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With its dense, twiggy branches, Northern Bayberry is just what birds are looking for when they want to start a family. Plant it en masse, and you’ll encourage songbirds to nest in your yard! In fall, you’ll have more activity in your Bayberry bushes when female plants bear their nutritious fruits, and the birds come flocking. Sweet, perky Yellow-rumped Warblers (known affectionately to birders as “butter butts”) are first in line. They rely on the high-fat berries to fuel their fall migration. Chickadees, bluebirds, Red-bellied Woodpeckers, titmice, catbirds, and Brown Thrashers are also fond of the silvery fruits.
May Benefit & Attract: Chickadees, bluebirds, Red-bellied Woodpeckers, Yellow-rumped Warblers titmice, catbirds, and Brown Thrashers
Take Birds Under Your Wing
New! Introducing our bird-friendly collection of Audubon® Native Plants & Trees
- Better for Birds, 100% Neonic-Free
- Not Available in non-native regions, states or counties (see Native Regions map)
Bower & Branch is proud to grow Audubon® Native Plants for Birds in partnership with the National Audubon Society to help birds and other wildlife thrive.
- The National Audubon Society protects birds and the places they need, today and tomorrow
- This bird-friendly native plant provides food and shelter for local and migrating birds and other wildlife
- Your purchase and planting of this native flora directly supports Audubon’s conservation mission and impact
- Learn how you can help birds in your home and community through Audubon’s Plants for Birds program
- Audubon Native Plants & Trees are free of neonicotinoids and exclusively grown by Bower & Branch
Audubon® is a licensed and registered trademark of the National Audubon Society. All rights reserved.
Size AA (18-24" tall) container grown
- Hardiness Zone: 3-7
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You may not equate “fatty” with “nutritious,” but for birds in fall, fatty foods are the healthiest of all. Fruits with a naturally high fat content give birds the energy they need for migration, or—in the case of winter-residents—for just staying warm. Northern Bayberry has been found to have one of the highest fat quotients of any native fruit, so it gives birds a big bang for their buck. This species mostly hugs the Atlantic coastline and is present from Canada to North Carolina. It provides wonderful rest stops for birds migrating via the Atlantic flyway.
Bayberry candles! This is where the authentic ones come from. American settlers were happy to learn they could turn fragrant, waxy Northern Bayberry fruits into candles. The process was labor-intensive, but the result burned clean and bright—and smelled delightful!
How to Grow
Northern Bayberry is considered a healing plant. It grows happily in poor soil and can fix its own nitrogen, so it actually improves the site it’s growing on. In the garden, too, it does not need any coddling. It grows in sand or clay, it doesn’t need a lot of water, and it tolerates salt spray, strong winds, and winter temperatures to -30ºF. Give it as much sun as you can. Northern Bayberry will sucker to form an informal hedge. It does not need to be pruned, but if you do choose to tidy it up with some trimming, it will smell delicious!
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