Best Plants for Attracting Birds in the South

Welcome birds to your garden with these plants native to the Southeast.


The South has a native plant palette that is surpassed perhaps only by its array of native birds. Here are a few plants that will be at home in a woodsy, naturalized garden, or you can stage a few here and there in a refined, formal garden setting.

American holly (Ilex opaca) is a large, 50-foot pyramidal evergreen with spiky leaves and red berries. This basic species produces many cultivars. Zones 5-9.

Arrow-wood viburnum (Viburnum dentatum) is a large, durable 15-foot shrub that produces bluish-black drupes (like tiny cherries). Zones 3-8.

Deciduous holly (Ilex deciduas) is also known as possumhaw. This small (25-foot), multitrunk tree or large shrub loses its leaves in winter to display a profusion of red or orange berries on naked branches. Zones 5-9.

Beautyberry's (Callicarpa americana) purple berries form on arching branches of the 3- to 8-foot-tall shrub. Zones 6-9.

Sweet bay magnolia (Magnolia virginiana) is a small (20-foot) semideciduous tree with pale green leaves that are silver underneath. Bears small cones of bright red berries. Zones 6-9.

See our slideshow of more plants that attract birds.


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