Would you like to create your own miniature, self-contained garden? A terrarium is a great way to do just that. They are easy to create and make a beautiful addition to your home decor. Here’s how to make a terrarium.


Terrariums are a great way to express your creativity. From the type of container to the plants you select, the possibilities are almost endless. If you are a fan of miniature fairy gardens, then terrariums are right up your alley.

terrarium craft book

I was given the opportunity to review Timber Press’ book Terrarium Craft: Create 50 Magical, Miniature Worlds  by Amy Bryant Aiello and Kate Bryant. I must admit that I was amazed at the many different types of terrariums they had created. The book is full of illustrations and step-by-step directions on how to build a terrarium. (I gave this book to my mother, who loves growing indoor plants. She was inspired to create four beautiful terrariums. She made the beautiful terrarium for me that you see in this post).

Terrariums are quite easy to make.  To create your own, you will need a clear glass container, activated charcoal, pebbles, potting soil, sand your favorite plant(s) and a some other elements (seashells, moss, stones, figurines, etc) for decoration.

Psst—we’re hopping with excitement over this adorable bunny succulent.


You can use many different types of containers, from an old goldfish bowl, a vase or even a glass serving bowl. For me, I like the clean lines of this clear glass container. It is easiest to select a container that has a wide enough mouth so you can add the elements of your terrarium. Whether your container has a lid or not, is up to you and the type of terrarium plant you use. Succulent plants do best without a lid, while lush, green plants prefer one.

Check out 12 mini planters to suit any decorating style.

How to Make a Terrarium

1. Place small pebbles at the bottom for drainage and then add a layer of activated charcoal, which will absorb odors and keep your terrarium fresh.

2. Now it’s time to add potting soil. If you are planting succulents or cacti, mix your potting soil with sand. A funnel can help with adding soil.  Use a spoon to help you to move your soil where you want.

how to make a terrarium

Build up the layers using your choice of potting soil, sand, colored pebbles, etc. I like how they look when you layer them.

3. Add your favorite small, slow-growing plant. Now comes the fun part. What you include in your terrarium is up to you.  Let your imagination help you create a miniature world.  Succulents and cacti are great for uncovered terrariums. Choices for covered terrariums include ferns, baby’s tears, variegated spider fern, nerve plant or black mondo grass. Don’t over plant….you want to leave room for adding other elements to your ‘miniature world’.

Because I like succulents, my terrarium has a jade plant.


4. Add elements such as sea shells, colored beach glass, stones, an artificial bird’s nest, or a little figurine. My terrarium has faux quail eggs and a couple pieces of wood.

how to make a terrarium

Chopsticks work great for placing small things in your terrarium.

5. Place your terrarium in an area that gets indirect sunlight. Too much sunlight can burn the plants in your terrarium.

6. Uncovered terrariums need very little water – maybe a tablespoon 1 to 2 times a week. Covered terrariums should need little to no water.

That’s it! Now that you know how to build a terrarium, you can make as many as you like in any style that suits you. Enjoy the miniature worlds you create!

Note: Terrarium plants won’t last forever—they often outgrow their small space. It’s normal to have to replace them at least once a year. At that time, you can create different look for your terrarium or simply replace with the same plant. The choice is yours.

Next, learn how to turn a birdbath into a planter for a mini fairy garden.

Flowering house plants are a colorful, easy way to combat winter’s gloom. We rounded up 10 of our favorite blooming houseplants that you can try growing this winter, like African violets, orchids, and amaryllis. (If your thumb isn’t exactly green, check out our list of 10 hard-to-kill houseplants.)

And if you have pets or children at home that might enjoy snacking on a plant, check with the aspca.org or children’s health websites first, because some houseplants may be toxic to consume. Avoid these houseplants that aren’t safe for dogs.

If you’re new to the care and keeping of houseplants, especially ones that bloom indoors, the secret to coaxing most houseplants to flower inside is to maximize their time in the sun. Observe which corners of your house get the most natural light, then position your plants for success. In general, southern windows are your best bet.

In Tovah Martin’s The Indestructible Houseplant, she recommends starting with a checklist of the growing conditions in your home. Like, how much light your home gets and where it gets the most light. (As mentioned, light is key to getting houseplants to bloom indoors!) Windowsills are the obvious choice for plant placement, but if your windowsills aren’t wide enough for your planters, Tovah has a few suggestions. “I enlist all types of furniture to get my plants close to the sunbeams,” she says in her book. “Plant stands are an obvious option, and they come in all shapes and sizes. I also employ tables of every description. Moist plants can leave marks on woods, so use glazed saucers to prevent leaks and tuck a cork coaster underneath.”

This winter, bring some living color into your home with any one of these blooming houseplants.

