Wild Bird Garden Choices for Southern Gardens: Perfect Plants for Attracting Birds in Zone 7 & 8

Birds are attracted to some flowers more than others. It isn’t a good bet to assume that just because you have a big, bright, showy garden that birds will flock to it. Below are 8 plants guaranteed to get birds interested in your landscape.

Aquilegia canadensis (Red Columbine)
Although it’s called red columbine, there are yellow blooms on this species as well. This self-sowing plant will grow from 2-3 feet and prefers full sun to partial shade. It has wonderful droop blooms that hummingbirds love and will bloom from May to June. No special care needs to be taken for its growth, as it likes average soil and is adaptable to its surroundings.

Filipendula rubra (Queen of the Prairie)
This plant is a favorite of butterflies, birds, and bees. It grows up to 4 feet tall and has a 2-3 foot spread. It loves full sun and moist soil. Its blooms are pink and grow from spring to summer. You need to cut the foliage back when it starts to brown.

Hypericum prolificum (Shrubby St. Johns Wort)
This drought tolerant plant will reach up to 6 feet tall. It is really loved by butterflies, bees and birds. It has bright yellow flowers in late spring to summer; preferring sun to partial shade. It has smooth deciduous leaves.

Liatris spicata (Dense Blazing Star)
Another good pick for a bird or butterfly garden, this will grow up to 4 feet tall. It has violet to white flowers from mid summer to fall and will self sow freely. It prefers full sun or partial shade and is very low maintenance. Its flowers look like a feather duster. It is a deer resistant plant.

Lonicera sempervirens (Trumpet Honeysuckle)
This vine is great for wildlife gardens; growing up to 15 feet in length. It likes sun or partial shade and has red or yellow trumpet like flowers. Bloom season is April to August. This is very fragrant; a favorite of birds, bees, and butterflies. It has evergreen foliage. Propagate this from stem cuttings. BEWARE: Some parts of this are poisonous.

Phlox paniculata (Fall Phlox)
A Phlox that will get up to 4 feet tall and have a 3 foot spread. It prefers full sun, moist soil, and good drainage. It will bloom from mid summer to fall; pinkish purple hues. It is fragrant and will attract butterflies and birds. Divide every 4 years for optimum growth. Expect a longer than average bloom time compared to other Phlox.

Rubus trivialis (Southern Dewberry)
This spiny vine has alternate leaves that are twice as long as they are broad. There are white to pink flowers from March to April and it is self fertile. The deciduous edible fruit is loved by wildlife.

Symphyotrichum novae-angliae (New England Aster)
This gets up to 6 feet tall, spreads to 3 feet across, and is deer resistant. Its blooms are pink or purple and appear from August to September. The flowers have 40 rays and self sow freely. Butterflies and birds are attracted to this aster. You can propagate this from stem cuttings or divide in spring and fall every other year.

Planting these eight plants is a good way to insure that you will have a multitude of chirping visitors year after year.

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