Plants in Your Garden that Produce Seed for Birds

Black-Eyed Susan seed heads are gorgeous and bird-friendly.

As you clean up your garden this fall, don’t forget the birds! Leave some seed heads to dry on your perennial flowers, to provide winter food for finches, cardinals, and other year-round birds. Not only will you be providing much-needed nourishment and shelter for birds, but your winter garden will be graced with the striking shapes of dried stems adorned with colorful plumage.

You can also harvest the seeds for later spreading or using in feeders. If you’re adventurous, try scattering and watering a handful of birdseed mix, and see what sprouts!

The most popular flowering plants for feeding birds are:

  • Most native plants
  • Black-Eyed Susans and other plants with daisy-like blooms
  • Coneflowers
  • Ornamental grasses (all varieties)
  • Safflowers
  • Sunflowers
  • Zinnias

Birds are also attracted to:

Pink Muhly Grass is good for birds.

  • Asters
  • Bergamot
  • Calendula
  • Columbine
  • Coreopsis
  • Corn
  • Cosmos
  • Dill
  • Evening Primrose
  • Goldenrod
  • Lavender
  • Millet
  • Poppies
  • Rose of Sharon (Althea)
  • Salvia
  • St. John’s Wort
  • Teasel
  • Thistles

Further Information


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