Leave Seed Heads for Songbirds

~ Kentucky Pollinators & Backyard Wildlife ~


As we begin the transition from summer to fall, many of our summer flowers are starting to go to seed. It is often tempting to cut off the seed heads in an attempt to make our gardens looks neater, especially if you don’t want the plants spreading anymore. However, songbirds love to eat the seeds of many of our wildflowers. Purple coneflowers, grey-headed coneflowers, black-eyed susans, sunflowers (native and ornamental), and ironweed are just a few examples of flowers that produce seeds which songbirds will devour. So if you want an easy way to attract more songbirds to your yard, just allow your summer flowers to go to seed instead of chopping them down as soon as they finish flowering.

One way to attract songbirds, such as goldfinches, to the garden is to allow wildflowers to go to seed. Photo credit: Eric Burson, cc-by-sa 3.0



Shannon Trimboli is a beekeeper, farmer, wildlife biologist, and author. She owns Grassy Roads Farm and Busy Bee Nursery & Consulting. Busy Bee Nursery & Consulting specializes in plants and habitat consulting services for honey bees, native pollinators, and wildlife conservation. In 2018, her first book, Plants Honey Bees Use in the Ohio and Tennessee Valleys, was published. Shannon also writes a weekly blog called Kentucky Pollinators and Backyard Wildlife. The blog features profiles of pollinators and wildlife, tips for attracting pollinators and wildlife, highlights of different plants for pollinators and wildlife, and life on the farm and nursery. You can sign up to have her blog emailed to you.

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