10 of the Best Seedy Plants for Birds
A source of pollen and seeds, this stout perennial is not a trigger for hay fever as is widely assumed. Goldenrod (Solidago spp.) is a summer- and fall-bloomer, and is also good for cutting. While this plant makes birds feel welcome in the garden, goldenrod keeps hungry deer away.
The late-summer flower spikes of purple millet (Pennisetum glaucum) yield tiny seeds that attract birds. This seedy grass blooms in summer and can grow to be up to six feet tall. Bees and butterflies like the plant, too.
The blue flowers of this sturdy perennial bloom from midsummer through fall. It will attract bees as well as birds. Plant sea holly (Eryngium spp.) in poor soil and full sun and it will thrive.
Joe Pye Weed
This native perennial draws birds, bees, and butterflies to its long-lasting flower clusters on 7-foot-tall plants. As long as you have the space, this wildflower native adds impressive texture to a garden and can even act as a spectacular backdrop for smaller plants. Plant Joe Pye weed (Eutrochium purpureum) in sun to part sun for best results.
New England Aster
Plant asters (Symphotrichum novae-angliae) for delicate texture and bright color in the garden. Birds feast on the seed-filled centers of this native perennial into winter. Asters are drought-tolerant and good for containers.
Sunflowers (Helianthus annuus) are a classic country garden plant that adds large splashes of sunny yellow to the horizon. The annual grows easily, blooms in summer, thrives in hot weather, and develops seeds favored by birds. Sunflowers are also drought tolerant.
Summer birds cannot resist cosmos (Cosmos bipinnatus), especially once the golden stamens give way to seeds. Cosmos are pollinator-friendly, too. These flowers are low maintenance and grow well in containers.
House Finches, Chickadees, American Goldfinches, and others feast on the seed heads of this reliable perennial. Since black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia spp.) blooms when other summer perennials begin to fade, this plant is a true sign that fall is near. The blooms last for weeks and form large masses of color.
While coneflowers (Echinacea purpurea) come in many colors, purple is the classic color it's known for. The showy flowers of this hardy perennial appear on stems up to 5 feet tall from summer into fall. Seeds attract American Goldfinches and Pine Siskins.
Varieties of the evergreen tree provide shelter and nesting places for birds. Pinecones offer seeds. The fallen needles from pine trees also provide building supplies for nests.