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What To Plant Under Bird Feeders [8+ Suggestions]

Planning out your garden can feel like an endless task sometimes. Do you have a bird feeder that needs some attention but don't know where to begin? What plants should you grow under a bird feeder? Do birds like flowers? Luckily, we have the answers below. Let's discuss!

There are plenty of options for those wanting to plant flowers or shrubs beneath their bird feeder. In general, you can grow wildflowers beneath a bird feeder, including:

  1. Geraniums
  2. Daylilies
  3. Clematis
  4. Lupines
  5. Dahlias
  6. Cotoneaster
  7. Lemon balm
  8. Coneflowers

Of course, you don't have to stick to just wildflowers, but birds are very attracted to their seeds. That can make your bird feeder even more enticing, so it's something to consider.

As we begin, we will cover all things bird feeders and discuss what plants to grow beneath one. Whether you want a floral bird feeder landscape or prefer something less vibrant, we're here to help. With that said, let's dive right into this post!

Two male European greenfinches (Chloris chloris) are sitting on a silo bird feeder filled with mixed seeds, What To Plant Under Bird Feeders [8+ Suggestions]

What Should You Plant Under A Bird Feeder?

In general, flowering plants will be best underneath a bird feeder. As we mentioned, growing wildflowers can be a great idea to attract birds with their many seeds.

Overwintering birds will pick up these seeds and eat them once the spring hits, making for an even better afternoon snack. Furthermore, the birds in your yard can also spread wildflower seeds, ultimately helping you grow more.

On top of wildflowers, however, you can try growing sunflowers, plants that spread (yellow archangel), and even a few holly bushes.

Typically, the more bright and fragrant the landscape near a bird feeder, the more birds will come. Remember, birds depend on their vision from the sky, so if your garden doesn't look attractive, don't expect too many visitors.

You also want to remember that the plants growing underneath your feeder can't be too tall. For example, plant a low variety if you want to grow sunflowers under a bird feeder.

Having your plant take over the bird feeder can deter birds and even uproot your feeder from the ground.

You can also try using bright mulch and stones around a bird feeder to add vibrance, so you don't always need a ton of plants.

sparrows on garden feeder waiting to have a turn

What Plants Attract Birds To A Bird Feeder?

For anyone wanting to bring in more birds to their feeder, some plants attract them better than others. Of course, this can depend on the types of birds in your area, so everyone will be slightly different.

As we covered earlier, wildflowers like geraniums, daylilies, clematis, lupines, dahlias, cotoneasters, lemon balms, and even coneflowers are great for under a bird feeder.

Wildflowers generally tend to be the best way to get new birds into your garden, as they produce many seeds in the spring and smell delicious.

Furthermore, you can also try other low-growing plants beneath a bird feeder, like sunflowers or holly. The key here is to have landscaping that is inviting, not overpowering.

Bright hues and floral smells do the best job of getting birds to your garden and feeding.

Landscaping alongside your flowers and shrubs is also essential. As we mentioned, you can find brighter-tone rocks or mulch to use underneath your bird feeder, so this is easy.

vibrant colored lilies blooming in a garden at topsmead state forest in Litchfield Connecticut

Stella D'oro Yellow Daylilies

These daylilies come in a five-pack, are bare-root perennials, will grow about a foot tall, need well-drained soil, and typically ship out within seven days.

View these daylilies on Amazon.

Rare Mix Colors Dahlia Seeds

This pack of dahlia seeds comes with 100 pieces, will grow around eight inches tall, bloom between summer and autumn, and typically ship out within seven days.

Follow this link to view them on Amazon.

Do I Need To Plant Something Under My Bird Feeder?

Although you don't necessarily "need" to plant something below a bird feeder, that doesn't mean you shouldn't. In general, if you leave a bird feeder alone in your yard, birds may not see or notice it from above.

For that reason, it's imperative to add plenty of color below and around your feeder. Whether you choose wildflowers or decorative mulch/gravel, it's good to have something pop.

Additionally, you want to make the space around a bird feeder feel friendly and protective. Even though birds don't have many predators, they don't want to feel like a target while they're eating in your garden.

On the other hand, if you don't like a traditional, in-ground bird feeder, you can always hang one from a tree and skip the landscaping altogether.

Again, every garden is different, so make a choice that fits you/your space.

Do Bird Feeders Attract Birds?

As long as you have protective plants nearby, a bird feeder should do a nice job of attracting birds. With that said, depending on where you live, you may have to get creative to see an increase in traffic.

