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Seed-Bearing Flowers for Birds

Flowers to Plant to Attract Birds With Seeds

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Goldfinch on Flowers

Goldfinches are attracted to many seed-bearing flowers.

Don Kasak

Birders who hope to see hummingbirds often plant nectar-bearing flowers to attract them, but there are many seed-bearing flowers for birds that can be ideal to attract finches, sparrows and other seed-eating birds.

Birds Eating Seeds

There are many species of birds that feed on seeds, and without birdseed available, they are perfectly happy to find wild seeds from flowers, shrubs and trees. Adding seed-bearing flowers to a yard can attract birds such as sparrows, towhees, quail, finches, doves and other species. Small, agile birds that can perch on flowers to feed directly from the blooms are often attracted to seed-bearing flowers, while larger ground-feeding birds benefit from the flowers as well after the seeds have been shed.

Benefits of Adding Seed-Bearing Flowers to Your Landscape

Not only can seed-bearing flowers be an attractive addition to bird-friendly landscaping, but blooms that produce copious seeds can help birders save money on birdseed by relying on natural seed rather than continuously filling feeders. Flowers can also attract a greater variety of birds, especially shy species that may be unwilling to come out in the open to visit feeders. Depending on the types of flowers selected, they can continue producing seeds for years with minimal pruning or maintenance required, and even a few flowers can be beneficial to backyard birds.

Seed-Bearing Flowers That Attract Birds

There are dozens of flowers that produce seeds to tempt birds. The most popular seed-bearing flowers for backyard birds include:

  • Asters
  • Black-eyed susans
  • Coneflowers
  • Coreopsis
  • Cornflowers
  • Cosmos
  • Daisies
  • Evening primroses
  • Goldenrods
  • Hibiscus
  • Marigolds
  • Moss roses
  • Sedum
  • Sunflowers
  • Violets
  • Zinnias

Tips for Attracting Birds With Seed-Bearing Flowers

When choosing which flowers to use to attract seed-eating birds, consider:

  • Climate: Choose flowers that can thrive in the local climate, taking into account water and sunlight levels.

  • Growth Height: Opt for flowers of different mature heights for a multi-layered, thick garden that will attract many birds.

  • Native Plants: Native flowers are often best because they're well adapted to local conditions and birds will recognize them as a food source more easily.

  • Seeding Time: Choosing flowers that go to seed at different times will ensure an ongoing source of available seeds for birds in any season.

To attract the most birds with seed-bearing flowers, allow the blooms to grow with as little interference as possible. Avoid deadheading, since it is the dried heads that birds will pilfer for seeds. Similarly, avoid spraying the flowers with insecticides – once birds learn about the flowers, they'll happily feed on insects as well.

Flowers can be a great seed source to attract and feed birds on a beautiful budget. By choosing the best seed-bearing flowers, backyard birders can add plants to their yard that are both visually attractive and can tempt hungry birds without the need to fill feeders.

Photo – Goldfinch Feeding on Flowers © Don Kasak

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