Saturday, May 14, 2016

Growing Safe Flowers and Herbs for your Bird

People who love birds often love flower gardens also.  Did you know some flowers and most herbs are safe, nutritious, and quite yummy to feed your bird?

To be sure the plants and flowers are edible make sure they are grown without the use of pesticides and other harmful additives.  Even better, you can grow a few for yourself in pots or any garden area.

Although all of the plants and flowers we have listed are considered edible, it's always a good idea to only feed a small portion initially to your bird.  For example, parsley is considered safe and edible, yet I had a budgie named BlueBell who loved it, but it always made her throw up.  No other bird in our home had that reaction.  So although a flower or plant is considered safe, a bird may still have a sensitivity that is not common.

Here is a few healthy, yummy, easy flowers and herbs to start with.  You might find you enjoy them as much as your bird.

Basil is highly fragrant herb with a pungent and peppery taste.  Easy to grow in containers.

Bee Balm tastes like a mixture of peppermint and spearmint with a touch of oregano.  Interesting and quite lovely to grow.  Bees and butterflies love it too.

Borage leaves and flowers smell and taste kind of like cucumber and can be added to salads.  The lovely blue flowers are neat.  Not the prettiest plant, but a good one to 

Chamomile leaves and flowers have an apple or pineapple taste, and are great also in a salad as well as in tea.  The flowers are pretty and daisy-like and make a great addition.  Chamomile is known for its calming influence, and you might notice it helps calm your parrot a little too.

Chives (Allium schoenoprasum) have lovely pink pom-pom like flowers and the flowers do have a mild onion flower.  Easy to grow in containers.

Daisies (Bellis perennis) have yellow and white flowers that have a mint or clover flavor and are so pretty growing in the garden.

Although dandelion flowers are considered unwanted weeds by many, they are a super nutritious addition when picked young.  The yellow blossoms have a honey flavor and are very nutritional.  

Fully mature flowers turn white and are bitter and not recommended.

White fragrant gardenias are a great addition to the garden with a delicate taste and a fabulous aroma.  

Tropical Hibiscus flowers are not only beautiful but fun for your bird to eat.  Although the flowers tend to have an acidy taste, most parrots seem to love them.

Honeysuckle flowers are small white or yellow trumpet shaped blossoms and they are sweet and as delicious as they smell.  Lories in particular love these flowers.  

NOTE:  Only the blooms should be fed to your bird, not the leaves and absolutely none of the berries they produce.  

Impatiens (Impatiens wallerana) are found in many colors and the blooms have a mild sweet flavor.  Add them to your salads and drinks too.

Milk Thistle (Silybum marianum) has purple flowers that are edible as well as the leaves as well as the milk thistle seeds produced.  

Milk Thistle is known for its benefits to the liver and can be a great healing flower for a bird with liver problems.  The leaves taste similar to spinach, just a little bitter and with an earthy taste.

Nasturtiums (Tropaelum majus) have red, yellow, and orange flowers and both flowers and leaves can be eaten.  They tend to taste a little sweet at first, then the taste blends into a rather hot and peppery radish flavor.  Birds tend to love them.

Pansies (Viola X Wittrockiana) come in many colors such as purples, whites, yellows, blue, etc., and have a sweet yet tart flavor. Although I haven't personally tried one, I'm told the blue flowers have a mild wintergreen flavor.


Petunias (Petunia hybrida) have flowers in many many colors these days.  The flowers have a mild flavor.


Roses (Rosa spp) are some of the tastiest flowers and can have a slightly fruity flavor as well as an awesome fragrance.

Rosemary has tiny flowering blooms and makes a really cool looking container plant.  Rosemary is great to add to many grilled dishes also.

Sage can have lavender blue flower spikes on some varieties.  The flowers definitely have a strong sage flavor.

Sunflowers (Helianthus) have yellow black-eyed centers.  If you let them mature, they will contain those seeds that many parrots just find so yummy. 

Thyme has a slight minty flavor and is often used in many cooking dishes as well.

In Summary:  There are many more plants, herbs, flowers, and such that can be safe for your bird.  Start with a few, then do some research and experiment with flavors and colors, and find what you and your bird enjoy the most.  Just remember to always use caution with new foods to make sure both you and your bird are not sensitive to it.

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