Top 12 Small Trees & Shrubs to Attract Butterflies & Birds
- beautiful bird and butterfly lures for gardens or containers -

Posted on September 27, 2019

Top 12 Small Trees & Shrubs to Attract Butterflies & Birds
One of the joys of growing shrubs and trees, in the landscape or potted in large planters, is observing the beautiful birds and butterflies they attract. Here are recommendations of small shrubs and trees that provide berries, nectar, seeds or perches to entice local birds and butterflies to visit your garden.

1. Serviceberry ‘Regent’

Serviceberry Regent_AmelanchierThis compact selection, 4-6 feet (1.2-2m) tall, provides flowers and fruit for enjoyment. This is an early blooming deciduous shrub that produces deep purple fruit that is extra sweet and juicy. The berries are loved by people and birds alike.

2. Winterberry Holly ‘Red Sprite’ aka ‘Compacta’ aka ‘Nana’

Winterberry Holly_Ilex verticillata Red SpriteThis slow growing, suckering, deciduous, 3-5 foot (1-1.5m) tall shrub produces long-lasting, bright red berries that persist in the winter landscape. The berries are eaten by birds, but take note that male and female plants are needed to obtain fruit.

3. Butterfly Bush ‘White Ball’

Butterfly bush_Buddleia davidiiThe highly fragrant blossoms attract an assortment of butterflies to the garden. This attractive, dwarf selection, 24-36 inches (60-90cm) tall, displays white flower spikes against silver-blue foliage.

4. Weigela ‘Pink Poppet’

Weigela_Pink PoppetThis low maintenance, 24 inch (60cm) tall shrub provides a charming display of dainty pink blooms. The flowers are appreciated by hummingbirds.

5. Blue Mist Spirea Hint of Gold, ‘Lisaura’

Blue Mist Spirea_Caryopteris_Hint of GoldThe rich blue blooms contrast beautifully with the golden green leaves of this 24-30 inch (60-75cm) tall selection. The leaves retain their golden green color, even in the hottest summer weather. This is a terrific plant to include in butterfly gardens.

6. Glossy Abelia ‘Kaleidoscope’

Glossy AbeliaExpect a colorful combination of leaves and flowers from this lovely 24-36 inch (60-90cm) tall shrub. The leaves transition from yellow to orange and red in autumn. The highly fragrant white flowers attract butterflies.

7. Arrowwood Viburnum

Arrowwood ViburnumGrowing 6-15 feet (2-4.5m) tall, the berries of this native plant are enjoyed by birds and the white flowers are frequented by butterflies. This is a great choice for hedges or planting along fences and walls.

8. Lemon Bottlebrush ‘Little John’

Lemon Bottlebrush 'Little John'This shrub becomes covered by bottle brush-like red flowers and has distinctive lemon-scented leaves. This plant also tolerates heavy pruning. The flowers are loved by hummingbirds.

9. Spicebush

Spicebush_Lindera benzoinThis aromatic, native shrub produces clusters of yellow flowers before the leaves appear in spring. Bright red berries, which are attractive to birds, develop on female plants. This plant is a valuable food source for spicebush swallowtail caterpillars, rather than being a nectar source. Grows from 6-12 feet (2-4m) tall.

10. Firebush

Firebush_Hamelia patensAn extremely hardy, versatile and low maintenance shrub that grows 3-6 feet (1-2m) tall. The clusters of vibrant red-orange, tubular blossoms are loved by hummingbirds and butterflies. An additional attraction is the leaves turn bright red in autumn.

11. Lavender Aromatico™

Lavender_Lavandula angustifolia AromaticoThis reliable garden favorite displays highly fragrant flowers and leaves, which attract an assortment of butterflies. Plant this outstanding selection near walkways, decks and patios, where the scent can be enjoyed, and the butterfly visitors appreciated up close.

12. Crabapple DreamWeaver™

Crabapple_Malus DreamweaverThis selection is a fine choice for the landscape, offering excellent flowers and fruits. DreamWeaver™ forms a lovely narrow, upright 5-10 foot (1.5-3m) tree with purple leaves and pink flowers. Crabapple trees provide nesting sites, cover, and winter-persistent fruits for birds.

When you provide winged friends with food, shelter, nectar and nesting places, in return your garden gains color, texture, fragrance and structure. You also get the satisfaction of knowing you are benefiting the environment and the pleasure that comes from bringing the sights, sounds and colors of a wide variety of creatures to your garden.
Thrush with berries

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