Flowers attract birds to your garden not because of the beautiful colors, but because they provide the birds with a food source. Hummingbirds drink the nectar from the blossoms and songbirds eat the nutritious seeds after the flowers have faded. To encourage hummingbirds to visit your garden, deadhead your flowers to promote new blossom growth. This will provide an ongoing nectar source for the hummingbirds. To provide food for finches, sparrows, cardinals and other birds, do not deadhead all the dying blossoms; instead allow some of the flowers to produce seeds for fall and winter food.
Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta) is a perennial flower that produces a daisy-like blossom with bright yellow petals surrounding a dark brown center. This flower grows 2 to 3 feet in height by July. The green, lance-shaped leaves are 2 to 4 inches long. Black-eyed Susans create an abundant amount of seeds in the fall.
Coral bells (Heuchera sanguinea) grow 12 to 24 inches tall. This compact, bushy flower forms clumps of evergreen rosettes of heart-shaped foliage. The leaves provide a background of green and purple-bronze color. Tiny pink, red and white bell-shaped blossoms droop down from the green stalks. The green leaf variety of coral bells prefers full sun exposure while the purple leaf type enjoys mostly shade. Hummingbirds enjoy drinking the nectar of coral bell blossoms.
Lantana (Lantana montevidensis) is a flowering, semi-evergreen groundcover that tends to drop its leaves in cold temperatures. Lantana grows 12 inches tall and spreads to 6 feet wide with clumps of small triangular, velvety leaves. White, lavender and pink blossoms have four petals that cluster together to form the flower head. Lantana blooms from March until the first frost, it produces clusters of seeds for birds in the fall.
Mexican Bush Sage
Mexican bush sage (Salvia leucantha) is a shrub-like perennial flower. This bush is evergreen in warmer climates. The shrub grows 2 to 6 feet tall and equally as wide. The narrow, green leaves have soft, silver-colored undersides. The purple flower spike consists of many tubular-shaped blossoms three-quarter inch long. Hummingbirds are attracted to the Mexican bush sage blooms.
Partridge pea (Cassia fasciculata) is an annual flower with a hairy stem that reaches 3 feet in height. The compound leaves are made up of up to 15 pairs of bright green leaflets. Bright yellow flowers are created by four petals with red markings in the center. These blossoms appear on long flower stalks. After the blooms have faded, 1- to 3-inch long pea pods develop. Each pod contains four to 20 seeds. Leave the seed pods on the plants to supply birds with a winter food source.
Sunflower (Helianthus annuus) is a member of the daisy family. Common sunflowers reach 8 to 15 feet in height with heart-shaped leaves. The flower head grows up to 12 inches across. Orange and yellow petals surround a wide brown floral disk. This disk turns into seeds once the sunflower is mature. The dried flower head attracts birds to the large sunflower seeds produced.