Dec 5, 2014 | Featured in: Watching Backyard Birds, December 2014

Don't Cut Evening Primrose!

Do you have evening primroses growing in your yard or garden? Don't deadhead them, and leave the dead stalks in place!
Share:

The seeds of evening primrose can be a valuable food source for birds in cold climates throughout North America. Each flower produces hundreds of seeds, and when the flower dies, it holds on to some and drops others. The stalks of dead evening primrose are "Eat Here" signs to songbirds, marking a likely food source at the base.

Nearly 150 species are in the genus Oenothera, many bearing the name evening primrose. The genus is native to North, Central, and South America. Some species are annuals, some biennials, and some perennials. Evening primrose can be found growing wild, often on disturbed soil, and many varieties can be found in garden stores. They are usually easy to grow, and provide food not only for birds, but also for some varieties of caterpillars, which also provide food for birds.

So, if you have evening primrose growing in your yard or garden, don't deadhead them, and leave the dead stalks in place. And if you don't, winter is a great time to look through garden catalogs and plan your spring planting.

What do you think? Tell us!

comments powered by Disqus

New On This Site

The Latest Comments

  • I've been feeding the birds at my home for over 20 years and have multiple bird houses all over. I'm getting old and I'm worried more about the poor birds that occupy the bird houses and where they will go when I'm gone and someone else buys my house and takes down all the bird houses.
    by Linda DiPierro, Sun, 01 Dec 2019
  • i live in watauga county nc and bluejays left our area on tuesday aug 20 2019! About twenty came in for their feed of peanuts, then left. It has been so quiet since they left. The gold finches are busy feeding.
    by Rhoda Buffalo, Thu, 22 Aug 2019
  • Really?! I have two (2) feeders that hold just over a pound each of Safflower seeds (I weighed) and I have to fill them up EVERY day. The small birds absolutely love these seeds!
    by David John Repischak, Mon, 05 Aug 2019
  • I use frisbees for umbrellas. Sometimes I get them free at events. I use red over hummingbird feeders. Helps to attract them.
    by wnyfalconfan, Mon, 05 Aug 2019
  • I recently were given two new bird feeders. Both have not been touched by any birds. Its been nearly 6 month, why is this? One is like a larger orange Hazel nut with an open front & the other is a yellow honey comb with 3 sides open.Is it the colour which scares the birds? I have the same feed in them as in my old feeder, which I need to refill regularly. Many thanks. Doreen
    by Doreen Atkins, Mon, 29 Jul 2019