Best Shrubs For Birds

Planting shrubs for birds has become increasingly popular in recent years, as more gardeners have realized that their yards can serve as extensions of the natural world. However, natural habitat is being destroyed at an alarming rate, and there are fewer places for wild birds to feed. Regardless of whether you’re gardening for aesthetic or functional reasons, the best shrubs for birds are those that will not only add color to your yard or garden, but also attract colorful bird species.

Viburnum pragense

The spring blossoms of viburnums are a real treat. Although self-incompatible, this shrub does well in light to partial shade and likes moderately fertile soil with a pH of 5.6 to 6.6. Plants planted near each other tend to produce more fruit. Viburnums thrive in containers and tolerate partial shade well. They are also drought-tolerant and rarely suffer from pests or fungal disease.

A variety of cultivars are available. Some varieties are fragranceless, while others are non-floral. ‘Mariesii’ is the most common cultivar, with white lacecap flowers and berries in late spring and early summer. V. sargentii ‘Onondaga’ has maroon foliage and flowers and V. plicatum var. tomentosum has burgundy sterile florets.

To care for your viburnum pragense plant, remember to feed it regularly. Fertilize before the soil freezes to encourage vegetative growth. Use a high-nitrogen fertilizer during the vegetative stage. In later flowering stages, you can substitute a high-phosphorus fertilizer. Pruning should be light and minimal. ‘Pragense’ does not require much pruning.

American cranberrybush viburnum

An excellent choice for a deciduous hedge, American cranberrybush viburnim is a stalwart shrub border. The fruiting shrubs attract birds with their red, pink, and blue berries. The berries are edible for birds and last well into winter. The fruits are also attractive to humans, as they resemble edible cherries. During the summer, you can view colorful clusters of blossoms, such as Cardinal Candy. If you want to give your landscape an even more striking look, you can prune your Blackhaw shrub to make a single trunk.

The foliage of this shrub is attractive, too. The American Cranberrybush is a favorite of people, and is a valuable source of food for late-winter and early-spring migrants. The fruit hangs in clusters throughout the summer, and birds will often feed on the fruit in late summer and early fall. When the berries ripen in fall, they are delicious treats for birds.

The fruit of this shrub is edible and delicious and can be enjoyed fresh or preserved. Its three lobed maple-like leaves turn red in the fall. The fig tree’s leaves are also ornamental, and its fruit is a bright red highlight for a woodland garden. If you have a green thumb, you should consider planting this shrub. Compared to most other shrubs, it is relatively easy to care for and has an attractive look.

Red-twig dogwood

Red-twig dogwoods are popular for their spectacular fall colors. They boast showy red-orange twigs and white flowers, often with multiple colors on the same leaf. Dogwood shrubs have beautiful red bark and thin twigs, which turn a variety of shades of red in the fall and winter. Red-twig dogwoods have red twigs and leaves and are best suited to warm, moist soils in USDA zones three to seven.

If you want to attract more birds, consider planting a red-twig dogwood. This native shrub will attract a variety of bird species. The Spring Azure butterfly uses it as its larval host. It has four distinct seasons and is an excellent choice for wildlife habitat. Its foliage is attractive to both birds and insects, and the flowers attract a variety of other birds and insects. If you’re looking for the best shrubs for birds, consider planting this one in your yard.

You can choose from a wide range of cultivars of Red-twig dogwood, including variegated varieties with gray-green and white leaves. Cardinal is a selection developed in Minnesota with red-orange stems. Coloradoensis is native to the western U.S. and is a compact, dwarf dogwood with bright red stems. Other varieties include Midwinter Fire, Silver and Gold, and Cardinal.

Highbush blueberry

The Highbush blueberry is an ornamental plant with edible fruit. Its shrub form makes it an excellent choice for planting alongside azaleas. It is also similar in soil requirements and can be pruned during the winter. Blueberries grow up to 8 feet tall and are best suited to areas that are slightly acidic. Highbush blueberries need full sun or partial shade. For best results, plant them in a location that is at least two feet above ground level.

