For centuries, gardeners have been fascinated with the aerobatics and beauty of the hummingbirds. Birds vary in their sizes and appearance; hummingbirds from their name can make a humming noise by flapping their wings (about 80 times per second). They are the tiniest of all birds, weighing less than an ounce and measuring only 3 inches long. They could be called as flying jewels with the ability to fly in various directions. These are small and colorful with iridescent feathers; their beaks help them to sip the nectar from thousands of colored flowers every day. There is a probability that these birds can’t resist red and crimson blooms could be an invitation for them in the gardens however it’s not the only way to attract them. Hummingbirds primarily eat flower nectar, tree sap, insects and pollen, this species is found only in North and South America.
What Plants and flowers attract the hummingbirds:
There are several flowers/plants that can attract the hummingbirds but there are some of them that could be considered in the list of the favorite and most appealing ones. For the selection of such hummingbird plants and flowers, it is required to search for blooms that have rich and bright colors. These must be rich in nectar urging the birds to come back for them, hence satisfying their thirst. Diverse flowers could be added to provide plentiful food for the hummingbirds throughout the summer, fall and spring.
Following are the most preferable hummingbird plants along with their specialties:
It is a spherical shaped attractive plant that could illuminate the gardens with its presence. It thrives best in full sun and can approximately grow about 12-36 inches high. Availability is in the intense shades of red, pink, purple and orange, it is also referred as bergamot or horsemint. They also attract bees and butterflies. These flowers could be used as a garnish for green salads, fruit, cakes or preserves. The aromatic leaves serve as a substitute for mint and can be dried for tea.
2. Cardinal Flower
Cardinal flower also called as lobelia is one of the flowers’ that can serve best in well-drained soil and moist. Its red blooms are gracefully shaped and its long stalks can grow about 48 inches with the quality to provide visual interest to the flowerbeds. It tolerates full sun with enough moisture and this species bares spikes of brilliant, scarlet red-flowers. It could also be found in pink, white and is non-invasive.
Thriving best in full sun with a compact shape, this annual bloom is quite easy to grow from seeds. The blooms of pink, red, white and yellow becomes an ideal choice for the migrating hummingbirds as it flourishes more from late summer to mid-fall. These typically range from 10 to 100cm in height and can bare hot summer temperatures. They have the ability to attract the hummingbirds and works as a defense against whiteflies; therefore zinnias are a desirable companion plant.
These are dangling heart-shaped blooms in pink or white. The bleeding hearts thrives best in lightly shaded locations and are hard in cooler climates. The growing rate is 24-36 inches and can be an affordable choice for hummingbird gardens as they can be divided to transplant. It grows best in moist conditions.
It is one of the great plants that serves the centers or backs of flowerbeds. These flowers range from pink to mauve, blue to purple and works best in full sun being larger in size each year. Salvia flowers come out in mid-summer and continue blooming till late summer. This plant does best in full sun and it tolerates dry soil; one of the top plants to attract hummingbirds.
This plant acts as a source of attracting butterflies justifying its name and is also welcoming for the hummingbirds. The clusters of flowers are in purple and from mid-summer through fall they have a continuous bloom. It thrives in full sun and become a thick, luxurious shrub over time.
It is a drought tolerant plant that serves as a representation for attracting spring hummingbirds. Its purple and blue shades are striking, working best in areas with full sunlight. It reaches around 1 to 4 feet in height and may be annual. Wildflowers of the lupine plant are generally in hues of blues and white.
The plant has dense foliage and can climb on many surfaces. It is also known to be hummingbird vine or trumpet vine. Its tubular flowers are perfect for hummingbirds and it works best in full sun to partial shade. It ranges in red, orange or yellow blooms.
This flower is also known as Granny’s bonnet and it is known for its bell shaped flowers blooming from mid spring to early summer. It is from Columba (a Latin word) and is an ideal for hummingbird. This elegant flower is in the shades of pink, purple and blue. It works best in areas with limited shade, growing about 15-20 inches tall.
Petunias are easy to grow and are perfect for containers and baskets in small spaces. They flourish best in full sun. These can be in shades of pink, red, purple, blue, white providing nectar to the hungry hummingbirds. These are an important type of annual and are divided into Grandiflora having larger and Multiflora having smaller flowers. They are also tolerant of heat.
Key points for plants to attract hummingbirds:
For attracting the birds’ utilities like lots of flowers and habitat for shelter, shade and security is important. A moving hummingbird loves water so a gentle spray from a nozzle could serve the purpose. Bright colors can capture their attention. Red is the most popular color for them. Tabular flowers hold much nectar including columbines, lupines, petunias.