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Grow the Best - Bird attracting plants

Birds love Nandina berriesBirds are attracted to gardens where there is some shelter and a regular supply of food. By planting bird attracting plants and making sure there’s plenty of clean water available you can also encourage them not only to feed from your feeding station but to also nest in your garden.

Grow some berries

Duranta have berries that turn bright yellowShrubs with berries always attract birds. Nandina Domestica is the one plant that in my own garden is frequently visited by the pair Bulbuls that live nearby for fresh berries. Also known as Sacred Bamboo they are incredibly versatile growing in sun and shade as well as making a striking container plant.
Read more on this versatile shrub here.
Duranta is often grown as topiary or clipped. If left to flower they get a flush of flowers followed by berries and often at the same time which is where they get their common name from, Forget me not’s. The blue Duranta Sapphire Showers is particularly attractive. Grow them in full sun and if left it will grow to around three metres high but as they respond well to shaping they can easily be used as a screening shrub or against a wall as a fast growing hedge.

Grasses

Plant grasses for seed eating birdsGrasses are so popular and with good reason. Growing in sun and shade they act as ground covers and as perennials they last a few years. Birds use grasses to line their nests and even to build them with in some cases. Grasses attract seed feeders to the garden mostly especially in autumn when they seed.
Some grasses such as the Lily Turf or Mondo will get small berries on them which also attract the birds. Most grasses benefit from being cut back at the end of winter to remove the old mat. After a feeding of BioGanic they soon return lush and full.

Natural nectar

Wild Dagga also attracts sunbirdsAloes are striking in winter but they are not the only nectar producing plants. Two of the indigenous ones we often recommend for a source of natural nectar are the Wild Dagga - Leonotis and the Cape Honeysuckle -Tecomeria.

Sunbirds are attracted to orange and red mostly but will also go for yellow. The Cape Honeysuckle flowers from autumn into winter and work best where they are against a wall for some protection from frost. The Wild Dagga grow tall, almost 2 metres. They get beautiful umbrellas of orange flowers late summer into autumn.

By planting the water wise three of Aloes, Wild Dagga and Cape Honeysuckle one can attract nectar feeding birds to your garden from the end of summer right through to early spring.

Gardening for birds is very rewarding and there is always something different to try. For a bit of fun plant patches of mixed bird seed in a full sun spot and you'll be fascinated to see the response from local birds.