Wax Begonia

1. Begonia


With tons of begonia options, it’s hard to choose just one. Wax begonias are the classic choice, with sturdy leaves and lots of flowers. Angel wing and rex begonias add interesting foliage into the mix. All begonias like a little extra humidity, so fill a shallow dish with water and rocks and set the pot on top.

Why we love it: Double begonias boast blooms that look like roses, and petals on picotee types have darker edges that make them stand out.

Bonus tip!: Remove spent blooms to encourage fresh growth. Once the plant is done blossoming, cut it back until the weather warms.

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blooming houseplants, Pink chinese hibiscus flowering houseplant.

2. Chinese Hibiscus

Hibiscus rosa-sinensis

Nothing evokes the feeling of sunny climates like the big, bright blossoms of tropical hibiscus. Give it plenty of room to grow along with as much direct sun as possible, and you’ll reap the rewards all year long. Hibiscus blooms on new growth, so prune it only once or twice a year.

Why we love it: New cultivars offer stunning blossoms in an array of colors, and double-flowered varieties amp up the wow factor.

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blooming houseplants, Pink kalanchoe flowering houseplant.

3. Kalanchoe

Kalanchoe blossfeldiana

Look for bunches of red, orange, pink or white to appear among the waxy green leaves by the end of February. Kalanchoe (say “kal-un-KOH-ee”) is a short-day plant; it needs 14 hours of total darkness each night to start blooming. It is a succulent, so occasional thorough watering is all it requires.

Why we love it: Late winter is when we tend to need a colorful display the most, so kalanchoe’s long-lasting clusters of starry blooms show up at the perfect time.

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Psst—these are the top 10 best houseplants for low light.

African violet flowering houseplant on coffee table.

4. African Violet


This quintessential flowering houseplant has a few quirks. Use room-temperature water to wet the soil when dry, but don’t let drops stay on leaves or allow the roots to sit in water. African violets require lots of bright indirect light, but be sure to keep your plant out of direct sun. Once you’ve figured out the right location, you’ll know—a blooming African violet is a happy one.

Why we love it: Successful plants make multiple crowns, which you can remove and use to grow new plants for friends.

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blooming houseplants, Geranium Pelargonium in bloom

5. Geranium


Scented geraniums have been treasured houseplants since colonial days, when housewives shared cuttings to brighten neighbors’ homes. Ivy-leaved geraniums spill over the sides of their containers, while seed and zonal geraniums are more upright.

Why we love it: A well-cared-for heirloom geranium survives for years, and easy propagation from cuttings makes sharing with friends a snap. 

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Flowering maple houseplant.

6. Flowering Maple

Abutilon pictum

These blooming houseplants are in the mallow family. Flowering maple has lovely bell-shaped blossoms in shades of yellow, orange and white. Popular in Victorian times, this unusual small shrub is making a much-deserved comeback. Give it lots of sun indoors; move it outside for the summer.

Why we love it: Varieties like Tiger Eye offer striking yellow blooms with red veins, and the maple-like leaves add interest year-round.

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Check out the best places to buy plants and seeds online.

White jasmine flowering houseplant

7. Jasmine

Jasminum polyanthum

Your home will feel like spring when these fragrant blooming houseplants flower. The tiny white flowers pack a perfumed punch that continues for weeks, turning your home into a sweetly scented paradise. Jasmine needs lower night temperatures to flower, so keep it away from furnace vents.

Why we love it: Jasmine is a vine, so use it in hanging baskets or place a small decorative trellis in the container and train it to climb.

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We found mini planters to suit any decorating style.

Lipstick plant

8. Lipstick Plant

Aeschynanthus radicans

The flower clusters on the lipstick plant are sure to draw admiring eyes. The small scarlet flower rises from a maroon tube-shaped bud, looking just like the lipstick it’s named for. This tropical vine prefers bright light, regular fertilizer and soil kept moist but not wet.

Why we love it: Hang a lipstick plant in a brightly lit room and let the flower-covered vines trail down.

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Psst—we found the best indoor office plants for a home workspace (or cubicle).

Orchid plant gifts

9. Orchid

Orchidaceae family

With orchids, it’s best to start out easy with a phalaenopsis, which is also called a moth orchid. These low-maintenance blooming houseplants thrive in any light except direct sun and, in general, only need weekly watering. Other popular varieties of orchids include Cattleya and Dendrobium.

Why we love it: Orchid blooms last for weeks or months with minimal care, and some are wonderfully fragrant.

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10. Amaryllis


Bearing multiple buds on a single stalk, amaryllis are popular indoor plant gifts. They flower only once a year, but these showstoppers are worth the wait. When the display is over, cut off the stalks and allow the foliage to grow. New buds will appear the following winter.

Why we love it: Horticulturalists have created dozens of amaryllis specimens, and they’re all easy to maintain.

Bonus tip!: With care and attention, you can keep your amaryllis blooming year after year. To coax your plant into blooming around the holidays, move the pot to a cool place (around 55 degrees) in fall to begin its dormant period.

