Planting the right flower combination will provide an all-you-can-eat buffet for hummingbirds that will keep them buzzing around all summer. And it’s a very simple gardening task; plant nectar-filled flowers that hummingbirds can’t resist, then sit back and watch the show.
Size Doesn’t Matter
You don’t need a large landscape to set the buffet table, one container, hanging basket or window box will suffice. The trick is enticing hummingbirds to the planter (or flower bed, if you have the space) with the right types of flowers.
A patch of red nectar-rich flowers are to a hummingbird what a flashing neon ‘EAT’ sign is to a human. Tube-shaped red blooms are irresistible to the tiny birds. Few other creatures can reach the sweet nectar pooled at the base of a tube-shaped flower, but the long slender beak of a hummingbird can reach it without problem.
Fragrant flowers are often the popular plant choice when creating a hummingbird buffet, but that’s more for our own olfactory senses than for the bird’s enjoyment. Hummingbirds have a poor sense of smell, they hunt for food by sight. Flowers with fragrance attract bees and other insects, the hummers see the competition on fragrant flowers and pass over them in search of an unscented buffet with fewer customers in line.
Planting the Buffet
The goal is to have continuous blooms, no matter what size buffet you’re serving. A good mix of annuals, perennials and if landscape space permits, flowering shrubs and trees, will provide continuous blooms from early spring until fall.
While red blooms are the flashing neon sign to the bird buffet, don’t limit your garden or planter to red-only flowers. Plant clusters of red flowers to get the hummingbirds attentions and plant other colors of nectar-rich flowers nearby.
Low to High
Place tallest flowers in the back of the planter or flowers bed, shorter flowers in front and medium goes in the middle. This allows hummingbirds to easily get at all the blooms without any interference from plants stems or leaves. Deadhead spent flowers before they go to seed to encourage more blooms and to keep the hummers coming back for more.
10 Hummingbird Flowers
Create your own hummingbird buffet with some (or all) of these favorite flowers –
* Bee Balm (Monarda Didyma)
* Butterfly Bush ( Buddleja)
* Butterfly Weed ( Asclepias)
* Cardinal Flower ( Lobelia Cardinalis)
* Columbine (Aquilegia)
* Fuchsia ( Fuchsia)
* Phlox (Phlox)
* Salvia (Salvia Spledens)
* Snapdragons (Antirrhinum)
* Trumpet Vine (Campsis Radicans)