According to the National Wildlife Federation, birds tend to gravitate towards feeders with protective plants nearby: trees. They mention how birds fly down into a nearby shrub before making their way to an actual feeder.

From there, the bird will briefly stop by your feeder, eat a snack, and then fly into a tree close by. Although this isn't foolproof, many bird-watching experts notice this similar pattern when watching the birds in their yard stop by for some food.

As we mentioned above, the safer birds feel, the more likely they will come to your property. Having your bird feeder in a barren, unprotected location can create a dangerous situation for potential birds, which will deter them from your garden.

So, if you want to be the new hot spot in town, have shrubs, flowers, and a tree close to your bird feeder.

How Do I Stop Weeds From Growing Under My Bird Feeder?

An old man throws out a weed that was harvested from his garden

If you're dealing with weeds growing below your bird feeder, there are some things to try. One of the main reasons weeds grow beneath a bird feeder is that seeds fall constantly.

According to CS Monitor, you want to use a tray attachment below your bird feeder to prevent any extra seeds from reaching the ground below.

Doing this will keep unwanted plants and weeds from growing while protecting your flowers/foliage.

They also mention the importance of choosing bird food that won't sprout in the ground if they fall—sunflower hearts, peanuts, peanut butter, raisins, mealworms, and plain suet cakes.

On top of those ideas, you can also use your landscaping to your advantage. Lay down mulch, rocks, or even sand beneath your bird feeder, which may help lessen the number of weeds able to flourish.

Like anywhere in your yard, weeds are inevitable. You also want to be cautious of how you remove them around a bird feeder, as harsh chemicals can harm the birds coming to eat.

Therefore, we don't recommend using chemically-based or toxic weed killers anywhere close to a bird feeder, so keep that in mind.

Brome Store Seed Catcher Tray

This bird seed catching tray works under your bird feeder, fits on a one-inch pole, is black, heavy-duty plastic material, measures 11x4x21 inches, and is UV resistant.

Check out this tray on Amazon here.

How Many Bird Feeders Should I Have In My Yard?

two goldfinches in flight around two hanging bird feeders with a blue tit perching on each feeder

Although this may be surprising, it's best to have close to seven bird feeders in a garden. Typically, birds will travel together, meaning there will be more than one hungry guest.

According to many experts, having a range of 4-10 bird feeders in your yard is sufficient, so you can have less or more than that seven.

However, many bird feeders have multiple points of entry for birds, so you don't have to install seven separate feeders throughout your property.

With that said, you can try hanging feeders from tree branches and using in-ground options if you want your yard to be a popular location.

Again, this can be easier said than done, so start small and work your way into creating an entire city for birds to enjoy.

Gray Bunny 4-Port Bird Feeder

This bird feeder has four feeding ports, a hanging design, is premium-grade metal, chew-proof, weather and water-resistant, and comes in a six-port option.

See this hanging bird feeder on Amazon.

Is A Hanging Bird Feeder Better Or An In-Ground?

If you're stuck on what type of bird feeder to buy, this depends on your space. Generally, bird feeders that hang from trees are perfect for gardens with plenty of foliage.

However, if your garden is on the more barren side, you might prefer to put your feeder in the ground. As we mentioned earlier, birds need to be able to see your feeder easily.

So, hanging one inside a tree isn't always the most visible idea. Instead, try putting a bird feeder or two on a post in the ground, and then hang a few from a nearby tree.

Then, you invite birds to hang out in various sections of your property, which could make your yard the most popular on the block.

Again, everyone will be different, so make sure to find a bird feeder that fits your space.

To Wrap It All Up

Two male European greenfinches (Chloris chloris) are sitting on a silo bird feeder filled with mixed seeds

Whether you want to add a bird feeder into your yard or have one, it's always good to know what to plant beneath it. From what we found, fragrant, bright flowers tend to be the best idea here.

Specifically, wildflowers and low-growing sunflowers will be perfect for under a bird feeding space. Additionally, you can try to use colorful landscaping under a bird feeder and plant protective bushes close by.

The key here is to give birds a safe spot to eat and relax, so the more protection and coverage, the more birds will make their way into your garden.

Made it to the end? Check out these helpful related garden posts below!

Where To Place A Bird Feeder In The Garden

11 Beautiful Arizona Flowering Shrubs And Trees

Can You Just Throw Wildflower Seeds On Grass?