Hummingbirds are attractive tiny birds that help pollinate a garden by transferring pollens from one flower to another. They also stimulate the growth of otherwise hard-to-grow plants since their long beaks help reach long pistils to reach the pollen. Properly selecting native plants and flowers can help attract and retain hummingbirds in your garden. Plant various flowers and the best plants in your garden beds so the hummingbird will still have many other options if one flower is not in season.
Flowers that produce high amounts of nectar are their food sources. The best flowers, such as honeysuckle, butterfly bush, petunia, foxglove, coral bells, hardy fuchsia, dahlia, and lilac, help supply the hummingbird with much-needed energy.
Hollyhocks grow tall and need something to climb on, which makes them an excellent choice to plant near a fence. You can also use Hollyhocks for some privacy screening if you need it. Hollyhocks are perennial flowers, so you only need to grow them once; however, they only bloom every other year. To ensure you have hollyhock blooms each year for the hummingbirds to enjoy, sow some seeds in opposite years. Choose from various hollyhock vibrant colors, such as white, pink, bright red, yellows, and purples. Hollyhocks like well-drained soil and full sun in your yard will bloom continuously from July to September.
The day lily also comes in various colors that hummingbirds like, from orange to yellow and even pink flowers. These bright colors are what attract the hummingbirds. Plant a variety of daylilies since different varieties of these large flowers bloom at various times throughout the early spring and late summer. While the day lily flowers may be too deep for many other birds and insects to drink the sweet nectar, the hummingbird has no problem. Daylilies can stand pretty much anything as they are very hardy and produce more flowers yearly. Plant 5 to 10-day lily bulbs in a group in the full sun for best results, and separate the bulbs every two to three years when the patch seems to get overcrowded.
The Cardinal Flower is a striking perennial plant native to the eastern United States. It is characterized by its vibrant red flowers that bloom on tall spikes from mid-summer to early autumn. The plant is a popular ornamental due to its attractive flowers and ability to attract hummingbirds, butterflies, and bees. Cardinal flowers typically grow in moist, open habitats such as wet meadows, marshes, streams, and rivers. They flourish in rich, loamy soils and grow up to three feet tall. The plant is hardy in USDA zones 3 (aff)-9, preferring full sun to partial shade.
The Cardinal Flower has both medicinal and cultural significance. Native American tribes used the plant in traditional medicine to treat respiratory and digestive ailments, headaches, and fever. The plant was also used in religious ceremonies and as a textile dye.
Plant delphiniums, and you can have two sessions of blooming plants, once in the spring and once in the fall. To accomplish this, cut back the plants after they bloom in the spring, around June or July, and they will bloom again about September. Delphiniums come in various colors, but the brightest colors will attract hummingbirds for the flower nectar. Many blossoms appear on one delphinium stem, making them even more attractive to hummingbirds, as more than one can drink the nectar at a time. This plant can survive in zones that have more fantastic, wetter summers.
Trumpet honeysuckle flowers attract hummingbirds, according to the Native Plant Society of New Jersey. The plants also produce red berries. Trumpet honeysuckle is native to much of the eastern U.S. and is a perennial. Honeysuckles make a great climbing plant for a garden trellis or archway.
Sage, also called salvia, has attractive purple flowers, and it is a hummingbird magnet. According to the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, sage attracts hummingbirds. Sage grows well all over the U.S. and much of Canada. It blooms during the spring, fall, and winter. The University of Texas at El Paso explains that sage is an herb people have historically used for medicinal purposes. Sage can help with skin problems, and sage tea soothes menopause symptoms and digestive issues.
Rose of Sharon
The Rose of Sharon (Hibiscus syriacus) is a beautiful flowering shrub native to eastern Asia. It gets its name from biblical references and is known for its showy flowers and long blooming period. The plant is famous for gardeners because it can thrive in various climates and soil conditions.
Rose of Sharon plants can grow up to 8 to 12 feet tall and have a spreading, vase-shaped habit. The flowers bloom from mid-summer to early fall and come in various colors, including white, pink, purple, and blue. The blooms are large, with five overlapping petals that create a stunning display.
In addition to its ornamental value, the Rose of Sharon is also known for its versatility. It can be used as a hedge, screen, or focal point in the landscape. The shrub can tolerate drought and urban conditions, making it suitable for many garden settings. It is hardy in USDA zones 5-9 and prefers full sun to partial shade.
Yellow columbine flowers also attract hummingbirds. The attractive yellow flowers bloom in spring and grow primarily in the northwestern U.S. and southwestern Canada. Although the flowers are mainly yellow, they sometimes have raspberry-colored sepals and spurs, according to the U.S. Forest Service. Yellow columbines tend to grow in meadows or rocky mountainous slopes.
People are familiar with aloe plants because of their medicinal gel. Aloe plants attract hummingbirds, according to the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum. Many people know of aloe because its stalks contain a gel with skin-soothing properties. Less-known are its yellow or orange flowers, which attract hummingbirds. Aloe flowers during summer and fall. Aloe generally only grows in Hawaii, Florida, California, and Texas in the U.S., but gardeners in other areas can successfully plant it in warm climates.
Other Items To Have In Your Garden
Ample shelter from the sun and extremities must be available in your garden so the hummingbirds can seek protection. This means having some birdhouses or nearby awnings for them to find shelter in. Branches from older trees and structures such as wooden trellises also make good nesting areas. This will encourage them to stay longer in your garden by breeding and nesting their eggs on these structures.
Keeping the garden and the hummingbird flowers well-hydrated helps the flowers and plants flourish better, thus attracting more hummingbirds. Misters and garden sprays provide the hummingbirds with a birdbath. Small ponds, fountains, or birdbath dishes also help the hummingbirds cool themselves, especially during the summer. Please ensure the water in the birdbath dish and ponds is regularly cleaned to prevent mosquitoes from breeding.
A hummingbird feeder will help the birds sustain themselves if nectar supply is low. You can just place the hummingbird feeder in an easily visible spot. Mix four parts of clean water with one part of white sugar – brown sugar and other raw forms of sugar have iron that can be dangerous for hummingbirds. Dissolve the sugar entirely by boiling the mixture. Let it cool, and fill the hummingbird feeder with this mixture.
Cultivating a garden filled with the best plants for hummingbirds not only adds beauty to your outdoor space but also invites the enchanting presence of these energetic flyers. By choosing nectar-rich blooms and creating a welcoming environment, you contribute to the well-being of hummingbirds while enjoying the mesmerizing dance of these tiny avian wonders. So, plant purposefully, watch your garden come to life, and delight in the harmony between nature and these delightful feathered friends.