I recently spent some time in the Midwest, out in the country and I was struck by how many different types of songbirds singing. Now, I don’t know of anyone who does not enjoy the ‘songs’ of birds. So, I am grateful that there are many different types of plants that will attract songbirds. This is my third post of showing you the different types of plants that you can use in your garden in order to attract songbirds. My primary focus are plants that I am familiar with, living and working as a horticulturist in the desert Southwest. However, I have also included many other plants that can be grown in other areas as well.
So let’s get started, shall we?
I just love the bright, sunny faces of sunflowers, don’t you? Even though I grow them every year, I am still surprised at how quickly they grow. As the flowers fade and seeds mature, you will be rewarded with songbirds eagerly trying to eat the seeds. They grow in most regions, are easily grown from seed, and like full sun. A interesting fact about sunflowers is that they face the rising sun in the morning, no matter what direction they are planted.
Desert Willow is one of my favorite trees – I have four of them growing in my garden. They provide food for the songbirds in your garden. They are deciduous in the winter, but quickly leaf out in the spring and flowers during the entire warm season. Hardy to zone 7, this is a great tree!
Okay, now I realize that the vast majority of us do not have a Saguaro cactus in your garden, much less the environment that is needed for one to flourish. But, it is amazing how many birds make their home in a Saguaro. Starlings, Cactus Wrens, Owls, Gila Woodpeckers, Purple Martins and House Finches have been known to make their homes in Saguaro cacti.
Another iconic tree of the Southwest is the Mesquite. Unlike the more prevalent Chilean or Argentinian Mesquite trees, which are native to South America – the Velvet Mesquite is somewhat smaller and is native to the Southwest. Birds are attracted to this tree for both food and shelter. Mesquites grow quickly and provide filtered shade.
As a resident of the desert Southwest, I have shown you plants that I am familiar with that attract songbirds in this post and my previous two. However, I realize that many of you cannot grow all of the plants that I have shown, so I have included a list of additional plants, below, that you may want to try in your garden.
Common Name / Scientific Name / USDA Zone:
Beauty Berry Callicarpa bodinieri 6 – 8
Lily Tuft Liriope spicata 4 – 9
Elderberry Sambucus 6 – 10
Floss Flower Ageratum All zones
Four o’clock Mirabalis jalapa All zones
Honeysuckle Lonicera 4 – 10
Purple Coneflower Echinacea purpurea 3 – 9
It doesn’t matter where you live – there are many different plants that will attract songbirds to your garden. So, get up and drive to your local nursery and get started. You will soon be listening to the beautiful ‘song’ of birds in your garden.