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Check out more easy-care holiday houseplants.

Bonus: 5 Pretty Foliage Houseplants

These leafy indoor plants add much-needed pops of color, too!

  • Zebra plants
  • Purple shamrock
  • Ti plant
  • Coleus
  • Polka dot plant

Check out more fabulous foliage plants for garden pizzazz.

If you’re like me, you’re staying home a lot more these days. Watching the birds in my backyard is a big source of entertainment. I’m making sure my feeders are well stocked so I can watch birds while I work. I especially love to attract cardinals, woodpeckers and nuthatches.

I recently added a new suet feeder to help fuel birds on cold winter days. I’m also offering black-oil sunflower seeds, nyjer thistle seeds and shelled peanuts in tube feeders and nyjer thistle seed in my finch feeder.

While the birds bring me joy every day, sometimes buying birdseed and feeders can get expensive. That’s why I am really excited about these Black Friday deals from Chewy.com. I already rely on Chewy to deliver pet food and supplies to my door, and I’m definitely on board to get my bird feeding supplies shipped, too!

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Psst—don’t miss the best bird feeder deals on Amazon right now.

Chewy Cyber Week Deals

Tube bird feeder

Triple Tube Bird Feeder

Deal: $69.49, plus extra 20% discount at checkout (was $79.99)

With this triple tube bird feeder, you can really feed a whole flock. We love that you can fill each tube with a different type of birdseed for a bird buffet! Plus, the copper finish will look gorgeous in your garden. Check out the 10 types of bird feeders you need in your backyard.

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perky pet cardinal feeder

Perky-Pet Cardinal Bird Feeder

Deal: $27.14, plus extra 30% discount at checkout (was $34.99)

This Perky-Pet cardinal feeder will attract your favorite redbirds and other small songbirds. It would be a great gift for cardinal lovers.

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droll yankees window feeder

Droll Yankees Observer Window Feeder

Deal: $9.01, plus extra 30% discount at checkout (was $15.99)

This clear plastic bird feeder attaches to the glass with suction cups, and the plastic roof will keep rain and snow off of the seed. It’s a fun way to watch birds up close—and it will entertain you (and your pets) for hours.

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Psst—our editors’ favorite binoculars are on sale for Black Friday.

perky pet panorama feeder

Perky-Pet Panorama Feeder

Deal: $24.96, plus extra 40% discount at checkout (was $32.99)

Try this oversized tube feeder to attract finches, chickadees, cardinals, grosbeaks and more. Birds will enjoy perching on the circular rings while they feast on their favorite seeds.

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Check out the best finch feeders to serve thistle seed.

Bird Seed Sale

In addition to amazing deals on bird feeders, this is a perfect time to stock up on extra bags of birdseed (and pet food!) for the winter. You can mix and match several birdseed varieties in a buy two, get one free deal. Some wild bird foods, such as this Kaytee cardinal blend and sunflower hearts and chips, are discounted up to 50% at checkout.

Blue Jay In Window Bird Feeder
Blue jay at a window bird feeder

Even if you live in an apartment building or simply don’t have a yard, garden or trees, you can still enjoy the birds. There are window bird feeders you can put right on your windows with suction cups. “A window bird feeder can keep mealtimes interesting,” says wildlife artist Heather Bartmann of Fort Collins, Colorado. Her main visitors are house sparrows, but even the most common birds are fun to watch if you can observe their behavior up close.

Serve birds their favorite seeds in an acrylic window bird feeder if you are tight on space. Buy one with suction cups to attach to a pane of glass, and make sure it has tiny perches for songbirds. The small perches prevent bully birds, like grackles and pigeons, from gaining access to the seeds. You can also find window hummingbird feeders and suet feeders.

After all, one very important consideration when it comes to setting up feeders is yourself! The better your view of the birds, the more you’ll get to enjoy them. Ultimately, the best seat in the house is wherever you can easily see the birds.

And don’t worry—window bird feeders are not dangerous to the birds. To prevent bird strikes on windows, feeders should be within 3 feet or outside of 10 feet of all windows. Learn how to help a bird that flew into a window.

The Best Window Bird Feeders

window bird feeder

Window Bird House Feeder

This plastic birdhouse shaped feeder attaches to the window to give you a clear view of the birds. It includes a small perch and two removable seed trays (for easy cleaning!), so you can offer more than one type of birdseed. A sloped roof offers protection from the rain.

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Check out the best bird feeders and seed for cardinals.

large platform window feeder

Large Platform Window Feeder

This heavy-duty open platform feeder will accommodate larger birds like mourning doves and even squirrels without falling down. It is handmade of durable red cedar wood with a mesh aluminum bottom for drainage.

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window suet feeder

Kettle Moraine Window-Mount Suet Feeder

Try a window-mount suet feeder to get close-up looks at chickadees, nuthatches and woodpeckers. Two strong suction cups hold it firmly in place.

