By: Jackie Carroll
Hummingbirds are a delight to watch as they dart and dash around the garden. To attract hummingbirds to the garden, consider planting a perennial garden for hummingbirds. If you’re asking yourself, “How can I attract a hummingbird to my garden,” or you wonder about gathering hummingbird garden ideas for creating your own perennial garden for hummingbirds, simply continue reading to learn more.
How Can I Attract a Hummingbird to my Garden?
When attracting hummers to your garden, you should keep in mind that hummingbirds prefer to feed in shady areas and they need plenty of open space for flying. Adding appropriate feeders and flowers will also help to welcome these creatures to the area.
An easy method of attracting hummingbirds to the garden is to hang hummingbird feeders. Hummingbird feeders can provide the amount of nectar found in 2,000 to 5,000 flowers. Hang the feeders at varying heights between 3 and 5 feet off the ground, and fill them with a mixture of 4 cups of water and 1 cup of sugar. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring occasionally. Change the mixture in the feeders every three days and scrub the feeders every week with hot, soapy water.
Some of the best flowers for attracting hummingbirds to the garden include those that are orange or red in color and tube shaped. Some native American wildflowers that naturally attract hummingbirds include:
- Cardinal flower
Hummingbirds also visit many other flowers in the garden, such as various types of lilies. Many perennial plants and trees make the best flowers for attracting hummingbirds and include:
- Scarlet sage
- Bouncing bet
- Silk tree
- Spider flower
- Morning glories
Hummingbird Garden Ideas
Here are some additional ideas to entice hummingbirds into your garden:
- Provide trees and shrubs near the feeding area to give the hummingbirds a place to rest and shelter from predators and weather.
- Ripe fruit left near the feeding area makes the site more attractive to hummingbirds and it attracts gnats—an important source of protein for hummingbirds.
- Hummingbirds also need water. A bird bath no more than 1 1/2 inches deep provides plenty of water for hummingbirds. If the bath is too deep, fill the bottom with coarse gravel.
- Nectar provides only a part of a hummingbird’s nutritional needs. Many species eat large quantities of small bugs for the protein they provide. You can attract bugs to your garden with a small weedy patch or wildflower area. Never use insecticides in gardens where hummingbirds feed.
- The best flowers for attracting hummingbirds are those with long throats that hang in clusters beyond the foliage. Flowers that are too close to the foliage force a hummingbird to beat his wings against the leaves as they feed. The plants should have several open blossoms at a time.
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16 Perennial Plants To Attract Hummingbirds To Your Garden
Finding a simple way to bring hungry hummingbirds to your garden space? Look no further. This post shows 16 perennial plants to attract hummingbirds to your garden. Why perennials? These plants will return to your garden year after year even with larger scale. They are perfect foods for hummingbirds. Some species feed every 10 to 15 minutes. They visit over 1000 flowers in a day. Could other plants meet their needs?
Who do not love seeing magnificent little hummingbirds flutter by? A garden would be more lively with the hummingbirds, along with colorful blooming flowers and green foliage. Just let these perennials do the trick. And make sure to provide a variety of perennials. I mean that you should grow perennials with different blooming periods throughout the seasons. Then, your garden always has things that are appealing to hummingbirds. Let’s check them out!
#1 Monarde (Bee Balm, Bergamot, and Oswego Tea)
Monarda is appealing to bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds. It’s a North American native perennial and part of the mint family, and also known as Bee Balm, Bergamot, and Oswego Tea. This perennial features bright colorful flowers and green foliage, and blooms from early Summer to early Fall.
Also, this plant goes well in zones 4 to 9 in part Sun and part shade to full Sun. It can reaches up to 30 inches tall, and is deer and rabbit resistant. Here are some species you may grow in your garden: Raspberry Wine Monarda, Balmy Rose Monarda, and Balmy Pink Monarda.
This flowering perennial has lavender pink blooms that are 7 to 8 inches wide with ruffled petals and a cherry red eye. Blooms from midSummer to early Fall. It grows in zones 4 to 9 in part shade and part Sun to full Sun. Deer and rabbits don’t bother these it.
#3 Salvia (Meadow Sage)
Salvia is also called Meadow Sage and ideal for dried or cut flower arrangements. It produces an intense show of color over the Summer months. Deer doesn’t bother it. Some varieties you should consider growing in your garden to attract hummingbirds are Midnight Model Salvia, Pretty in Pink Salvia, and Bumbleblue Salvia.
You can grow Orange Perfection Phlox, Cosmopolitan Phlox, and Cloudburst Phlox to attract hummingbirds to your garden. These perennial provides unrivaled flowering over the Summer months, and offers crisp colors and fragrant blooms. They’re great to make beautiful cut flower bouquet.
#5 Agastache (Hyssop or Hummingbird Mint)
Agastache is also a hummingbird-appealing perennial plant. It’s known as Hyssop or Hummingbird Mint, and great to grow in a garden border or in a container. Interestingly, its scented foliage can be used to flavor drinks.
Plus, here are some varieties you may grow: Firebird Agastache, Rosie Posie Agastache, and Kudos Yellow Agastache.
#6 Lobelia (Cardinal Flower)
If you crave bright colorful flowers for your garden, look no further than Lobelia (also also known as Cardinal Flower). Plant them near ponds or low-lying areas for their best growth. Blooms are spires of colorful hood-like flower that emerge from the lower stem up.
