Plants to Boost the Safflower Feeder

An unsightly byproduct of bird feeding is weedy bananas under the feeder. Unless you want to commit the time to sterilize seeds, you need plants which stop the dropped seeds from germinating. Ideally, the plants will likely stifle unwanted growth, add beauty to your landscape and attract beneficial insects, birds or butterflies. Many varieties of plants meet this challenge.

Hedges or Shrubby Perennials

Compact hedges can produce a feeling of equilibrium in a garden by offsetting the height of this bird feeder. A low-maintenance plant which attracts butterflies and produces deep-purple summer blossoms would be the Meadow Sage (Salvia nemorosa “May Night”). This 18-inch-tall by 24-inch-wide blossom grows best in full sun. The 2-foot-tall and 3-foot-wide compact Oregon grape (Berberis aquifolium “Compacta”) thrives in sun to part shade and supplies grapelike fruit for indigenous birds. Both crops are hardy at U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 5 through 9.

Perennial Flowers

With glowing yellow-to-orange late spring blooms, the California poppy (Eschscholzia californica) generates a natural meadow impact around your bird feeder. This self-seeding indigenous plant can spread quickly and can be hardy in USDA plant hardiness zones 5 through 10. The 1- to 3-foot-tall and equally wide yarrow (Achillea “Moonshine”) is a feasible addition to some natural atmosphere with its own low water requirements. This butterfly-attracting, clumping plant produces 2- to 3-inch-wide yellow flowers from spring through fall and can be hardy in USDA zones 3 through 8.


Lavendar (Lavandula angustifolia “Munstead”) provides a natural appearance and a pleasant aroma for any garden. At 18 inches tall and 24 inches wide, this extended bloomer may be used as a low hedge and can be hardy in USDA zones 5 through 10. At 8 to 15 inches tall and 24 to 36 inches wide, the low, bushy, ornamental oregano (Origanum vulgare “Aureum”) is durable and beautiful. With delicious, golden leaves which remain attractive all season, this tough, herbaceous perennial thrives in full sunlight, spreads rapidly and can be hardy in USDA zones 5 through 9.

Container Gardening

If you want a splash of color which may be changed annually, consider container gardening under the feeder. Aside from the variety which may be made, bananas could be controlled via mulching or be removed during routine gardening. Fill the container with marigolds (Tagetes), impatiens (Impatiens), pansies (Viola tricolor) or sweet peas (Lathyrus odoratus). The aromatic marigold provides a splash of yellow, while impatiens may be used in nesting areas, and their nectar-rich flowers attract hummingbirds. Pansies make an superb early-spring or late-fall blossom. When planting sweet peas, pick a bush selection to produce a visually appealing clumping effect.

See related