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wild birds of joy window feeder

Wild Birds of Joy Window Bird Feeder

This is a small but effective window feeder at an affordable price. So far in our testing, this window bird feeder has attracted black-capped chickadees and American goldfinches. The clear plastic material gives you (and your pets!) a front row seat to view your feathered friends.

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window hummingbird feeder

Nature Anywhere Window Hummingbird Feeder

This is a traditional bottle hummingbird feeder with a twist—it attaches directly to the window with three industrial strength suction cups. The bottle is easy to remove from the metal bracket base for filling and cleaning. And it is guaranteed to never fall down.

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We found the best sunflower seed bird feeders for your yard.

window hummingbird feeder

Aspects Jewel Box Window Hummingbird Feeder

If you prefer a saucer style hummingbird feeder, try this version that attaches to the window with a suction cup bracket. It includes a built-in ant moat tray that wraps around the feeder and a perch for the birds to rest. The feeder portion lifts out of the base for cleaning, and the lid is hinged for easy sugar-water refills.

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window hummingbird feeder

Copper Window Mount Hummingbird Feeder

These test tubes are just the right size for tiny hummingbirds. Keep in mind that they will need to be filled much more often than a larger nectar feeder. We love the pretty copper perch that looks like a tree branch.

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Check out the best finch feeders to serve thistle seed.

How to Make a DIY Window Bird Feeder

Create a window shelf, a simple board nailed to the sill, “to enjoy the birds at very close quarters,” ornithologist Roger Tory Peterson urged 85 years ago in Bird-Lore magazine. After all, the benefits of bird feeding are for you just as much as for the birds.

“I attach a board to the window ledge and sprinkle sunflower seeds across it. The birds come to the makeshift feeder even with me watching. The key is nearby shrubs that offer the birds protection,” says Grace Huffman of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

acorn woodpecker
Acorn woodpeckers enjoying oranges

If you have a deck railing or a patio, here’s a simple trick to see orioles and other fruit-eating birds up-close—just spear an orange half on a nail!

Next, check out the best blue jay bird feeders for peanuts.

black friday binoculars

If you’re shopping for a Black Friday deal on binoculars, you’re in luck! There are great prices right now on the binoculars that the Birds & Blooms editors use and recommend for birding. No matter what level of birdwatching experience you have, from beginner to advanced, there’s a pair of binoculars on sale that is right for you! For more tips on how to buy binoculars, check out our birding binoculars guide.

Nikon Aculon A211 8×42 Binoculars

nikon aculon black friday binoculars

Deal: $69.99 (from $89.95)

When I joined the Birds & Blooms team as a digital editor, I was a beginning birdwatcher. I picked up an affordable pair of Nikon aculon binoculars to use in my yard and a field guide to help me identify more birds. I still use these Nikons every day checking out the birds at my feeders, and I’ve taken them out birdwatching dozens of times. They’re a perfect choice for new birders, especially at this low Black Friday price.

These Nikons are very easy to focus and use, even if you’ve never used binoculars before. They offer a wide field of view and clear, bright images, even in the early morning and evening hours. My husband has even used them at night to look at stars, planets and the moon. I can also attest to their durability—my daughter once tossed them off of our second-story deck and they were not damaged. One caveat—these are not waterproof, so leave them at home on rainy days and boat rides.

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Vanguard Endeavor ED II 8×42 Binoculars

vanguard binoculars

Deal: $305 (was $324)

Birds & Blooms content director Kirsten Schrader recently loaned me two different pairs of binoculars that she recommends to test out. Her favorite pair, the Vanguard Endeavor ED II 8×42 binoculars are on sale on Amazon.com right now, so don’t miss out!

Once I started using these at a nearby wildlife conservation area, I could see why Kirsten likes these so much. With a (very) slight adjustment of the center focus wheel, I can go back and forth between looking at birds close up and at far distances. This is so important because birds are constantly on the move. I could clearly see a flock of dark-eyed juncos beside me in low shrubs and downy and hairy woodpeckers in tall oak trees. The view is crisp and brightly illuminated in both sunny and shady areas. Colors look vibrant and accurate through the ED glass. The barrels feel good in my hands, with pebbled leather, an open bridge, and indents for my thumbs. The neck strap is wide and padded for comfort.

One more key feature—you can lock the diopter ring in place to accommodate differences in your eyes and help them focus together properly. This is important for me, as I have different prescriptions in my left and right eyes.

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Bonus Black Friday Binoculars Deal

If you are looking for higher magnification for birding, B&H Photo Video has an amazing price on the Vanguard Endeavor ED II 10×42 binoculars right now! Though I have not tested the 10×42 model, I am very interested, because I would love to be able to see the field marks on tiny finches, flycatchers and warblers in greater detail.

Price: $289

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Psst—we found the best bird gifts for bird lovers!

