Plants for Songbirds

One of the things that I enjoy most about attracting birds to my garden, is just listening their ‘song’.  The busyness of my day seems to fade as I listen and I feel at peace.

Did you know that there are plants that you can plant in your garden that will attract songbirds?  The plants either provide food, shelter or both for birds.

I would like to share with you some of my favorites that grow in the Southwest –  some of these grow in other parts of the country as well.

Bachelor's Button
Bachelor’s Button (Centaurea cyanus)

Bachelor’s Button is one of my favorite annuals and I have it growing in my vegetable garden because in addition to providing food for birds, it also attracts beneficial insect to my garden as well.  Easily sown by seed in spring, Bachelor’s Button can be grown in almost any region.

Desert Marigold

Desert Marigold (Baileya multiradiata)

Desert Marigold is a perennial that is often grown as a wildflower.  Although it is called Desert Marigold, it can grow in areas as cold as zone 6.  This is an excellent food source for birds and survives on natural rainfall.  They can be easily grown from seed.

Ash Tree

Velvet Ash (Fraxinus velutina)

Some trees not only provide shelter for birds, but also serve as a food source like this Velvet Ash tree.  This tree thrives in the warm Southwest, but is also hardy down to zone 6.


Pyracantha (Pyracantha fortunei)

You can have lots of fun watching birds when they eat the berries from Pyracantha.  This is because the longer the berries remain on the plant, they begin to ferment, which causes the birds to get ‘drunk’.  Pyracantha will survive the cold temperatures of zone 6, but will stay evergreen in zones 7 – 10.


Creosote (Larrea tridentata)

Creosote shrubs are the characteristic shrub that is seen throughout the California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas desert.  Their resinous scent reminds one of the fragrance of a summer storm.  These large shrubs provide needed cover for birds.  Creosote only grows in the desert and can survive on natural rainfall, once established.  They are hardy to zone 7b – 10.

**These are just a sampling of plants that attract songbirds.  I have many more to share with you over the next couple of posts.  Please come back to see what else you can plant in your garden to attract birds.

  1. Yvonneq says

    I really enjoyed your articles. I love the idea of my landscaping attracting birds and bees. I don’t usually feed birds on a regular basis because I do not wish the birds to become dependent upon my assistance. If something were to happen to me, they would really miss the groceries.


Add a Comment

Want more garden tips for your backyard?

Get ideas and advice for a beautiful landscape with our free Gardening newsletter!

Enter your email address: