19 Berry-Producing Plants That Will Attract Birds to Your Yard

bird sitting on berry tree branch in fall next to bird feeder
Photo: Lynn Karlin

Invite flocks to your backyard by planting fruit-bearing trees and shrubs in your landscape. These plants do double duty: They attract berry-eating birds such as bluebirds and robins while also creating a beautiful display with their flowers, fall colors, and fruits.

01 of 19

American Cranberry Viburnum

American cranberry bush viburnum red berries plant
Blaine Moats

American cranberry bush viburnum (Viburnum trilobum) is a beautiful flowering shrub that has white springtime flowers, maple-shape leaves that turn bright colors in autumn, and red fall berries. Brown thrashers, cedar waxwings, and other birds feast on the long-lasting fruits, which can provide a source of food even in winter.

Growing Conditions: Full sun to part sun and well-drained soil

Size: Up to 12 feet tall

Zones: 2-7

Buy It: Cranberry Viburnum Trilobum Seeds ($17, Walmart)

02 of 19

Red-Twig Dogwood

red-twig dogwood cornus stolonifera
Scott Little

A standout in winter because of its bold red stems, red-twig dogwood (Cornus stolonifera) also features clusters of small white flowers in spring, white fruits in summer and fall, and bold red-orange autumn color.

Growing Conditions: Full sun to part sun and moist, well-drained soil

Size: Up to 8 feet tall

Zones: 2-8

Buy It: Red Twig Dogwood Shrub ($38, Lowe's)

03 of 19

Chokeberry

Chokeberry red berry plant
Doug Hetherington

Brown thrashers are fond of chokeberries (Aronia arbutifolia) and so are cedar waxwings and other songbirds. It spreads by suckering and is a good choice for a hedge. This shrub is also native to many parts of the country, so it's especially good for supporting local wildlife.

Growing Conditions: Full sun to part shade and well-drained soil

Size: Up to 10 feet tall

Zones: 4-9

Buy It: Black Chokeberry Plant ($25, Etsy)

04 of 19

Wahoo

Wahoo berry plant
Dan Piassick

A North American native counterpart to burning bush, wahoo (Euonymus atropurpureus) likes a moist, sunny spot. It produces bright scarlet berries in autumn, and has red fall color that makes for an attractive informal hedge.

Growing Conditions: Full sun to part shade and moist, well-drained soil

Size: Up to 20 feet tall

Zones: 3-7

Buy It: Eastern Wahoo Seeds ($5, Etsy)

05 of 19

Eastern Red Cedar

Eastern Red Cedar berry tree
Matthew Benson

Eastern red cedar (Juniperus virginiana) is an evergreen North American native tree that can provide shelter to birds among its dense branches. Female plants offer blue berrylike cones that many species of birds eat.

Growing Conditions: Full sun and well-drained soil

Size: Up to 65 feet tall

Zones: 3-9

Buy It: Wild Eastern Red Cedar Seedlings (from $17, Etsy)

06 of 19

Staghorn Sumac

Staghorn Sumac red berry plant
Jason Donnelly

A fast-growing, quick-spreading shrub native to parts of North America, staghorn sumac (Rhus typhina) offers ferny leaves that turn bold red in fall. It also features clusters of furry dark red fruit that hold on through the winter, supplying a variety of birds including robins and vireos.

Test Garden Tip: Staghorn sumac may be too aggressive of a spreader for most gardens. Be sure to plant it in a spot where it can create a thicket.

Growing Conditions: Full sun to part sun and well-drained soil

Size: Up to 15 feet tall

Zones: 3-8

Buy It: Smooth Sumac Tree ($25, Etsy)

07 of 19

Winterberry

Winterberry Ilex verticillata red berry plant
Greg Ryan

Often unnoticed in the summer garden, winterberry (Ilex verticillata) stops traffic when the leaves drop in autumn and the berries ripen. Branches covered with bright red fruit attract mockingbirds, robins, and other birds. This North American native holly needs a pollinator to produce berries, so make sure you have both a male and female plant.

Growing Conditions: Full sun to part sun and well-drained soil

Size: Up to 15 feet tall

Zones: 3-9

Buy It: Winterberry Holly ($25, Walmart)

08 of 19

Crabapple

Crabapple berry plant
Peter Krumhardt

Most gardeners grow crabapples (Malus selections) for the ornamental value of their spring blooms. The fruits, however, are the apples of birds' eyes. To attract the greatest variety of songbirds, select cultivars with small fruits that hang on through the winter.

Growing Conditions: Full sun and moist, well-drained soil

Size: Up to 40 feet tall, depending on variety

Zones: 4-8

Buy It: Centurion Crabapple Tree with Pink Blossoms ($30, The Home Depot)

09 of 19

Highbush Blueberry

highbush blueberry vaccinum corymbosum berry plant
Robert Cardillo

Gray catbirds like to nest in highbush blueberry (Vaccinum corymbosum). This native shrub also produces sweet berries that both you and bluebirds, robins, and many other birds will enjoy. And it lights up the landscape with its bright red-orange fall color, too.

Growing Conditions: Full sun and well-drained, acidic soil

Size: Up to 12 feet tall

Zones: 3-9

10 of 19

Beautyberry

Beautyberry purple berry plant
Laurie Black

Showy clusters of purple fruit make beautyberry (Callicarpa dichotoma) attractive to both birds and flower arrangers. The arching wands of berries last a long time in the garden or a vase and provide nutrition and moisture for birds in winter. Beautyberry thrives in light shade but produces more berries in a sunny spot.

Growing Conditions: Full sun to part shade and moist, well-drained soil

Size: Up to 4 feet tall

Zones: 6-8

Buy It: Pearl Glam Beautyberry ($29, The Home Depot)

11 of 19

Serviceberry

Serviceberry red berry tree
Kritsada Panichgul

Robins, thrushes, and other birds are quick to eat the fruits of serviceberry (Amelanchier selections), which you can also eat if you can get any before your avian friends do. This plant grows as a small tree or large shrub, depending on the variety. They range from 4 to 25 feet tall, but all offer pretty springtime blooms and eye-catching fall color. Most are native to North America.

Growing Conditions: Full sun to part shade and well-drained soil

Size: Up to 25 feet tall, depending on variety

Zones: 4-9

12 of 19

Bunchberry

Bunchberry red berry plant
Lynn Karlin

A low-growing shrubby native plant, bunchberry (Cornus canadensis) has leaves, flowers, and berries that look remarkably like those of its cousin, flowering dogwood. The white flowers sparkle in a woodland garden in spring; the berries turn red in autumn and are a favorite of vireos.

Growing Conditions: Full shade to part sun and moist, well-drained, acidic soil

Size: Up to 6 inches tall

Zones: 2-7

Buy It: Cornus Canadensis ($28, Garden Centerpoint)

13 of 19

Arrowwood Viburnum

Arrowwood Viburnum blue berry plant
Bill Stites

A particularly good shelter plant for birds, arrowwood (Viburnum dentatum) is a very hardy and adaptable shrub. It features pretty, creamy white flower clusters in early summer. In late summer and autumn, bunches of blue-black berries appear. Plant near other viburnums to ensure good pollination.

Growing Conditions: Full sun to part shade and well-drained soil

Size: Up to 12 feet tall

Zones: 3-8

14 of 19

Pagoda Dogwood

Pagoda Dogwood berry tree
Kritsada Panichgul

Downy woodpeckers, brown thrashers, eastern bluebirds, and many other backyard birds are attracted to the dark fruits of North American native pagoda dogwood (Cornus alternifolia). This small tree is best suited for the edges of woodland areas or shady gardens. Pagoda dogwood has a striking horizontal branching habit. Creamy white flower clusters appear above the leaves in spring.

Growing Conditions: Full to part shade and well-drained soil

Size: Up to 12 feet tall

Zones: 4-8

Buy It: Pagoda Dogwood (from $8, Etsy)

15 of 19

Nannyberry

Nannyberry green berry plant
Bryan E. McCay

A native shrub or small tree, nannyberry (Viburnum lentago) has glossy, dark green leaves and drooping clusters of berries in early fall. Nannyberry can be pruned to form a hedge or grown at the back of a border. The berries ripen to blue-black and last well into winter to feed birds.

Growing Conditions: Full sun to part shade and well-drained soil

Size: Up to 10 feet tall

Zones: 2-8

Buy It: Nannyberry Seeds ($3, Etsy)

16 of 19

American Elderberry

American Elder plant with green berries
Bryan E. McCay

Native to North America, elderberry (Sambucus canadensis) thickets give excellent shelter and are favored nesting sites for many species of birds. This fast-growing shrub produces enormous, creamy flower clusters the size of dinner plates in summer, followed by purple berries in fall that birds relish.

Growing Conditions: Full sun to part sun and moist, well-drained soil

Size: Up to 12 feet tall

Zones: 4-9

17 of 19

Cranberry Cotoneaster

berry plant branches small fruit
Denny Schrock

Cranberry cotoneaster (Cotoneaster apiculatus) is a low, arching, and mounding shrub with glossy leaves and red fruits. Good for slope, terrace, or foundation planting, most varieties deliver bountiful red berries in autumn that persist into the winter. You can choose from compact, upright shrubs to easy groundcovers to big plants ideal for hedges.

Growing Conditions: Full sun to part sun and well-drained soil

Size: Up to 3 feet tall

Zones: 4-7

18 of 19

Firethorn

berry plant branch red fruit
Laurie Black

The dense, thorny branches of this semi-evergreen to evergreen shrub provide good shelter and nesting places as well as berries. A dense covering of red-orange berries cover firethorn's (Pyrancantha coccinea) branches in autumn, adding beautiful fall color to your garden. The berries are preceded by white flowers in summer.

Growing Conditions: Full sun to part sun and well-drained soil

Size: Up to 16 feet tall

Zones: 7-9

19 of 19

Rose

berry plant pink fruit leaves
Denny Schrock

Rose hips (the fruit of roses) vary in size and color, but all prove delectable to birds and other wildlife. There are heirloom roses, climbing roses, groundcover roses, English tea roses, and more, and all have the ability to produce rose hips. The most common type of rose used to produce rose hips is Rosa canina.

Growing Conditions: Full sun and moist, well-drained soil

Size: Up to 6 feet tall, depending on variety

Zones: 4-11

Buy It: Knock Out Double Rose Plant ($43, The Home Depot)

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