Celestron Nature DX 8×42 Binoculars

Celestron Nature DX Binoculars

Deal: $138.89 (was $149)

The Celestron Nature DX 8×42 binoculars are a very solid choice for casual/weekend birders and nature explorers. Kirsten Schrader told me these are the binoculars that her mother uses for birdwatching. I highly recommend them for anyone who is looking for a high quality, easy-to-use pair of optics under $150. While looking at birds outside my window, I initially preferred this pair over the Vanguards. That’s because the field of view is larger (388 feet vs 377 feet). For me, a larger field of view makes it easier to find the bird faster (all those tree branches look alike, I swear!)

These binoculars feel thick, sturdy, durable and are comfortable to hold. The Celestrons are also lightweight (a few ounces less than the Vanguards), which can make a big difference if they’re hanging around your neck on a long hike. I’m considering picking up a pair to keep in my husband’s car, so I’ll always have them handy when we travel. Objective lens caps, rainguard, neck strap, carrying case, lens cloth, and the instruction manual are all included. Two features I would like to see improved: a padded neck strap and a locking diopter ring.

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Vortex Viper HD 10×42 Binoculars

vortex viper binoculars

Deal: $299 (from $499)

Vortex is a highly regarded optics company that is based in Wisconsin. The Viper HD is their midrange binoculars level. This is the best Black Friday binoculars deal we’ve seen advertised so far, with a discount of $200 at Cabela’s and Bass Pro Shop.

You may want to step up to 10x magnification if you want to see birds in greater detail, or if you’re looking at ducks or shorebirds at a distance out on the water. Do keep in mind that the field of view and brightness will be slightly lower than 8×42 binoculars. These Vortex Viper HDs also have an exceptional close focus distance of 5 feet, if you are interested in viewing wildflowers or butterflies. Vortex stands behind their products with a lifetime guarantee, promising that they will repair or replace your binoculars if anything happens to them.

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Next, try digiscoping to take better bird photos with your smartphone.

Why Do Birds Migrate?

Why Do Some Birds Migrate While Others Don't?
Black-throated green warblers migrate all the way to Central America.

Many birds are now making their way south to their wintering grounds. But, there are many other birds that choose not to migrate. Some birds like cardinals are content to stay in the north during the tough winter months. While this might seems strange, you have to consider why do birds migrate?

One of the first things to consider is that migration is mainly about the bird’s food source and not temperature. Many of these birds would be able to survive in cold temperatures if they were able to find food. Most birds that eat fruit or insects must move south in the winter in order to find enough food to survive. Many birds that eat seeds can find plenty of food over the winter months to survive.

In order to find enough food, birds make different kinds of migrations. Some birds only migrate very short distances such as from a higher elevation to a lower elevation. Others travel a bit farther such as to the southern United States, while others make the long journey to Central and South America.

How do hummingbirds survive snow and cold weather?

snowy day chickadee
Chickadees do not migrate south for the winter.

Birding experts Kenn and Kimberly Kaufman explain this further. “Birds are tougher than they look. Many can survive our Ohio winter temperatures and stay put if they are able to find food. Songbirds that migrate south tend to feed mainly on insects, which are scarce commodities in typical Midwestern winters. The birds that keep us company are the ones that survive on seeds, like cardinals and sparrows, and others like chickadees and woodpeckers that hunt for insect eggs or hibernating insects in bark. Adaptable omnivores such as crows and gulls, which eat just about anything, also stick around.”

Some common backyard birds, like American goldfinches and yellow-rumped warblers, stick around parts of the U.S. all winter. They’re just more difficult to spot because they molt into more subdued tones for the cold months, only sporting dull patches of yellow.

Why Do Some Birds Migrate While Others Don't?
Northern cardinals are a non-migratory species

Next, find out if robins migrate and return in the spring.

Entrance to large Walmart food supermarket or superstore in Haymarket, Virginia, USA

Black Friday is upon us—and so are the epic deals from Walmart! We paged through the supercenter’s best deals to determine what belongs in your cart.

When Is Walmart’s Black Friday? 

Instead of one day of money-saving madness, Walmart is having three sale events throughout November: Black Friday Deals for Days. By offering multiple Black Friday events, Walmart offers a safer shopping experience to annual bargain hunters.

Shop Walmart’s holiday deals online; you’ll find hundreds of marked-down organizational items, cleaning goods and more. Items rotate frequently, and plenty more will be added daily. Keep checking the site each week as new deals are added in. Walmart + members get early access to the deals.

Walmart is adding new deals for Black Friday in the third sale that begins online Monday, November 22, at 7 p.m. ET and in stores on Friday, November 26, at 5 a.m. ET. As new items are discounted, others will return to their usual prices. Some deals are available exclusively in stores or online. Products may sell out quickly.

Shop the Sale

Check out 11 things DIYers should always buy on Black Friday.

