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  • Lynda Bevere


Updated: Nov 6, 2023

One of the best ways to attract birds to your garden is to plant shrubs with berries. In addition to the birds enjoying the berry food source, the shrubs also provide shelter and nesting sites for the birds. Another added bonus is that these shrubs are often quite beautiful and are a lovely addition to your garden. So next time you are looking for a shrub, maybe consider one of the following shrubs with berries.

1. Cephalantus occidentalis (Buttonbush)

Buttonbush grows best in full to part sun and medium to wet soil. It has white flowers that bloom in June and mature into spherical fruits with tiny seeds. USDA zones 5-9.

2. Sambucus canadensis (American Elderberry)

Native to the United States, American Elderberry does well in full or part sun and can handle wet soil. It is a large shrub reaching a height and width up to 15 feet. USDA zones 3-10.

3. Vaccinium corymbosum (Highbush Blueberry)

Highbush blueberry is another large native shrub reaching up to 12 feet in height and width. It grows in full or part sun and medium to wet soil. USDA zones 5-8.

4. Cotoneaster sp. (Cotoneaster)

There are many different species of the non-native Cotoneaster which generally are low growing and thus a good groundcover. The shrub thrives in full to part sun in a variety of planting zones. USDA zones 4-7.

5. Ilex sp. (Holly)

The Ilex genera is very large and includes species both evergreen and not and comes in many shapes, sizes and leaf color. They do well in full to part sun. The native species of this genera are glabra, opaca and verticillata. USDA zones 3-9 (depending on species).

6. Juniperus virginiana (Red Cedar)

Red Cedar is another native species that comes in a variety of shapes and sizes. It is a conifer that prefers full sun. USDA zones 2-9.

7. Cornus racemosa and Cornus sericea (Gray and Red Dogwood)

Cornus is another very large genera that comes in both native and non-native species and in tree and shrub form. Cornus racemosa and cornus sericea are the native shrub varieties and do well in full to part sun. USDA zones 4-8.

8. Viburnum sp. (Viburnum)

Viburnums are beautiful, hardy shrubs that come in a variety of sizes and are both native and non-native. They all generally have white flowers in spring and fabulous colored berries in late summer and fall. The native species are acerifolium, dentatum and nudum. USDA zones 2-9 (depending on species).

9. Myrica pensylvanica (Northern Bayberry)

Native to Eastern North America, Bayberry grows 5 to 10 feet tall and wide and does well in full to part sun. USDA zones 3-7.


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