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17 Flowers that Attract Hummingbirds

flowers-that-attract-hummingbirds

Tongho58

Is there anything as enchanting as glimpsing a hummingbird flitting about your garden? How do their wings move so fast?! These majestic creatures are not only beautiful; they are important pollinators. By planting nectar-rich hummingbird flowers, you can enjoy their visits more often and help your local ecosystem too.

Hummingbirds’ favorite flowers tend to be tubular, which are suitable for their long, thin beaks. That includes blooms you might not think of, like sunflowers, whose centers are formed by tiny, closely packed tubular flowers. Hummingbirds also favor red flowers (and red hummingbird feeders, but skip the red dye). According to BirdNote Podcasttheir eyes have adapted to spot reds and yellows, but these tiny birds are also quite intelligent and will change their color preferences to favor the most nectar-rich source.

Where you plant hummingbird flowers will depend on each plant’s sun and soil requirements, but make sure your garden design includes some safe places to perch, according to the US Forest Service. See our favorite trees for small gardens for ideas (and be sure to check for hummingbird nests during spring pruning). For a safe, elevated feeding area—and a showy garden ornament—incorporate some cascading, tubular flowers in hanging baskets, like petunias or fuchsia.

Cluster each type of hummingbird flower in your garden for an ample nectar supply, and include a variety with staggered bloom times to provide a steady food source spring through fall. (But don’t be afraid to start small, even with just one plant, we’ve had success bringing our neighborhood hummers over for visits!) Also, avoid insecticides and pesticides for the hummingbirds’ safety.

If you’re looking to offer a welcoming home for all pollinators, good news! Many of these flowers attract hummingbirds and butterflies and bees! See our lists of flowers that attract butterflies and flowers that attract bees for more ideas.

Our Favorite Flowers That Attract Hummingbirds

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Salvia has the high nectar count that hummingbirds are looking for. The perennial variety ‘Black & Blue’ is a particular favorite of landscape designer Daniel McCurry of Father Nature Landscapes in Birmingham, Alabama. “My hummingbirds love them!” he says, noting that their height (they grow 3 to 4 feet tall) helps provide a safe feeding area.

“Hummingbirds and their vibrant personalities are fun to watch—they become a part of your family. The goal is to get the birds as much nectar as possible but out of the way of predators,” he says.

You can find salvia in an array of colors and in both annual and perennial varieties, some of which are native to the United States. While ‘Black & Blue’ is only cold hardy in USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 7 to 10, some perennial varieties are hardy as low as zone 4.

Plant in full sun and well-draining soil.

The bright red tubular flowers of trumpet honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens) signal an open buffet to our hummingbird friends. Unlike the invasive honeysuckle you might be more familiar with, McCurry says, this species is native to the Southeastern United States. Consider planting this climbing perennial near a tree, wall, fence, or other garden structure.

Plant in full to part sun. Best in zones 4 to 9.

All pollinators seem to love sunflowers! Hummingbirds in particular flock to them for their numerous and teeny tubular-shaped flowers (that make up the dark center) that are loaded with nectar. Sunflowers are native throughout North America, boasting 52 species.

Plant in full sun and well-draining soil.

Red-flowered varieties of this early spring North American wildflower are particularly nutritious for hummingbirds. According to the US Forest Servicethe nectar of red columbine varieties has twice the sugar content of other native columbines.

Plant in light to moderate shade to full sun. Hardy in zones 2 to 9; re-seeds immediately.

Also known as hardy fuchsia (Fuchsia magellanica), this species is a hummingbird magnet. Grow it as a perennial shrub or in a container or hanging basket.

Plant in dappled sunlight or part shade (it’s even okay in full sun in areas that are not too hot). Recommended for zones 6 to 9, though some hybrids can survive colder temps.

Hummingbirds, butterflies, and—of course—bees are all attracted to bee balm, also known as wild bergamot. Native to North America, notable species include scarlet bee balm (hummers love the brilliant red flowers) and spotted bee balm (aka horsemint), whose blooms look like little fairy houses.

Plant in full sun. Best for zones 4 to 9.

Delphinium is a vibrant perennial that can grow from 2 to 8 feet tall, though it is not recommended for hot, humid climates. Butterflies and hummingbirds find them irresistible, and you’ll love them as cut flowers, too.

Plant in full sun to light shade in moist organic soil. Winter hardy in zones 3 to 7.

This showy perennial has long tubular flowers difficult for some pollinators to navigate, but not hummingbirds!

Plant in full sun to partial shade and soil that is never dry. Recommended for zones 3 to 9.

Also known as hummingbird vine, it’s no surprise the birds love this flower. A sunny spot will encourage the most flowers from this easy-to-grow vine that is native in many areas the US

Plant in full sun. Best in zones 4 to 9.

Take note: While native, this plant is aggressive. Plant it away from your house, in a spot where you can easily control it, such as in a large container with a trellis to climb.

This vibrant orange-and-yellow flower will add pizzazz to any garden. The flowers are packed with nectar, which attracts hummingbirds.

Plant in full sun and well-draining soil. Recommended for zones 5 to 9.

Of course, this easy-to-grow flowering shrub is attractive to butterflies, but hummingbirds love the elongated clusters of nectar-rich blooms, too. “I have noticed at my property, the butterfly bushes get the most hummingbird visitors of all of my plants and they bloom until first frost,” says Melissa Lallo Johnson, a Midwest-based master gardener who shares her expansive garden on Instagram at @fancyflowerfarmer.

Plant in full sun and well-draining soil. Best in zones 5 to 9.

Take note: Invasive in some areas; do not grow where restricted.

Chances are this popular, inexpensive flower is growing in your yard already. Choose brightly colored blooms and plant them in a hanging basket to attract hummingbirds.

Plant in full sun. Perennials in zones 10 to 11; annually elsewhere.

It’s easy to see where this perennial plant got its name, and the flowers are a rich source of nectar for hummers. Dicentra spectabilis is pictured here, but for an option that’s native to the US, consider Exemia Dicentra, which has fern-like leaves and harkens from the Appalachian mountains.

Plant in partial shade and well-draining soil. Recommended for zones 3 to 9.

This easy-to-grow perennial blooms from summer and into the fall. Hummingbirds and butterflies are attracted to its showy blooms. Opt for common yarrow (Achillea millefolium) versus other species; it’s native to the US

Plant in full sun. Ideal for hillsides. Best for zones 3 to 9.

Native to the Southwest, zinnias are one of the most popular annuals throughout the US They are easy to grow from seed and will re-seed readily too! Hummingbirds and other pollinators love the bright blooms, which also make for great cut flowers.

Plant in full sun. Thrives in zones 2 to 11.

The tubular flowers of foxglove are the perfect drinking vessel for hummingbirds. It is a biennial, meaning it has a two-year lifecycle and only flowers in the second year, but it can re-seed. Foxglove is easy to grow and can top out at 5 feet tall.

Plant in full sun to light shade in moist soil. Recommended for zones 4 to 8.

Take note: Keep foxglove away from children and pets as they can be highly poisonous.

This drought-tolerant evergreen grows fast—up to 6 feet tall and up to 10 feet wide. Hummingbirds and butterflies love the showy flowers.

Plant in full sun and well-draining soil. Recommended for zones 9 to 11.

Take note: Beware the bristly hairs, and use caution around children and pets—this plant is toxic if ingested.

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