Attract Birds with Hanging Baskets

American Robin in hanging basket
Some birds, such as the American Robin, will eagerly build a nest in your hanging baskets.

Themed gardens are a popular among gardeners. While there are a variety of themes for a flower garden, one of the most common is a garden to attract birds. A hanging basket garden designed to do so will allow you an up-close and personal look at your feathered friends while keeping your garden chores manageable.

Hanging Basket Gardens

Gardening in tight spaces

If you’re gardening in tight spaces, try creating a hanging basket garden. Hang them in a row on a porch, on a stand or at multiple levels from the same hook.

Gardeners assemble a variety of plants in hanging baskets, which are then arranged into hanging basket gardens. This form of container planting is great for people who have limited garden space and for those that have no lawn at all. Instead, they create beautiful displays to hang off their porch, railing or balcony.

To start your own hanging basket garden, you’ll need planters, basket liners, soil, water and plants. The biggest obstacle to maintain these plants is keeping them properly watered. Hanging baskets drain and dry out quickly, so in most cases daily watering is required.

On the flip side, the great thing about hanging baskets is that you can choose exactly what goes in every inch of the basket. It takes some true designing skills to look great.

By hanging two or three baskets next to the first, a hanging basket garden is underway! Hang them in a row along a balcony or off the same hook or plant stand but at multiple levels. No matter, the final look of it makes for a stunning effect.

Bird Friendly Plants for Hanging Baskets

While not every plant in your hanging basket can be 100 percent beneficial to birds, most are in one way or another. At the very least, the plant material inside a hanging basket can be used for emergency cover or as nesting material. Others will harbor bugs that birds love to eat.

Of course, some plants are definitely attractive to birds on their own, mostly as food. Some examples are:

  • Aster – Any variety of this common flower will beautify your baskets and bring in birds.
  • Bee Balm – Hummingbirds appreciate these purple pom-pom shaped blooms.
  • Cornflower – Enjoy a gorgeous pop of color with this bright blue flower that produces a seed that’s on many bird menus.
  • Coral Bells – A gorgeous flowing pink plant that will add texture and length to your baskets.
  • Fuschia – Another hummingbird favorite.
  • Moss Rose – Birds will happily harvest the seeds from a Moss Rose.
  • Violet – These small seeds are often prized by birds.
  • Zinnias – Birds appreciate the seeds from this bright purple flower

Are there more plants that birds love for one reason or another? Definitely! Try new combinations each season and observe what birds do when they visit your hanging baskets. You’ll be surprised how often a feathered friend drops in on one for a bite to eat!

Placing Your Hanging Baskets

Hummingbird flowers

Looking to attract hummingbirds and other birds to your porch? Try a hanging basket filled with flowers.

Now that your bird friendly hanging basket is planted, you need to consider a few other things to entice the birds to visit.

  • Attractiveness – Birds are incredibly visual animals, and that means a hanging basket that clearly features a favorite food source or nesting material will attract them more than anything else. If you have what they are looking for, they will happily visit!
  • Safety – It is important to make sure your hanging basket is located in a place where birds will not feel threatened. For instance, if you have cats at your house you shouldn’t place a bird-friendly basket in a location where cats can bat at birds or attempt to jump at them. Birds will not visit the basket if they feel that their safety may be compromised.
  • Comfort – Make sure that your hanging baskets are comfortable for the birds once they decide to visit! There should be a few places to perch. The basket’s hanging chain counts as one set of perches, but some birds prefer to sit level so leave some space along the lip of the hanging basket, too.
  • Activity – Since the point of this particular hanging basket is to attract birds, make sure it isn’t placed in an area of high activity from humans or pets. Birds that feel threatened won’t linger for long. You want a basket that birds stay for a while.
  • Convenience – Hanging baskets should be convenient for you and your birds. Make sure the basket is placed in an area where it’s easy to water and maintain. For the birds, make sure that it’s near a place to eat, such as a bird feeder, and that there is additional cover nearby so they can flee predators as needed.

Hanging Baskets as Nesting Sites

Another not-so-surprising way birds use your hanging baskets is as a nesting site. American Robins in particular find hanging baskets to be ideal nest sites. This is because most robins will build their nests on a platform or outcropping, and a hanging basket makes a handy substitute!

If a bird builds a nest in one of your hanging baskets, do your best not to disturb the growing family. Watering the plants could be difficult because you don’t want to soak the nest, eggs or any chicks. It’s best to water it minimally if at all. Luckily, you can rely on the weather to do some watering.

Another concern is that you may end up with a territorial bird nesting in your hanging basket. If that’s the case, watch out! They will dive bomb you whenever you get too close!

Most birds incubate their eggs for about two weeks and then take another two or three weeks to raise their young, so don’t get too impatient.

Show Us Your Best Baskets

Which plants will you use to create your bird themed basket? Share with our community by commenting on this post or visiting our Facebook wall!

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No Comments

  • Maureen Kenney says:

    Any ideas on hummingbirds?

    • Mackenzie Kupfer says:

      I love hummingbirds! You could also plant fuchsias which are perfect for hanging baskets. They will thrive in part shade to full shade from spring to fall. They are such a pretty flower, and the hummingbirds always stop to drink their nectar.

  • Garden Decor says:

    Hummingbirds seek out food primarily based on site during their normal migration patterns, so putting your hanging baskets in highly visible places is a good start. Some of the very common annuals used in baskets are great for attracting hummers. Petunias, Impatiens, and many varieties of Salvia are great for attracting and maintaining the attention of these birds.
    There’s a wide variety of vines and shrubs that are known to attract hummingbirds as well, if you are interested in decorative yard elements outside of hanging baskets. Azaleas, Butterfly Bushes, Honeysuckle varieties, and Morning Glory are hardy and easy to find at many garden centers.

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