A Groundcover for the Birds

Attract songbirds by planting bearberry.

December 9, 2010

Plant bearberry to feed garden birds. Bearberry's leathery, deep green leaves form a mat with a 1- to 6-inch-high canopy that offers protection for birds as well. The foliage turns bronze in fall and winter. Delicate, rosy white flowers appear on branches in early summer and are replaced by waxy, nutritious berries that will attract songbirds and game birds. Ruby-throated hummingbirds will occasionally visit the flowers to sip nectar. Depending on the variety, bearberry (Arctostaphylus uva-ursi) can be grown from Zones 2 to 6. It prefers well-drained, acidic soil.