Hummingbirds, with their rapid wingbeats and iridescent feathers, are a delight to observe in any garden. To attract these captivating birds, incorporating the right plants is key. Hummingbirds are attracted to nectar-rich flowers that provide them with a valuable food source. In this article, we will explore a variety of plants known for their ability to attract hummingbirds, enhancing the beauty and biodiversity of your outdoor space.
1. Bee Balms:
Bee balm, also known as Monarda, is a beautiful flowering plant that comes in different shades of pink, red, and purple. It’s a perfect addition to any garden, especially if you’re looking to attract hummingbirds. The tubular flowers of bee balm provide nectar that hummingbirds find irresistible. Hummingbirds are particularly fond of Monarda didyma (scarlet bee balm) and Monarda fistulosa (wild bergamot).
Salvia is another popular plant among hummingbirds, thanks to its long and narrow tubular flowers. These flowers come in different shades of blue, purple, and red, making them an excellent addition to any garden. Salvia blooms throughout the summer and fall, providing a continuous supply of nectar for hummingbirds. Varieties such as Salvia splendens (scarlet sage), Salvia guaranitica (anise sage), and Salvia coccinea (scarlet sage) are particularly appealing due to their tubular blooms that are perfectly suited for hummingbirds’ long beaks.
Penstemons also known as beardtongues, are a herbaceous perennial that produces tall spikes of tubular flowers that hummingbirds find irresistible. The flowers of penstemon come in different shades of red, pink, purple, and blue, making them a stunning addition to any garden. Penstemons prefer well-drained soil and full sun. Popular penstemon species for attracting hummingbirds include Penstemon cardinalis (cardinal flower), Penstemon barbatus (beardtongue), and Penstemon heterophyllus (Foothill penstemon).
4. Trumpet Vines:
Trumpet vine (Campsis radicans) is a fast-growing woody vine that produces clusters of orange-red trumpet-shaped flowers. Trumpet vines are well-loved by hummingbirds due to their trumpet-shaped, fiery orange flowers. These vigorous climbers can create stunning focal points in the garden while providing a nectar-rich feast for visiting hummingbirds. Ensure proper support structures for these vigorous vines, as they can become quite large over time.
5. Coral Bells:
Coral bells (Heuchera) are known for their attractive foliage and delicate, bell-shaped flowers that hummingbirds find irresistible. These plants offer a combination of nectar and perching opportunities for the birds. Look for Heuchera sanguinea (coral bells) and Heuchera americana (American alumroot) in various shades of red, pink, and coral.
Fuchsias are well-known for their delicate, bell-shaped flowers that come in a range of colors, including red, pink, and purple. These hanging flowers, with their abundant nectar, are a favorite of hummingbirds. Fuchsias grow well in containers and hanging baskets, making them a perfect choice for small gardens or balcony spaces.
Fuchsia hybrids, such as Fuchsia magellanica and Fuchsia boliviana, are particularly attractive to these avian visitors.
Certain lilies, such as Lilium speciosum (showy lily) and Lilium regale (regal lily), produce large, fragrant flowers that catch the attention of hummingbirds. The rich nectar reserves within these beautiful blooms make them an enticing choice for these small birds.
Columbines (Aquilegia) are beautiful perennial plants that produce unique blooms in different shades of pink, purple, blue, and red. The flowers of columbine are tubular-shaped, making them ideal for hummingbirds to feed on. These plants prefer partial shade and well-draining soil.
Aquilegia canadensis (red columbine) and Aquilegia vulgaris (European columbine) are popular choices for attracting hummingbirds.
9. Cardinal Flowers:
Cardinal flower is a stunning perennial that produces tall spikes of bright red flowers. These tubular flowers attract hummingbirds, who love their nectar-rich blooms. Cardinal flowers prefer moist soil and partial shade, making them an excellent choice for gardens that receive morning sunlight. This native plant is a must-have for any garden aiming to attract hummingbirds.
Agastache, commonly known as hyssop or hummingbird mint, offers an abundance of nectar-filled flowers that hummingbirds find irresistible. Varieties like Agastache cana (Texas hummingbird mint) and Agastache foeniculum (anise hyssop) feature tubular flowers in shades of purple, pink, and orange.
Honeysuckle (Lonicera spp.) is a fragrant vine that produces an abundance of sweet-smelling flowers that hummingbirds love. The trumpet-shaped flowers come in different shades of pink, yellow, and orange and provide a significant amount of nectar for hummingbirds to feed on. Honeysuckle grows well on trellises and fences.
Zinnias are annual flowers that produce colorful blooms in shades of pink, orange, red, and yellow. These flowers are loved by hummingbirds for their abundant nectar. Zinnias are easy to grow and maintain and are an excellent choice for beginner gardeners.
Lupines are tall flowering perennials that produce long spikes of brightly colored flowers that attract hummingbirds. The flowers of lupine are shaped like pea flowers and come in shades of blue, pink, and purple. Lupines prefer well-drained soil and full sun.
In conclusion, attracting hummingbirds to your garden is easy if you have the right kind of plants. The plants mentioned above are some of the best options for attracting hummingbirds to your garden and providing them with a continuous supply of nectar. Remember to provide a clean source of water and avoid using pesticides in your garden, as they can harm these delicate birds. With a little effort and patience, you can enjoy the delightful sight of hummingbirds visiting your garden throughout the year.