Walmart’s Black Friday Deals

Naturally, we’ve rounded up our top picks for Walmart’s Black Friday event. Here are items you’ll want to get your hands on ASAP! Check back to see more items added throughout the sale.

Psst—these items aren’t the only Black Friday deals up for grabs at Walmart this year. You can also snag everything on your gift list, from an airfryer, an Instant Pot and a Pioneer Woman cookware set, to a robot vacuum, a kids’ trampoline and a 70 inch Smart TV.

Psst—we found indoor garden kits perfect for gifting.

Hoover Smartwash Pet Carpet Cleaner Machine

hoover pet vac

Black Friday Deal: $149 (was $299)

The holidays require a deep cleaning, and this pet carpet cleaner can handle it. Power through all of your pet stains (and any other major messes and spills) on your carpets and furniture. Then use the “heat force” feature to make sure the floor is dry before your guests arrive.

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Snow Joe Electric Snow Thrower

snow thrower

Black Friday Deal: $129 (from $181)

Sure, it’s still November, but winter is coming soon, and that means heavy snow that you won’t want to shovel. This electric, corded snow thrower is a good choice for shorter driveways and sidewalks. After all, no one needs to worry about running out of gas during a blizzard. One reviewer says it even cut through 10 inches of snow in upstate New York.

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Maxx Explore Kid’s Telescope

kids telescope

Special Price: $35

Get the kids to put down their tablets and look at the stars and wildlife in your backyard. This telescope set includes a tabletop tripod, four magnification eyepieces and a smartphone mount. This is a great STEM gift for budding scientists.

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Psst—our editors’ favorite binoculars are on sale for Black Friday.

Fitbit Versa 2 Smartwatch

fitbit versa 2

Black Friday Deal: $119 (from $179)

Invest in your health and jump start your fitness routine with a Fitbit Versa 2. You can set reminders and alarms with your voice, monitor your sleep quality, and track your heart rate during workouts, as well as check the weather before you go out birding. Connect to Spotify to play all your favorite songs. Choose from black, gray or copper rose.

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GoPro Hero8 Black Bundle

gopro hero 8 bundle

Special Price: $249

A GoPro camera is essential for people who don’t miss a second of life. Capture a burst of photos or make videos (with image stabilization technology) to capture all of the action. This bundle includes the camera, a dual charger and three batteries to keep you powered up on the go.

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TAL Stainless Steel Ranger Pro Bottles Set

water bottle set

Black Friday Deal: $29.98 (was $39.98)

This water bottle set from TAL Hydration is a thoughtful and useful gift for anyone who loves camping, hiking or other adventures. After all, it’s essential to stay hydrated! Bring the bottles along in your backpack for your next birding trip with friends. Psst—the bottles can also hold hot liquids, so fill them up with coffee in the winter!

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Toshiba Canvio Ready Portable External Hard Drive 1TB

external hard drive

Black Friday Deal: $38.88 (from $51.99)

This is our favorite deal for birders and nature photographers. Just like you can never take enough bird photos (and videos!), you can never have enough storage space. This portable hard drive is so easy to use. Just plug it in with the USB, drag photos onto the hard drive and you’re done!

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Head to Walmart to get your hands on these steals up-close and in-person, and log onto the Walmart site to have deals delivered right to your door. Your shopping list (and your budget) will thank you!

Next, ready to try an AeroGarden? Now’s the time to get a deal!

If you’re in the market for a new bird feeder right now, good news. Many of our favorite bird feeders are on sale! We’ve rounded up the best bird feeder deals on Amazon.com to make your shopping a little bit easier. Psst—these are the 10 types of bird feeders you need in your backyard.

big gulp hummingbird feeder

Big Gulp Hummingbird Feeder

Your hummingbirds will never run out of sugar water with this extra large feeder that holds up to 40 ounces of hummingbird food. It’s easy to refill and clean, and we like the pretty flower feeding ports.

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Check out more hummingbird feeders and accessories your birds will love.

flower oriole feeder

Flower Oriole Feeder

Hang this lovely feeder outside in the spring and summer to attract orioles. This feeder allows you to feed both of orioles’ favorite foods—oranges and grape jelly!

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Psst—we found even more oriole feeders to attract these colorful birds.

squirrel be gone max

Perky Pet Squirrel-Be-Gone Max Feeder

If you are looking for a solution to stop squirrels and bully birds from stealing all of your bird seed, try the Squirrel-Be-Gone Max bird feeder from Perky-Pet. It includes weight-activated perches and flexports so the seeds won’t spill out. Small songbirds like chickadees and finches will love it!

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Check out more of the best squirrel-proof bird feeders.

tube feeder

Classic Tube Feeder

You can’t go wrong with a classic tube-style feeder at a great price. Fill it with sunflower seed or safflower seed to attract cardinals, grosbeaks and goldfinches.

