Gold Finch on Echinacea Flower

Attracting Birds Part II: Drought-Resistant Plants

As a follow-up to our last blog post, Attracting Birds To Your Garden- Why & How, we wanted to share with you this list of 12 drought-resistant plants that birds love. Replacing any of your less water-friendly plants with any of these plant species will help you save on your water bill, reduce your water consumption, and attract birds to your garden. Our region of MA is still suffering from a Moderate Drought, so these plants are a particularly smart option for planting this season.

Thanks Birds and Blooms for this list!


Agastache flowers

1. Agastache (Agastache species) Known as hummingbird plant, licorice mint, Mexican hyssop or anise hyssop, depending on the species. Trumpet-shaped flowers attract hummingbirds, sphinx moths and butterflies. Seedheads provide food for birds. Zones 5 to 11; blooms from summer to fall.

2. Butterfly weed (Asclepias tuberosa) Flat-topped flower clusters are a nectar source for butterflies and hummingbirds. Includes milkweed, the caterpillar host plant for monarchs. Zones 3 to 9; flowers in summer.




3. Coreopsis (Coreopsis species) Nectar-rich blooms appeal to butterflies, such as skippers, buckeyes and painted ladies. Seeds provide food for sparrows, chickadees, finches and other seed-eating birds. Zones 3 to 11; summer to fall blooms.

4. Germander (Teucrium chamaedrys) Evergreen shrubby perennial serves as a shelter site for hibernating butterflies. Whorls of nectar-rich flower spikes attract a variety of butterflies and beneficial insects. Zones 5 to 10; blooms in summer.

5. Goldenrod (Solidago species) Flowers attract butterflies, including monarchs, blues and hairstreaks. Its seedheads attract varied bird species. Zones 3 to 10; midsummer to fall flowers.

6. Lavender (Lavandula species) Aromatic flowers attract many butterflies, especially skippers, painted ladies and sulphurs. Finches and other birds dine on seedheads from early fall through winter. Zones 5 to 11; blooms in summer.


Penstemon- Watermelon Taffy Varietal
Penstemon- Watermelon Taffy Varietal

7. Penstemon (Penstemon species) Bell-shaped flowers attract moths and butterflies, such as skippers and swallowtails, as well as hummingbirds. Provides seeds for birds and serves as a caterpillar host plant for some checkerspot butterflies. Zones 3 to 10; summer flowers.

8. Purple coneflower (Echinacea species) Coneflower blooms offer nectar for fritillaries, skippers and viceroy butterflies, as well as hummingbirds. Late autumn seedheads attract finches, chickadees and nuthatches. Zones 3 to 10; flowers in summer.

9. Rudbeckia (Rudbeckia species) Daisy-like flowers provide nectar for butterflies. Birds relish the seedheads. Zones 3 to 10; blooms summer through fall.

10. Salvia (Salvia species)

Salvia 'May Night'
Salvia ‘May Night’ in bloom in early June.

These annuals, biennials and perennials attract hummingbirds, butterflies and moths. Perennials are hardy in Zones 4 to 11, though it differs by variety; summer blooms.

11. Sedum (Sedum species) Diverse group of succulents provide nectar for butterflies and, occasionally, hummingbirds. Late autumn to winter seedheads attract birds, including finches and chickadees. Zones 4 to 11; spring to autumn flowers, depending on species.


Yarrow (Achillea species)
Yarrow (Achillea species)

12. Yarrow (Achillea species) Flattened clusters of tiny flowers attract hummingbirds and butterflies. Seeds appeal to many birds. Zones 3 to 10; summer to early fall blooms.”