many perennials as you can to make your planting much easier next year and years to come!

  3. Look to your local native plants to bring in the local birds. Added benefit: local plants also bring local insects, which helps restore the habitat cycle.

    1. Author

      I totally agree! Going with the native flora and fauna is always best!

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