Hummingbirds are fascinating creatures known for their agility, vibrant colors, and their ability to hover in mid-air. They are found across the Americas, from Alaska to Tierra del Fuego, and have adapted to various habitats ranging from rainforests to deserts. With their long, slender beaks and specialized tongues, these tiny birds primarily feed on nectar from flowers. One common question that often arises among gardeners and bird enthusiasts is whether hummingbirds like petunias. Let’s explore the relationship between these beautiful birds and petunias in this article.
What is Petunias?
Petunias (Petunia spp.) are popular flowering plants widely grown for their showy blooms that come in a wide array of colors. They are native to South America and have been cultivated for centuries. Many gardeners consider petunias as a staple in their flower beds and hanging baskets due to their ability to bloom abundantly throughout the summer season.
Do Hummingbirds Like Petunias?
Yes, hummingbirds are attracted to petunias. The bright, tubular flowers of petunias make them a favorite among hummingbirds, as they provide a good source of nectar.
If you plant a variety of petunias, you’ll have a greater chance of attracting these fascinating creatures to your garden.
What are the Varieties of Petunias?
Here are some of the best petunia varieties—with a source of nectar—to plant if you want to attract hummingbirds:
1. Petunia x hybrida ‘Wave’ Series: These petunias have long-lasting flowers and are known for their ability to tolerate heat and humidity. They produce a good amount of nectar, making them attractive to hummingbirds.
2. Petunia exserta: Also known as the “Wild Petunia,” this variety has deep red, tubular flowers that are perfect for hummingbirds. It is native to Brazil and is well-suited for hot climates.
3. Petunia integrifolia: This variety features bright red flowers and is native to Argentina and Uruguay. It has a long blooming period and attracts hummingbirds with its rich nectar content.
4. Petunia multiflora ‘Heavenly Blue’: These petunias produce beautiful blue flowers with a touch of white in the center. They are highly fragrant and contain sufficient nectar to attract hummingbirds.
5. Petunia axillaris: Native to South America, this petunia variety produces large, white flowers that emit a sweet fragrance. The nectar-rich blooms are sure to entice hummingbirds to your garden.
Plus, all these varieties are easy to grow and will produce plenty of nectar for the hummingbirds.
What Is the Hummingbird’s Favorite Flower?
Hummingbirds are attracted to flowers of all kinds, but they particularly like flowers that are brightly coloured, tubular in shape and produce a lot of nectar. These characteristics make it easier for hummingbirds to access the nectar with their long, specialised beaks and tongues. Some popular flowers that hummingbirds are known to love in addition to petunias include:
1. Trumpet Vine (Campsis radicans): This plant produces vibrant orange or red trumpet-shaped flowers that are well-suited for hummingbirds due to their shape and nectar content.
2. Fuchsia (Fuchsia spp.): Fuchsia flowers are usually pendulous and have a combination of bright colors. Their tubular shape and copious nectar attract hummingbirds.
3. Bee Balm (Monarda spp.): Bee balm flowers come in various shades of red, pink, or purple. Their unique shape and high nectar production make them attractive to hummingbirds and other pollinators.
4. Salvia (Salvia spp.): Salvias offer a wide range of colors and sizes, and many species have tubular flowers that hummingbirds find appealing.
5. Columbine (Aquilegia spp.): The distinctive shape of columbine flowers, often with spurs, can attract hummingbirds seeking nectar.
6. Honeysuckle (Lonicera spp.): Honeysuckle vines produce tubular, often fragrant flowers that are a favorite of hummingbirds.
7. Coral Bells (Heuchera spp.): While not tubular, the bell-shaped flowers of coral bells can still provide nectar for hummingbirds, especially if other food sources are limited.
8. Penstemon (Penstemon spp.): Also known as beardtongue, penstemons offer various flower colors and shapes that hummingbirds find enticing.
It’s important to note that different species of hummingbirds might have slightly different preferences, and their favorite flowers can vary based on factors such as geographical location, climate, and the availability of other food sources. To attract hummingbirds to your garden, consider planting a diverse selection of these flowers to provide a continuous nectar supply throughout the hummingbird season.
In conclusion, there are many flowers that hummingbirds love, but if you want to add colour to your garden, petunias are a great choice. As well as petunias, you could also consider planting trumpet vine, bee balm, fuchsia, honeysuckle and geraniums in your garden to attract hummingbirds.
FAQs About Hummingbirds
Q1. Do hummingbirds like purple petunias?
Hummingbirds are attracted to colorful flowers, particularly those in shades of red, pink, and orange. While purple petunias may not be their preferred choice, hummingbirds may still visit them for nectar if other food sources are scarce. However, it is worth noting that different bird species may have individual preferences, so some hummingbirds might be more attracted to purple petunias than others.
Q2. Do hummingbirds like wave petunias?
Hummingbirds are attracted to vibrant and nectar-rich flowers, and wave petunias can be a great choice for them. Wave petunias produce a profusion of colorful blooms and offer ample nectar, making them appealing to hummingbirds. Placing wave petunias in a location visible to hummingbirds, such as near a feeder or in a sunny spot, can increase the likelihood of attracting these tiny birds to your garden.
Q3. Do hummingbirds like hibiscus?
Yes, hummingbirds are often attracted to hibiscus flowers. Hibiscus plants produce large, colorful, trumpet-shaped flowers that are rich in nectar. The shape of the hibiscus flower is suitable for hummingbirds to insert their long beaks and tongues to access the nectar. As a result, hibiscus flowers can be a popular food source for hummingbirds.