Not only do these indigenous plants attract garden birds, each is strikingly beautiful and thrives in South Africa’s warm weather…

Before you start deciding on which indigenous plants to grow in your garden to attract birds, do some research on which birds live in your area. Once you know which birds you want to attract, try to mimic their natural habitat by incorporating plants they love. And remember to add some water bowls or baths throughout.

Acacia

Weavers love acacia trees, and there’s no better way to add that African feel to your garden. Their canopies create shade and also provide privacy if planted near a boundary wall. Hang bird feeders from their branches to make them even more attractive, and you’ll soon notice a whole bunch of new avian visitors to your garden.

Aloes

Aloes are perfect for attracting nectar-eating birds, and what’s more, they’re drought tolerant and water wise. They come in all shapes, sizes and colours and their bright flowers add gorgeous pops of colour.

Weeping boer bean

This tree produces so much nectar that it literally drips from the flowers, hence the name “weeping boer bean”. When in flower this will be the main attraction in your garden as sunbirds, bees and other insects (and insect-eaters) flock to it to feast. Just don’t park your car underneath it during flowering season…

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Credit: Bernard DuPont

Coral tree

This tree’s showstopping spiky, red flowers attract sunbirds, orioles, weavers and canaries in spring. Vervet monkeys also love eating the flowers so if you live in an area where they’re a bit intrusive it’s best not to plant this tree.

Cross-berry

Perfect for small gardens, the deciduous cross berry bush boasts pink flowers followed by fruit and attracts a whole array of fruit-eating birds including louries, mousebirds, barbets and bulbuls.

Credit: Forest and Kin Starr

White stinkwood

The white stinkwood is as striking as it is hardy, and, if watered enough, it can grow quite quickly. Fruit-eating birds love the tree’s small berries and it’s also a favourite nesting spot. It can reach heights of 12m in gardens, so it’s a good choice for larger spaces.

Tree fuchsia

Another plant that’s ideal for small gardens is the tree fuchsia that can be grown in sun or shade. It’s a great all-rounder for attracting birds: sunbirds, white-eyes and weavers love the nectar from the flowers, while woodpeckers are often seen on the bark, looking for insects and fruit-eating birds enjoy the small round berries it produces.

Strelitzia

These typically South African plants add a tropical feel to gardens while their striking flowers are great cut for the vase. If you have them in your garden you’re bound to spot barbets, bulbuls, starlings and even green wood-hoopoes.

Credit: Scott Bauer