Plants with berries add winter interest to the garden and also attract many different types of birds. But which berries are best for your yard, and how can you ensure a bountiful buffet for your feathered friends to enjoy?

Caring for Berries

No matter which berries you choose to add to your landscape, opt for varieties native to your region. They are more readily adapted to the local climate changes.  Furthermore, regional birds will recognize the berries more easily.

Plant berry bushes as early as possible so the plants have plenty of time to become established in your landscape and bear copious amounts of fruit for the winter. Water them well throughout the summer and fall to encourage a good crop of plump, rich berries. Avoid pruning the bushes in autumn, and instead leave the branches intact, complete with their tasty treats. Not only will winter wildlife enjoy the feast, but the extra shelter from unpruned bushes will also be appreciated.

Best Winter Berries

There are many different types of berries that can attract winter birds, but two standouts are top picks for winter interest, not only for the birds but for their beauty in the garden.

  • Hollies
    Winterberry, Weeping Yaupon, and Inkberry Hollies provide great cover and nesting sites as well as edible berries in shades of red, orange and yellow.
  • Eastern Red Cedar
    This native evergreen has a huge feathered following.  The dense clusters of navy blue berries attract different thrushes, bluebirds, woodpeckers, and ruby-crowned kinglets.

While it may be hard to find these plants at the garden center this time of year, make a mental note to look for them in the Spring.  Next Winter birds will love the berries they can find in your yard, and you will love the visual interest and seasonal color these beneficial plants provide.