Graphic of songbirds singing

Garden Plan to Attract Wisconsin Songbirds

There are a few things that are so beautiful like waking up to a beautiful songbird on your bedroom window sill.

If you want to enjoy them yourself, there is no need to keep them trapped in a cage — just plant the native plants they thrive on!

This guide features regional native plants for the Great Lakes that are highly attractive to our native songbirds and are well-suited to small-scale plantings in gardens, on business and school campuses, in urban greenspaces and farm field borders.

In planning your garden, be sure to have something blooming all season so there is always a food source for songbirds.

How To Attract Songbirds

  Provide a water source near protective shrubs during the summer months.

  Create a songbird border along your property edge by planting trees and shrubs that meet the needs of birds throughout the year.

  Reduce your lawn by at least 25% to favor meadow plants and taller grasses.

  Rake leaves under shrubs to create mulch and natural feeding areas for ground feeding birds.

  Clean tube feeders by taking them apart and using a dishwasher on a hot setting or hand wash either with soap and boiling water.

  Keep your cat Indoors.

See the KEY at the bottom for details on the 'Soil' and 'Moisture' codes.

Bloom Common Name Scientific Name Color Height Light Soil Moisture
EARLY Columbine Aquilegia canadensis Red, Yellow 1-3' Full sun icon Partial sun icon L,S D,M
Downy Phlox Phlox pilosa Pink 1-2' Full sun icon L,S D,M,Mo
MID Black-eyed Susan Rudbeckia hirta Yellow 1-3' Full sun icon Partial sun icon L,S,C D,M,Mo
Blue False Indigo Baptisia australis Blue 3-4' Full sun icon Partial sun icon L D,M
Pale Purple Coneflower Echinacea pallida Purple 3-5' Full sun icon L,S,C D,M
Purple Coneflower Echinacea purpurea Blue 3-5' Full sun icon Partial sun icon L,S,C D,M
Smooth Penstemon Penstemon digitalis White 2-3' Full sun icon Partial sun icon L,S M,Mo
MID-LATE Bergamot Mondarda fistulosa Purpl 4' Full sun icon Partial sun icon L,S,C D,M,O
Cup Plant Silphium perfoliatum Yellow 3-10' Full sun icon Partial sun icon L,S,C M,Mo,W
Dense Blazingstar Liatris spicata Pink, Purple 3-5' Full sun icon D,L,S M,Mo
Prairie Dropseed Sporobolus heterolepsis White 2-4' Full sun icon Partial sun icon L,C,S M
Stiff Goldenrod Solidago rigida Yellow 3-5' Full sun icon L,C,S D,M
Yellow Coneflower Ratibida pinnata Yellow 3-6' Full sun icon Partial sun icon C,L,S D,M,Mo
LATE Little Bluestem Schizachyrium
Purple, Bronze 2-4' Full sun icon L D,M
New England Aster Symphyotrichum
Blue, Pink, Purple 3-6' Full sun icon Partial sun icon L,C,S M,Mo
Smooth Aster Symphyotrichum
Blue 2-4' Full sun icon L,S D,M
Indian Grass Sorghastrum
Straw, Gold 5-7' Full sun icon L,C,S D,M,O

SOIL:       L = Loam       C = Clay       S = Sandy       R = Rocky
MOISTURE:   D = Dry       M = Medium       O = Moist       W = Wet 

More Garden Plans

  Bee Garden Plan
  Butterfly Garden Plan
  Ruby-Throated Hummingbird Plan
  Cut Flower Garden Play
  Dried Flower Garden Plan

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