This native shrub grows in full sun to part shade, but is drought-tolerant. Its flowers attract hummingbirds and bees . The berries are also attractive to many songbirds, including the Cardinal and Henry’s Elfin. Even though the flowers are a nuisance, the berries are a valuable food source for many types of birds. In addition to birds, it is also a great source of cover for songbirds.

If you’d like to attract birds to your yard, consider planting an Ilex glabra. This shrub grows 6-10 feet tall and has several dwarf cultivars. The red fall berries attract many species of birds. The flowers are inconspicuous, but the berries last until the end of winter, making them an ideal shrub for birds. The highbush blueberry will tolerate a variety of soil conditions, from dry to moist. The flowers and berries will be a great source of nutrition for birds in the winter.


If you want to attract birds to your garden, you must plant chokecherry. This shrub grows well in a variety of habitats, including moist and dry areas, partially shaded and sunny spots, and depleted soil. Chokecherry is a stalwart of the hedgerow community and is native to areas from New Mexico to Yukon. Chokecherry is considered to be a single species in the East, but it is actually considered to be different varieties in the West.

The twigs of the chokecherry are edible for most wild animals, including birds. However, the foliage is toxic to livestock and cattle. This is why many people think it is best left to a specialist. Chokecherry twigs have a bitter taste and almond-like scent when crushed. However, many birds find the berries delicious and a great source of nutrition for wintering birds.

Another shrub that provides food to birds is the alder. Although the fruit of this shrub is small and inconspicuous, the berries are highly nutritious and attract a variety of bird species. The fruit of the Chokecherry is a favorite among brown thrashers and other songbirds. This shrub can be planted in a hedge or in the landscape and can spread by suckers.


For those looking for a beautiful plant that will attract a variety of birds to your yard, consider adding a blackberry shrub. This low-growing shrub is the favorite food of more than 150 bird species. Its berries and seeds attract a wide variety of bird species, including woodpeckers, tanagers, sparrows, and many others. It is also great for forest edges, and native blackberries can be found at a local native plant nursery.

The waxy gray berries of the bayberry shrub are delicious for birds, and the fragrant foliage attracts bluebirds in small flocks. The semi-evergreen bayberry grows to seven feet tall and can be pruned to maintain a smaller size. The foliage is a great privacy hedge . Bayberry is a good plant for gardeners looking for a shrub that attracts birds, so they’re worth considering.

Some birds’ diet is dependent on insects, so they have to find other ways to supplement their diet. Fortunately, many berry-producing shrubs also make beautiful garden plants. They provide a substantial portion of a bird’s winter diet. In addition, birds also help the environment by eating leaf-eating insects, reducing the number of pest insect populations. Adding a bayberry shrub to your yard could make a big difference for your backyard wildlife.


This plant is both male and female, and it has greenish-white flowers in spring and summer, as well as black fruits in fall and winter. Both the male and female plants need pollination from bees to produce their berries. The leaves of the inkberry are shiny green on top, and duller green on the underside. They have smooth edges except near the tip, which has teeth. Inkberry prefers moist soil but tolerates clay and road salt runoff.

The berries on inkberry are not ornamentally impressive, but they provide food for birds. Bobwhite quail, wild turkey, and songbirds like the berries of this shrub, and they are also a good source of food for opossums, rabbits, and coyotes. Inkberry foliage also provides excellent winter cover for wildlife. It is widely adapted, making it a great plant for a wide variety of situations.

Inkberry Holly is one of the best shrubs for birds. This shrub is a native cross over plant that can be used as a formal hedge or specimen plant. The blue berries it produces in the winter are eaten by mockingbirds and other birds. If you grow this shrub in a shaded area, you may want to consider pruning it to a height of about 1.5 feet every year to maintain its shape.

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