Plants for a Songbird Garden

Author: Meera, January 31, 2013



Finches dining on small oily black Nyjer seeds that grow on a foot-tall stalks with a blue bloom

Finches love black Nyjer seeds produced from blue flowers on tall, feathery stems


If you enjoy songbirds as I do, you might want to plant a garden of flower and herb varieties to attract them.


Include in your songbird garden some perennials and annual plants. The perennials will re-seed themselves or return year after year. Commercial seed companies offer a pre-packaged collection of seeds, but you can also gather your seeds or plants from other sources such as friends, neighbors, and garden club members. I save the seed from many of my plants, dry them, and use them for planting the next year.


Plants might include (but are not limited to) Alcea rosea (common hollyhock, comes in many colors), Amaranthus caudatus (commonly known as love-lies-bleeding), Carthamus tinctoria (safflower seed), coreopsis (tickseed), Cosmos bipinnatas (old flower garden favorite), Delphinium ajacus (blue or purple larkspur), Echinacea purpurea (eastern purple coneflower), Eschscholzia California (California poppy), Guizotia abyssinica (Nyjer seed, often called thistle although it isn’t thistle by an oily seed loved by finches), Panicum miliaceum (common millet), Papaver rhoeas (opium poppy, some types can be as tall as seven feet), and Rudbeckia hirta (Black-eyed Susan).


Birds and bees love cosmos

Birds and bees are attracted to cosmos growing in a garden


The heights of these various plants range from about 15 inches to six or seven feet. The colors are varied, ranging from whites to pink, red, orange, yellow, green, and blue.


The types of songbirds these plants will attract include cardinals, finches, goldfinches, hummingbirds, mockingbirds, warblers, chickadees, wrens, titmice, and thrushes.


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