8 Plants and Trees That Attract Cardinals

Red Maple

Red Maple is a deciduous tree native to North America known for its brilliant red foliage in the fall. It produces small, winged seeds that are a valuable food source for cardinals. The seeds mature in spring and early summer.

Eastern Redbud

Eastern Redbud is a small tree prized for its profusion of pink or purple flowers that bloom in early spring, before the leaves emerge. These flowers attract insects, which in turn attract cardinals seeking protein-rich food sources.


Sunflowers are iconic plants with large, yellow blooms that produce seeds highly favored by cardinals and other birds. The seeds are rich in oils and nutrients, providing essential energy during colder.

Black-oil Sunflower

Specifically, the Black-oil Sunflower (a variety of Helianthus annuus) is particularly attractive to cardinals due to its high oil content and thin shells that are easy for birds to crack open. These sunflowers.


Dogwoods encompass several species, including flowering dogwood (Cornus florida) and red-twig dogwood (Cornus sericea), both of which are beneficial for attracting cardinals. Flowering dogwood produces.

Eastern Hemlock

Eastern Hemlock is an evergreen tree valued for its dense, conical shape and year-round greenery that provides excellent cover and nesting sites for cardinals. While not a direct food source, hemlock trees.


Serviceberries, also known as Juneberries or Shadbush, are deciduous shrubs or small trees prized for their early spring blooms and sweet, edible berries. The white flowers attract pollinators.


Hawthorns are small to medium-sized trees known for their thorny branches, white or pink spring flowers, and abundant red berries that persist into winter. The berries are high in fat and calories, making them a nutritious food.