Plant a Goldfinch Garden With Their Favorite Plants
With the right plants, your backyard can become a goldfinch sanctuary. Here's the garden plants and flowers goldfinches love most.
Goldfinches are primarily seed eating birds that regularly visit bird feeders for Nyjer (thistle) and sunflower seed. However, you can also attract these birds by planting their favorite plants in your yard. As a bonus, you get to watch goldfinches show off their acrobatic abilities as they flit through the garden, landing and swaying on flowers. Here’s the plants you need in your goldfinch garden.
Courtesy Tony Newton
Sunflowers are one of the best plants for attracting goldfinches, because sunflower seeds are one of their favorite foods! Leaving spent flower heads in place is a wonderful thing to do for wildlife. This is particularly true for sunflowers and other blooms in the daisy family. These flowers produce numerous seeds that attract finches, buntings, native sparrows and others, serving as natural bird feeders for as long as the seeds last.
Grow native plants for the goldfinches and other seed-eating birds. Purple coneflowers are popular plants that are easy to grow and easy to find at any garden center. Photographer Marie Read says she also notices the finches on her Joe Pye weed and cup plant. Green-headed (aka cutleaf) coneflower is a good wildflower to plant for seed-eaters.
Meet the 3 types of goldfinches in the United States.
Courtesy Pete Leege
Goldfinches need plants for more than their seeds. Goldfinches like to eat thistle seeds, and they also gather nesting material from the plants. This is one of the reason the birds are late nesters. Make sure to avoid invasive thistle varieties. Try natives like field thistle, Flogman’s thistle and wavyleaf thistle.
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Courtesy Savita D’agostino
Goldfinches perch on zinnias’ sturdy stems to eat the flowers’ seeds. Zinnias are colorful fast-growing annuals that anyone can grow.
Pine siskin vs goldfinch: Here’s how to tell the difference.
Milkweeds and Dandelions
Milkweeds, dandelions and cattails provide fluffy nest-building material. You’re probably already planting milkweed for monarch butterflies, but now you have another reason to add it to your garden!
Next, don’t miss 20 super pretty pictures of finches.