Gardening for Hummingbirds

Ruby Throated Hummingbird

Ruby Throated Hummingbird

It’s fun to watch hummingbirds visit your flowers or feeders for nectar.  You can help attract more hummingbirds to your garden by making it a place they like to visit with their favorite flowers, feeders and colors.

Plants that attract Hummingbirds

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Annuals for Hummingbirds

Sun ○ Part Sun ◐ Shade ●
Cardinal Climber (Ipomoea x multifida)
Flowering Tobacco (Nicotiana spp.)
Fuchsia
Geraniums (Pelargonium spp.)
Impatiens
Jewelweed (Impatiens pallida & I. capensis)
Petunias
Salvias
Spider flower (Cleome sp.)
Tropical Hibiscus (Hibiscus Roseo-sinensis)
Verbena (Verbena spp.)

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Perennials for Hummingbirds

Sun ○ Part Sun ◐ Shade ●
Adams Needle (Yucca spp.)
Anise Hyssop (Agastache spp.)
Beard Tongue (Penstemon spp.)
Cardinal Flower (Lobelia cardinalis)
Catmint (Nepeta spp.)
Clematis (Clematis spp.)
Columbine (Aquilegia spp.)
Coral Bells (Heuchera spp.)
Cross Vine (Bignonia capreolata)
Daylilies (Hemerocallis spp.)
Flowering Tobacco (Nicotiana spp.)
Foxglove (Digitalis spp.)
Fuchsia (Fuchsia spp.)
Garden Phlox (Phlox paniculata)
Geraniums (Pelargonium spp.)
Hollyhock (Alcea spp.)
Honeysuckle (Lonicera spp.)
Indian Pink (Spigelia marilandica)
Larkspur (Delphinium spp.)
Lilies (Lilium spp.)
Red Hot Poker (Kniphofia spp.)
Rose Mallow (Hibiscus moschutos)
Rosemary (Rosmarinus spp.)
Salvia (Salvia spp.)
Tropical Hibiscus (Hibiscus Roseo-sinensis)
Trumpet Creeper (Campsis radicans)
Verbena (Verbena spp.)
Yellow Jasmine (Gelsemium sempervirens)

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Trees & Shrubs for Hummingbirds
Sun ○ Part Sun ◐ Shade ●
Mimosa (Albizia julibrissin)
Horse Chestnut (Aesculus hippocastanum)
Buckeye (Aesculus spp.)
Black Locust (Robinia pseudoacacia)
Flowering Crabapple (Malus spp.)
Hawthorn (Cratagus spp.)
Butterfly Bush (Buddleia spp.)
Flowering Quince (Chaenomeles spp.)
Wisteria (Wisteria spp.)
Azalea (Rhododendron spp.)
Coralberry (Symphoricarpos orbiculatus)
Weigela (Weigela spp.)
Lilac (Lilac spp.)

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Hummingbirds are attracted to the color red, so choose red flowers where possible. They also prefer to feed on taller flowers, so plant flowers and flowering perennials of varying heights.  Hummingbirds are more likely to visit plants in sunny areas, so make sure your hummingbird garden gets plenty of sunlight. You'll notice that most of the hummingbird-attracting plants on the lists prefer some sun. If you have a mostly shady garden it may be difficult to attract them

A hummingbird feeder will supply your hummingbird visitors with a food source even when you don’t have their favorite flowers in bloom, or if your garden is mostly shady (assuming you have a patch of sunlight where you can place the feeder) You'll want to place the feeders near your hummingbird flowers in a sunny area. 

To make your own hummingbird nectar, mix 4 parts hot water to 1 part sugar until completely dissolved.  Do not add red coloring (it can harm hummingbirds).  Fill your favorite hummingbird feeder with the cooled sugar solution.  Extra nectar can be stored in the refrigerator. Empty and clean the feeder weekly with vinegar & water (not soap).  To repel ants and bees, coat the hanger and the feeding tubes with petroleum jelly. 

If you have multiple feeders, keep a distance between them so one hummingbird, particularly a territorial male, doesn't “claim” them all and chase off other hummingbirds coming to feed.

Sometimes you can observe a male chasing another away from an area he has claimed, complete with aerial dog-fights and furious chirping! Females will also chase males away from nesting areas as the male’s brighter coloring may attract predators.

Hummingbirds have great memories, and once they learn you have made your garden a hummingbird paradise, they will return year after year, delighting you for many seasons to come.