Attracting Birds

with Florida’s Native Wildflowers

Landscaping with Florida’s native wildflowers and plants provides refuge for birds, bees and butterflies while creating “habitat highways” through urban settings.

Add wildflowers to your landscape now to help birds thrive!

To bring birds into your landscape, plant a variety of Florida native wildflowers that provide food and habitat. Include species that produce nectar and seeds, attract insects, and offer shelter.

Wildflowers for nectar

Hummingbirds gather nectar from wildflowers with tubular flowers. Many flowers produce fruit that other birds will eat.

Hummingbird on Standing cypress, Ipomopsis rubra
Hummingbird on Standing cypress (Ipomopsis rubra) by Peg Urban

Wildflowers for insects and caterpillars

Most birds feed insects to their chicks, and many insects visit wildflowers for nectar and pollen. Insect-eating birds include goldfinches, chickadees, titmice, cardinals, grosbeaks, wood warblers, blue jays, sparrows, thrashers, nuthatches, crows and mockingbirds. Some great Florida wildflowers to plant for attracting insects are:

Long-tailed Skipper on Blazing star (Liatris sp.) by Mary Keim

Wildflowers for seeds

Sparrows, warblers, finches, nuthatches, titmice, chickadees, cardinals and indigo buntings feed on seeds, as well as larger birds like thrashers, redwing blackbirds, bobwhites, doves, mockingbirds, catbirds and grosbeaks. After wildflowers have bloomed, leave seedheads on the plants for birds. Other flowerheads may shatter, scattering seeds on the ground that  attract smaller birds, such as finches.

Northern parula on Coreopsis
Northern parula on Coreopsis by Christina Evans

Gardening tips

  • Choose a diversity of wildflowers that bloom across the seasons.
  • Include species of various heights.
  • Cluster wildflowers in groups of 3 or more of each species.
  • Leave space in your plantings for growth and movement.
  • Include native trees such as oaks, black cherry, maples and pines that provide insects.
    Remember: Decomposing leaf litter used as mulch is also a source for insects.
  • Add a birdbath to complete your bird sanctuary.
A birdbath provides water for drinking and bathing.

Great wildflowers for birds

Click on images to enlarge and see the plant’s name.