#7 Heuchera ( Coral Bells or Alum Root)
Heuchera has a variety of foliage color, texture and leaf shapes. It’s also known as Coral Bells or Alum Root, and deal for shady or semi-shady garden border. This flowering perennial is easy to grow in garden beds, rock gardens, or containers. It best grows in partial afternoon shade, and can also be grown under Black Walnut trees.
Wild Rose Heuchera, Electra Heuchera, and Glitter Heuchera are some varieties you may grow in your garden.
Clematis can invite hungry hummingbirds to your garden. They are sometimes referred to as the “Queen of the Climbers” thanks to their large and beautiful flowers. They can be trained on trellises, fences, or garden archways.
You may start your garden with Stand By Me Clematis or Edda Clematis.
#9 Aquilegia (Columbine)
An excellent choice for those prefer colorful blooms. Aquilegia is also known as Columbine. It blooms in spring blooming and does best in evenly moist, rich soil. Clementine Red Aquilegia and Songbird Cardinal Aquilegia are 2 commonly species to attract hummingbirds.
#10 Echinacea (Coneflower)
Echinacea is also known as coneflowers. It is colorful and easy to grow. Its flowers attracts butterflies and hummingbirds. You may start your garden with Hope Echinacea or Lakota Fire Echinacea.
Benefits of Attracting Birds to Your Garden
Birds Help With Pollination
Birds, like bees and butterflies, are great pollinators for your garden. This is one of the best reasons to attract birds to your garden. As birds move from plant to plant collecting food, they are also gathering pollen and distributing it about the garden. Pollinated plants mean more blooms and more plants. That is always a benefit!
Birds Help With Weed Control
Birds reduce weeds by eating the weed seeds before they mature into full grown plants. Finches and sparrows are particularly good at eating weed seeds.
Birds Help With Rodent Control
Larger birds such as hawks and owls eat rodents such as mice, rats, and snakes. Unfortunately, they do not discriminate against eating small dogs so beware of that before attracting large birds to your yard.
When You Attract Birds to Your Garden You Increase Biodiversity
When your garden is full of different plants, insects, and birds, it increases the overall health of your garden. Attracting birds to your garden increases the biodiversity of your garden and that always adds to overall garden health.
How to Design a Hummingbird-Friendly Landscape
Hummingbirds are attracted to a garden that includes open spaces, allowing them to move freely from one nectar source to another. A yard that's one-fourth shaded, one-fourth partially shaded, and the rest in open sun is ideal. Curved beds and borders allow these agile birds to approach blooms from several sides. Keep shorter flowers in front of tall ones to make access even easier.
When not feeding, hummingbirds need to rest. Providing places for them to perch can keep them in your yard longer. Males perch almost anywhere in the open, including on twigs, clotheslines, and overhead wires. Females and juveniles prefer to remain hidden among trees, shrubs, and vines. Plant trees and shrubs that have hummingbird-friendly flowers to amplify nectar offerings while providing safe perches. Some trees and shrubs for hummingbirds include mimosa, scarlet buckeye, abelia, butterfly bush, and weigela.
Early flowering quince (chaenomeles), in particular the ones with red flowers, highly perfumed lilacs and red-flowering weigelas, especially the new varieties like “Sonic Bloom” that repeats flowering for a longer season, are great plants for attracting hummingbirds. Of course, the butterfly bush (buddleia) is a magnet for both hummingbirds and butterflies (make sure you choose the new sterile varieties to prevent them becoming invasive). A new vibrant red and purple buddleia, called B. “Miss Molly,” is my personal favourite, and it stays within the four to five-foot range (1.2 to 1.5m).
In May, perennials are the mainstay in most gardens, and there is quite a list of standout plants that attract hummingbirds. Choosing longer-blooming varieties and trying to plant for sequential flowering is the best way to go.
You can attract hummingbirds to your herb garden, too. Pineapple sage has lovely tubular red blooms (and incredibly fragrant foliage for the humans). Photo by Minter Country Garden
Early in the season, columbines, foxgloves and perennial alyssums are ideal. Beebalm (monarda) delphiniums, tiger lilies, Lilium columbianum, phlox and red salvias all belong on the standout list. The trumpet-shaped blossoms of phygelius, the cushion flower (scabiosa), penstemons and red lobelias are all great, too. The most visited perennial is crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ with its deep red blossoms. It’s a “must have.”
Not to be outdone, annuals like tubular red and orange fuchsias are well known nectar providers, and the old upright “Gartenmeister Bonstedt” and the trailing red and blue “Wilma Versloot” seem to be among their favourites. Surprisingly, annual lobelias and petunias provide nectar, and even old-fashioned nasturtiums attract hummingbirds.
11 Plants to Attract Bees, Butterflies & Hummingbirds to Your Garden
Our gardens can be precious spaces of quiet, calm, and peace (our neighbor’s zeal for power tools notwithstanding) but they are also places of intense and important activity for the bees, butterflies, birds, and myriad of other insects that rely on our gardens for sustenance and shelter.
Stand in the garden and listen to the buzz and whir and whoosh of creatures feeding and resting and socializing. All that activity also provides the essential service of pollination! Pollinators come in all shapes and sizes: bees, moths, butterflies, beetles, flies, and even bats, just to name a few. Knowing which plants serve our pollinators the best and incorporating them into our gardens helps to create a healthy and vibrant ecosystem where flora and fauna thrive.
Here are a few of the many plants that will attract pollinators to your garden. In this post, we’ve focused on perennial flowers for bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds. Because these plants are perennials, they will return year after year, offering a feast for our pollinator friends and beauty for us to enjoy.