Best Flowers for Attracting Hummingbirds
The little flying gems of avian creatures that are hummingbirds have fascinated generations of bird lovers and backyard gardeners. However, to make these tiny creatures frequent your garden space on a regular basis, you need to create the proper and appropriate habitat that will provide the birds with food, water, shed, shelter and security. And a necessary part of creating this habitat is to plant the right flowering plants that will attract the hummingbirds to your garden.
Now, as for the flowers, the hummingbirds are instinctively attracted to rich, bright-colored blooms. Red is the color the birds prefer most but they are no less attracted to other brightly-colored blooms. The flowers should ideally have a tubular or long, tapered shapes since these allow the birds’ long, pointy bills to go right inside the blooms and draw the nectar off them.
There are dozens of common flowering plants that are known to attract hummingbirds. These include biennials such as hollyhocks and foxgloves; perennials like lupines, daylilies, columbines, bee balms and others; as well as plenty of annuals, including petunias, impatiens, cleomes and more.
However, when planning your garden, please note that
1. You should try to plant as many native flowering plants as possible since the birds will be familiar with them. (It will also be easier for you to care for plants that thrive naturally in your respective region.)
2. Consider plants with repeat blooming and/or a long bloom time so the birds will have long and steady access to a natural food source. Of course you will be hanging one or more nectar feeders in your garden, but it is also important that the birds have access to natural nectar. So, don’t look at the flowers solely as decoration.
3. Also make sure to choose flowers with different bloom periods. This will provide the hummingbirds with natural nectar sources through the succeeding seasons. Some species of hummingbirds, especially in the south, migrate later than the others. If you have such overwintering hummers visiting your garden, it is also a good idea to look for flowers that are able to bloom during mild or early winters.
Best Flowers for Attracting Hummingbirds
Since the birds love the color red, let’s start our list with a couple of red blooms. The daylilies are perennials that bloom all through the summer and it is also a cinch to find these flowers in many different shades of red. Just head out to your local nursery and you’ll see. The plants grow as well in full sun as in partially shaded areas in zones 3 to 10. In order to prevent crowding and to revitalize, divide the plants every 3-5 years.
This chiefly tropical perennial grows in zones 4 through 10 and come with bold red blooms that grow for a long time—from early summer right through to the beginning of winter. They grow well in moist, well-drained soil and under full sun. Some species come with huge blooms almost 10-12 inches wide.
These annuals come in blooms in a wide variety of colors, including red, yellow, white, orange, pink and multi-colored. Great for landscaping purposes and also suitable for seasonal planters and containers. The plants thrive best in full sun and you will get repeated blooms all through late summer to mid-autumn. As the blooms mature, the seeds start to develop as well, so they are also great for attracting seed-loving birds such as finches and others.
With their drooping, heart-shaped blossoms and attractive foliage, this one is a stunner for any landscape. This perennial works best in partially shaded areas and is also one of the most resilient when it comes to cooler climates. Once they start to grow large, you may divide for transplanting as also for sharing them with your hummingbird-loving friends. Rest sure they will appreciate the gesture!
Growing in zones 9 and 10, this early blooming perennials will work as an ideal addition to your spring garden. The plants are drought tolerant and since they bloom early, the lupine is perfect for springtime hummers. They act as a natural food source for the birds at a time when other flowers are yet to bloom and when food sources in the form of insects are also scarce. Blue and purples are the most common varieties but you’ll also find lupines in shades of yellow, white or pink.
As you may already know, most flowers that attract the hummingbirds are favorites with butterflies as well and the phenomenon is perhaps never more well documented than in the case of Butterfly Bush—just as its name suggests. Another drought tolerant, the plant gives repeated blooms beginning from mid-summer through to late fall. The bushy, elongated, richly opulent clusters of blooms do a great job of attracting the hummers as well as many other birds and they do just as great a job in providing the birds with natural shelter. This perennial thrives best in full sunlight; comes in shades of blue, purple and pink; and grows in zones 5 to 10.
The name of this beautifully shaped flower may suggest the doves, but the hummingbirds love them to distraction as well! This perennial, with flowers coming in shades of white, pink, purple and blue, grows well in lightly shaded areas and is ideal for placing along the edges of your flowerbed. The plant grows in zones 3 to 8.
Since the birds love the red, let’s round up our list with another great red bloom that is a huge favorite not only with hummingbirds and butterflies, but apparently with many generations of poets as well (ask that poetry-reading friend of yours)! Like lupine, peonies are early bloomers, blooming in spring through to early summer. This perennial grows in zones 3 to 8.
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