Today’s Solutions: August 14, 2022

There is a certain joy to seeing birds grace your garden and eat from the bird feeder. With that said, have you seen the price of birdseed lately? It’s expensive. In one city in the Southeast, a 50-pound bag of black oil sunflower seed costs $64.99. Fortunately, there’s a much more budget-friendly way to attract birds to your yard or garden. Grow the plants that produce the seed that birds love. When the plants bloom, just leave the flowers on the plants instead of cutting them. Without further ado, here are 10 blooming plants that produce seeds or nectar that birds can’t resist.

Asters: These perennials have starry-shaped daisy-like flower heads. They bring delightful color to the garden in late summer and autumn when many summer flowers may be fading. Height ranges from 8 inches to 8 feet, depending on the type. The good thing is asters grow in almost any garden condition.

Autumn Joy’ sedum: Just when most perennials slow down for the fall, sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ lives up to its name. That’s when its broccoli-shaped flower heads burst into a deep pink, copper, or rosy-coral color on top of thick stalks 15-18 inches high. This drought-tolerant sedum does best in or near the front of full sun to light shade flower bed in ordinary garden soil with other perennials such as Agastache or Salvia and ornamental grasses. 

Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia): This garden classic, with its dark centers and bright flowers, will add a pool of color to containers, beds, borders, wildflower meadows, and native plant gardens. They are easy to grow when planted in sun to part sun and will bloom from mid-summer to fall. 

Coreopsis: Coreopsis, also called tickseed, is a genus with more than 100 wildflower species and the genus itself is the official state wildflower of Florida. Plants in the genus like well-drained soils, including sandy soil, and full to part sun. They flower best when watered regularly, but will tolerate drought.

Goldenrod (Solidago): Goldenrods flower from late summer into the fall. There are more than 50 species in North America, most of which have spectacular displays of bright yellow flowers. These flowers love the sun and don’t cause allergies.

Liatris: Commonly known as Blazing Star or Gayfeather, this is an under-used genus of strong vertical bloom stems that carry multitudes of purple to lavender flowers. They do well in a sunny border, especially when grown with purple and white coneflowers that will help support their flowering stems.

Mexican sunflower (Tithonia): This native of Mexico has flowers that are a deep orange-red and grow up to 3 inches in diameter. Tithonia will grow in average soil with good drainage but must have good sun. 

Purple coneflower (Echinacea): This is the poster child for flowers that grow well in home gardens and produce blooms that turn to seed heads that attract birds. The plants are drought tolerant and the flowers feature vibrant colors, showy cones, and a long bloom season. 

Sunflower (Helianthus): This classic will give your garden a splash of color and attracts birds such as goldfinches, titmice, and cardinals.

Zinnia: Few plants offer a dazzling array of color choices and large flowers of zinnias. Plus, They are easy to grow, heat tolerant, and put on a colorful mid-to-late summer show when other annuals are wilting in the heat.

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