Spring Food

The perfect plants 

Building your own bird-friendly garden is half the fun of bringing wild birds to your yard.

But building a bird-friendly garden is not as simple as putting in a few trees and shrubs and hoping for the best. In fact some plant varieties (eg avocado, rhubarb etc) can be poisonous to certain species of birds and should be avoided at all costs. Talk to your local nursery about potentially toxic plants. 

The good news is that there is a wide range of ‘healthy’ shrubs and plants that wild birds just love. Common plant species such as Acacia, African violets, Aloe, Bamboo and even Begonia appeal to a wide variety of bird species.

The list of safe plants below had been compiled from a number of sources (including some local knowledge) and will be a great start when planning out your garden. Click one of the plant families below for more bird-safe plants.

Bromeliads - A member of the bromeliaceae family, bromeliads are easy to care for and require very little maintenance.

Ferns - One of the oldest plant families these leafy plants thrive in moist areas.

Figs - A tree that tolerates a wide variety of climates – birds love them!

Palms – Another popular choice for birds, the palm can survive in a range of temperatures and comes in a range of varieties.


Chickweed  Christmas cactus  Cissuskangaroo

Coffee tree  Coleus  Corn plant

Crab apple  Creeping Charlie  Dandelion

Dogwood  Donkey tail  Dracaena

Dragon tree  Easter cactus  Gold dust dracaena

Elephant foot tree    Eucalyptus


Asparagus  Bird nest  Boston

Drake  Ribbon  Dish

Button  Mother  Maidenhair

Sword  Squirrel’s foot  Deer’s foot, Fiji

Polybody, ball  Staghorn, elk’s horn


Creeping  Edible  Fiddle leaf

Laurel leaf  Weeping  Gardenia

Gold dust  Grape ivy  Hen & chickens

Hibiscus  Jade plant  Kalanchoe

Magnolia  Mango  Marigold

Monkey plant  Mother-in-law’s tongue  Nasturtium

Natal plum  Nerve plant  Norfolk Island pine


Areca, butterfly  Bamboo  Date

European fan  Fan  Fishtail

Holly  Howeia  Kentia

Lady  Parlour  Phoenix

Pony tail  Pygmy date  Rhapis

Roebelin  Sago  Sentry

Wine  Passion flower  Peperomia

Pothos  Prayer plant  Purple passion

Pyracantha  Red-margined  Rubber plant

Schefflera  Sensitive plant  Snake plant

Spider or airplane plant  Thanksgiving cactus  Thistle

Toyontree or California  Umbrella plant  Velvet plant

Wandering Jew  White clover  Yucca

Zebra plant.