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Try these large capacity bird feeders to feed a crowd.

gazebo bird feeder

Gazebo Bird Feeder

This is a good price on a traditional hopper-style feeder. We like that the wide roof will keep the seed dry, and the sides of this feeder are see-through so you’ll know when to refill it.

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Check out the best-selling bird feeders of 2021.

squirrel buster bird feeder

Squirrel Buster Standard Bird Feeder

Brome makes some of the highest rated squirrel-proof bird feeders. They are a bit more expensive than other brands, but their feeders are high quality, effective and durable. Plus they come with a lifetime guarantee.

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Check out the best birdhouses to attract more birds.

double suet feeder

More Bird Double Suet Feeder

Add a suet feeder to your feeding station in fall and winter to attract a variety of suet eating birds. This affordable feeder holds two suet cakes at once, so birds can eat on both sides.

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red cardinal feeder

Perky-Pet Red Cardinal Feeder

Fill up this red bird feeder with black-oil sunflower seeds and watch the cardinals flock to your backyard! Cardinals will love the perching ring and the metal mesh deters squirrels from chewing.

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Don’t miss the best cardinal bird feeders and birdseed.

glass hummingbird feeder

Glass Hummingbird Feeder

This glass hummingbird feeder is simply gorgeous. And even though it looks fancy, the reviews report that it is still easy to clean and maintain. Your purchase includes and ant moat, hanging hook and cleaning brush. Because this feeder has perches, you may also attract orioles!

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We found the best hummingbird gifts for any occasion.

squirrel-be-gone feeder

Squirrel-Be-Gone Bird Feeder

This all-metal bird feeder has a weighted perch, so your pretty songbirds will be able to easily access the seed, but heavier squirrels and bully birds will not. We love that it holds up to 8 pounds of bird seed!

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Check out the best blue jay bird feeders for peanuts.

saucer hummingbird feeders

Saucer Hummingbird Feeders

Two hummingbird feeders are better than one! You’ll attract more hummingbirds and the birds will be less territorial when they have some space. Saucer-style feeders are easy to clean, and it’s harder for bees and wasps to access the sugar water.

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Try our favorite suet feeders for winter birds.

perky pet panorama feeder

Perky-Pet Panorama Bird Feeder

This large cylindrical panorama feeder holds 2 pounds of bird seed. It includes a round perching ring, so birds can feed all the way around, giving you great views of your favorite feathered friends. We love the wide opening, and the top is rust-resistant.

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Next, don’t miss the best bird baths and fountains for attracting birds.

kingsyard bird feeder

Kingsyard Bird Feeder

This charming feeder looks like a little rustic country house. A hanging hook is included, and the roof lifts off so you can easily refill it and clean the inside.

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Don’t miss the best finch feeders to serve thistle seed.

window bird feeder

Window Bird Feeder

If you want an up-close look at your backyard birds, this is the feeder for you. Just use the suction cups to stick the clear feeder right onto the glass. Add your birds’ favorite seed (the seed tray is split down the middle, so you can offer two kinds), then grab your camera and wait!

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We found more window bird feeders to give you closer views of birds.

platform bird feeder

Platform Bird Feeder

Attract larger ground feeding birds like mourning doves, as well as squirrels, with a platform feeder. You can spear an apple, orange or corn cob on the center spike. The mesh bottom allows rain water to drain.

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Psst—you’ll love these whimsical winter bird feeders.

Goldfinch at goldenrod
Drought resistant plants like goldenrod attract birds to your backyard.

Birds need water. Plants need water. So it makes sense that moisture is an essential part of any backyard habitat. But keeping a garden watered can take a lot of work. That’s why using a mix of drought resistant trees and plants is a great way to attract birds without spending precious time and money on watering.

Check out the top 15 drought-tolerant plants that can handle dry weather.

Birds Need Drought Resistant Plants for Shelter and Food

black chinned hummingbird
A black-chinned hummingbird feeds on black and blue salvia

A plant’s drought tolerance varies, depending on your soil, climate and location. It’s best to pick trees and plants suited to your personal growing conditions. For example, hollyhocks do fine without supplemental water in areas that receive some summer rain. In regions with dry summers, however, these statuesque blooms will have a powerful thirst.

Growing conditions can also vary within your own garden. South and west exposures tend to dry out more quickly than areas facing north or east. Choose plants with a stronger drought tolerance for these hotter zones. Artemisia, cotoneaster, echinacea, rudbeckia, sedums and most salvias are good selections. These plants will also entice birds and butterflies with shelter and food.

A few shade-tolerant plants that can handle occasional drought include hostas, bear’s breech (Acanthus), hardy geraniums, heavenly bamboo (Nandina domestica) and bearberry (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi).

Add these 5 attractive drought tolerant shrubs to your garden.

