10 Flowers to Attract more Birds, Butterflies & Bees to Your Yard
Plant These 10 Flowers to Attract more Birds, Butterflies & Bees to Your Yard-
There are numerous flowers that will attract birds, butterflies and bees to your yard and most of it depends on personal preference. When choosing flowers, save yourself some time, aggravation and money by doing your homework first. Be sure to take into consideration your soil conditions and amount of sunlight or shade that your yard receives. If deer frequent your yard, be sure to look for deer-resistant plants to cut down on them grazing from your garden. While no plant is 100% deer-proof, there are many that are less appealing to them.
Below, I’ve listed some of my favorite flowers that are sure to attract more birds and other insects to your yard. Many of these flowers will bring bees and butterflies to your yard as well, creating a healthier ecosystem and more beautiful yard. Bees are so beneficial to our yard and planet that we need to do everything we can to attract and protect them. I’ll be doing a whole post on the benefits of bees and how we’re killing them in a future post- don’t miss it.
My 10 favorite flowers to bring more birds into your yard are:
Bee Balm – A perennial, also referred to as Monarda, Bee Balm loves the sun and moist but well-drained soil. Colors range from dark red mahogany to bluish lilac to multiple shades of pink. Bee Balm can get powdery mildew so it’s best to water it at the base of the plant and not from above. It tends to be a bit invasive as well so consider planting it in pots before you put it in the ground to keep the roots from spreading too much. Deadhead regularly to encourage new blooms and to keep the plant from looking raggedy. Attract hummingbirds, butterflies and bees with this beauty in your garden.
Black-Eyed Susan – This Daisy-like perennial, also called Rudbeckia, blooms from mid-summer well into autumn. Plant in a sunny location and brighten a dreary spot with its bright yellow color. Black-eyed Susan looks great as an accent plant or in large clusters. One great thing about this flower is that it is self-seeding, meaning that as it drops seeds, the seeds self-sow, thereby increasing the size of your plant the following year. Butterflies love this plant and as the flower heads turn to seed, you’ll attract Chickadees, Goldfinches, Indigo Buntings, Nuthatches, Sparrows and Towhees.
Bleeding Heart – This is one of my favorite springtime perennials and it’s so easy to grow! Not only will the plant increase in size every year, the hearts that hang from its arching branches are like no other flower blossom around. Bleeding Heart comes in “all-white” or “pink with white tips” and is perfect for that shady spot in your garden. It is also considered to be deer-resistant and I can say that the deer have never bothered mine. Hummingbirds love Bleeding Hearts plants!
Columbine – This beautiful perennial is available in a variety of colors including yellow, peach, purple, crimson, scarlet, blue, white and pink. Columbine is another self-seeding flower, so it will continue to flourish in your garden for years to come. This flower does well in partial shade and is deer and rabbit-resistant. This is a great flower for small spaces and rock gardens or it can be mixed in with other perennials for a country cottage look. Hummingbirds love this flower as well!
Hosta – This is one of my all-time favorite plants! I think there are more varieties of Hosta than any other plant out there. Hostas come in an assortment of sizes and colors, anywhere from 4 inches (10 cm) tall to over 28 inches (71 cm) tall with varying widths as well. They can be all-green or blue, or variegated with shades of yellow, white and green in so many different patterns. This plant is also available in many different textures and leaves can be narrow to super wide and so many sizes in between. Hostas produce stalks of trumpet-shaped flowers in shades of white and purple. This is another flower that is sure to attract Hummingbirds and butterflies, but also attracts slugs. You can alleviate the slugs by placing capfuls of beer under the plants. Hostas love the shade and can be easily divided as they increase in size. It’s almost impossible to kill this plant, however, it is in no way deer-resistant. Deer love Hostas!
Purple Coneflower – Also known as Echinacea, this purple petaled perennial is a must-have for any garden. It’s a butterfly and bee magnet and is easy to grow in a sunny or partially shaded area. Grow as a specimen plant or in clusters, it’s sure to be the talk of your garden. This beauty comes back bigger and better every year and attracts Finches of all kinds including Goldfinches. One drawback of this flower is that it is not deer-resistant. If you don’t have deer, then plant away and enjoy!
Salvia – This stunning flower is available as both an annual and a perennial, with each type looking completely different from one another. The one pictured here is the annual and it is a staple in my gardens every year for its ability to attract Hummingbirds. The scented foliage usually keeps deer and rabbits at bay, however, for some odd reason, the turkeys in our yard like to pull it out of the ground. This flower is available in red, purple and shades of white and looks best when planted in groups or in front of taller plants.
Sunflowers – These annuals love full sun and are one of the easiest flowers to grow. They grow best in moist, well-drained soil. These beauties will actually turn their “heads” and follow the sun as it moves throughout the day. Domestic sunflowers usually produce one flower head, while wild sunflowers can produce multiple branches with a multitude of blooms. I often plant the seeds that are in my bird seed or transplant the ones that grow beneath my feeders. Attract Goldfinches, Nuthatches, Chickadees, Tufted Titmice, Grosbeaks and more with this flower. Bees and butterflies love them, and humans can eat the seeds they produce as well.
Trumpet Honeysuckle – Add height to your garden with this pretty vine or cover fences, trellises and arbors for that “Wow!” factor. Plant in full sun and keep the soil moist for continuous blossoms all summer. The vines are covered with beautiful, fragrant flowers that attract hummingbirds, bees and butterflies alike. Once the flowers are done blooming, bright red berries appear, attracting a variety of songbirds such as American Robins, Catbirds, Cedar Waxwings, Cardinals and more. It’s easy to grow and appears to be deer-resistant.
Zinnia – This annual is super easy to grow and so fun! Zinnia is another of my must-haves every year- I never tire of them. They come in an assortment of colors and can be grown from seed or purchased from your local nursery. Deadhead them to prolong their flowers or let them go to seed for the birds. Once they go to seed, you can also dry them and save the seeds to plant in next years garden. These flowers are great because they are fairly deer-resistant, however, not totally rabbit-resistant. Attract Goldfinches, Chickadees, Hummingbirds as well as Bees and Butterflies.
Hopefully, this list will encourage you to get out in the garden this year and add some flowers to your yard. You should see an increase in bird traffic as all of these flowers are food sources for them. Butterflies and bees will be attracted to your yard as well to pollinate the flowers, thereby increasing the beauty of your yard and helping the planet as a whole. To me there is nothing more relaxing than working out in the garden, feeling the sun on my face and listening to the birds sing. I am one with nature when I’m in my garden- it’s my peaceful place!
Thistle – Here’s a bonus flower for you! Thistle grows wild and you may know it by the large prickers on top of it. However, once this flower blooms, the purple tufts are actually quite pretty. Once, the flowers go to seed and get all white and fluffy, Goldfinches eat the seeds and line their nests with the fluffy down. Goldfinches nest later than most other birds, so when you see the thistle go to seed, you’ll know the Goldfinches are breeding.
Now that you will be attracting more birds to your yard, remember to keep those feeders filled and your birdbaths clean and full. Tell us about the birds that visit your yard and your favorite flowers as well. As always, Happy Birding (& Happy Gardening)! ~ Karen