Which native flowering shrubs will attract birds but not Japanese beetles?


We have a border along the side of our front yard and are looking to install shrub (all the same species) along the border (roughly 40 ft long). Suggestions have been Rugosa Roses or Hydrangea. It’s full sun, sandyish soil. We would be grateful for ideas for a native planting that would attract birds and not Japanese beetles. Any ideas or guidance would be much appreciated.


Pamela Hargest, Horticulture Professional

Do you have any preference for the size of the shrub? A few suggestions that come to mind are Common Juniper (Juniperus communis) 5-10 ft, Northern Bayberry (Morella pensylvanica) 2-6 ft, Virginia Rose (Rosa virginiana) 2-4 ft, New Jersey Tea (Ceanothus americanus) 2-3 ft, Bush Honeysuckle (Diervilla lonicera) 2-4 ft, Ninebark (Physocarpus opulifolius) 4-9 ft, and Fragrant Sumac (Rhus aromatica) 3-7 ft.

The Native Plant Trust has a wonderful online tool for searching native plants suitable for different conditions. We also have several plant lists and resources in the Plants for the Maine Landscape Chapter of our Master Gardener Manual.