Drought Resistant Trees and Shrubs

drought resistant trees, Western redbud tree (Cercis occidentalis) blooms in early spring, California, USA
Western redbud tree

As you devise your planting strategy, think vertically as well as horizontally. Choose a combination of plant sizes, and different colors, textures and seasons of bloom.

Small water-thrifty trees and shrubs add character and color. A few good choices are western redbud (Cercis occidentalis), chaste tree (Vitex agnus-castus), red-leaf rose (Rosa glauca) and strawberry tree (Arbutus unedo). Grapes, currants, gooseberries and other water-wise fruit-bearing shrubs and vining plants provide a great food source for many birds.

Growing Tips for Drought Resistant Plants and Trees

Volunteers planting a tree together
Add organic matter to the soil when you plant a tree

Start by mixing a 3- to 6-inch layer of organic matter, such as compost, into the soil before you plant. Doing this increases the water-retaining capacity of the soil and creates an environment that encourages roots to grow deeper, which makes it easier for the plants to find and absorb moisture during times of drought.

Adding organic mulch like compost, shredded leaves, herbicide-free grass clippings or aged sawdust to the surface is a good idea as well. This will conserve water by preventing weeds (which waste water and nutrients) and keeping soil temperatures cooler and moisture levels more consistent, while also reducing surface evaporation.

No plant can survive without water. Even drought resistant trees and plants need consistent watering the first year or two as they become established. After that, the key is to water deeply and infrequently, which will promote a deeper and more extensive root system. The best time to water is in the cool of the early morning or evening. That way, more water seeps into the soil and less is lost through evaporation.

By growing the right water-thrifty plants and utilizing strategies that help maximize moisture, you can keep your landscape lush and winged visitors like birds and butterflies content during times of drought and beyond. What’s more, using less water to produce a downpour of color also gives you more time to sit back and soak it all in.

Follow these essential steps for tree planting success.

12 Drought Resistant Plants for Birds

zinnia on coneflower
American goldfinch on coneflower 

You can attract birds and decrease your water bill with these water-wise plants. Once established in the garden, they will easily adapt to dry conditions, requiring little to no supplemental water during the dry season.

  1. Agastache (Agastache species) Known as hummingbird plant, licorice mint, Mexican hyssop or anise hyssop, depending on the species. Trumpet-shaped flowers attract hummingbirds, sphinx moths and butterflies. Seedheads provide food for birds. Zones 5 to 11; blooms from summer to fall.
  2. Butterfly weed (Asclepias tuberosa) Flat-topped flower clusters are a nectar source for butterflies and hummingbirds. Includes milkweed, the caterpillar host plant for monarchs. Zones 3 to 9; flowers in summer.
  3. Coreopsis (Coreopsis species) Nectar-rich blooms appeal to butterflies, such as skippers, buckeyes and painted ladies. Seeds provide food for sparrows, chickadees, finches and other seed-eating birds. Zones 3 to 11; summer to fall blooms.
  4. Germander (Teucrium chamaedrys) Evergreen shrubby perennial serves as a shelter site for hibernating butterflies. Whorls of nectar-rich flower spikes attract a variety of butterflies and beneficial insects. Zones 5 to 10; blooms in summer.
  5. Goldenrod (Solidago species) Flowers attract butterflies, including monarchs, blues and hairstreaks. Its seedheads attract varied bird species. Zones 3 to 10; midsummer to fall flowers.
  6. Lavender (Lavandula species) Aromatic lavender plants attract many butterflies, especially skippers, painted ladies and sulphurs. Finches and other birds dine on seedheads from early fall through winter. Zones 5 to 11; blooms in summer.
  7. Penstemon (Penstemon species) Bell-shaped flowers attract moths and butterflies, such as skippers and swallowtails, as well as hummingbirds. Provides seeds for birds and serves as a caterpillar host plant for some checkerspot butterflies. Zones 3 to 10; summer flowers.
  8. Purple coneflower (Echinacea species) Coneflower blooms offer nectar for fritillaries, skippers and viceroy butterflies, as well as hummingbirds. Late autumn seedheads attract finches, chickadees and nuthatches. Zones 3 to 10; flowers in summer.
  9. Rudbeckia (Rudbeckia species) Daisy-like flowers provide nectar for butterflies. Birds relish the seedheads. Zones 3 to 10; blooms summer through fall.
  10. Salvia (Salvia species) These annuals, biennials and perennials attract hummingbirds, butterflies and moths. Perennials are hardy in Zones 4 to 11, though it differs by variety; summer blooms.
  11. Sedum (Sedum species) Diverse group of succulents provide nectar for butterflies and, occasionally, hummingbirds. Late autumn to winter seedheads attract birds, including finches and chickadees. Zones 4 to 11; spring to autumn flowers, depending on species.
  12. Yarrow (Achillea species) Flattened clusters of tiny flowers attract hummingbirds and butterflies. Seeds appeal to many birds. Zones 3 to 10; summer to early fall blooms.