- Attracting Hummingbirds to your Garden
- 20 Ways to keep hummingbirds coming back
The Plant Lady: Want to see hummingbirds at your house? Put in these flowering plants | The Sacramento Bee
- Ribes sanguineum (Red-flowering Currant)
- Hesperaloe parviflora (Red Yucca)
- Salvia (Sage)
- Asclepias speciosa (Showy Milkweed)
- Abutilon hybrids (Flowering Maple)
- Lonicera, Campsis Radicans (Honeysuckle, trumpet vine)
- Zauschneria californica (California Fuchsia)
- Zone 8 Hummingbird Plants: Attracting Hummingbirds In Zone 8
- Attracting Hummingbirds in Zone 8
- Planning a Zone 8 Hummingbird Garden
- 1. Bee balm – USDA Zones 4-9
- 2. Salvia – USDA Zones 8-11
- 3. Cardinal flower (lobelia) – USDA Zones 3 -8
- 4. Coral Honeysuckle – USDA Zones 4-10
- 5. Wild Columbine – USDA Zones 3-8
- 6. Flowering tobacco – USDA Zones 6 -11
- 7. Weigela florida – USDA Zones 4-8
- 8. Cosmos – USDA Zones 3-10
- 9. Hummingbird Petunia – USDA Zones 5-9
- 10. Geranium – USDA Zones 9-11
- 11. Yarrow – USDA Zones 3-9
- 12. Hollyhocks – USDA Zones 3-10
- 13. Fuchsia – USDA Zones 7-9
- 14. Red hot poker plant – USDA Zones 5-9
- 15. Peacock flower (Caesalpinia pulcherrima) USDA Zones 8 -11
- 16. Orange trumpet flower – USDA Zones 4-9
- 17. Abutilon – USDA Zones 6-9
- 18. Begonia – USDA Zones 6-9
- 19. Penstemon – Zones 3 to 9
- 20. Coral bells – USDA Zones 3-8
- 21. Oriental poppies – USDA Zones 3-8
- Select plants that bloom longer
- 7 Red hummingbird flowers that bloom in the summer
- 4 Red hummingbird flowers that bloom in the spring
- 4 Red hummingbird flowers that bloom spring to fall
- Would you like more hummingbirds in your garden?
Attracting Hummingbirds to your Garden
Hummingbirds are a variety of wildlife that are attainable in any area, with the provisions necessary for their survival. This can be accomplished through the creation of hummingbird gardens.
The variety of hummingbird attracted to a garden is dependent on the regional area. Gardeners east of the Mississippi are only visited by the ruby-throated hummingbird, while Western gardeners usually are visited by seven different varieties.
Although hummingbirds eat tiny insects, their preferred food is nectar, which tends to be most abundant in trumpet-shaped flowers. Although they will feed from other flowers, blooms that are reddish or purple in color are most attractive to hummingbirds. Hence, gardens containing a large number of desirable flowers are most attractive. Fragrance is not an essential element, as the birds are attracted by color. Choose varieties that will be in bloom when hummingbirds are in your region (typically the warmest months of the year in northern regions).
A hummingbird can be characterized in several ways, most notably by their small size and the fast pace at which their wings beat. Hummingbirds are attracted to the color red. Because their wings beat unusually quick, hummingbirds use extreme amounts of energy; making it necessary for the birds to feed every 10 to 15 minutes from dawn until sunset. Hummingbirds are territorial and will guard prime flower plantings.
One dominant bird often drives others away. If you want to encourage more hummers to take up residence, plant several different hummingbird gardens in your yard with plenty of distance between them.
Hummingbirds will also drink sugar water from specially constructed feeders. The container is usually red, making it attractive to the birds. The sugar water solution is relatively easy to make at home, a combination of 1 part sugar to 4 parts water. After combining, bring the solution to a boil and then cool before placing it in the feeder. Boiling it will keep it fresh for a longer period of time; however, if the feeder is not emptied quickly, change the solution within a few days. Honey is not a recommended substitute for sugar, as it ferments and spoils too quickly.
The following list cites plants useful in the attraction of hummingbirds, the varieties that are not Proven Winners are followed by the months in bloom and the color:
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20 Ways to keep hummingbirds coming back
Hummingbirds are so much fun to watch at your hummingbird feeders, so have you ever considered adding flowers to your yard to attract hummingbirds naturally?
There are dozens of flowers that hummingbirds can get nectar from, and you can fill in with hummingbird feeders when the blooms begin to fade. Here’s a list of 20 nectar-rich flowers to help get you started.
Bee Balm, also known as Monarda, is loved by bees, butterflies and of course hummingbirds. A bold statement plant that comes back year after year, Bee Balm can bloom for weeks at a time in a sunny location. Although some plants can survive in partial shade, the more sun this plant gets the more hummingbird-attracting flowers you will have! Grown most successfully in Zones 4-8.
Begonias are shade-loving plants that typically grow less than twelve inches tall. They are great in hanging baskets placed near a window so you can admire the hummingbirds that come to drink the nectar. You can enjoy them all summer but when winter comes, they aren’t likely to survive outdoors. In most parts of the country (except in Zones 8-10) begonias are treated as annuals.
Bleeding Hearts are another shade-loving plant that attracts hummingbirds, although these perennials can grow quite large. Once you plant a bleeding heart, you can enjoy the bright flowers for years to come. Each spring you’ll be rewarded with beautiful foliage and bright nectar-filled flowers, and many plants will bloom again in the fall. Grown most successfully in Zones 3-8.
Carpet Bugle (aka Bugle Weed)
Bugle weed is a ground cover that rarely reaches a foot tall, but it’s sure to make an impact in your yard. A pretty little perennial that is comfortable in shade or sun, carpet bugle blooms in spring or summer (depending on the plant) in Zones 4-8.
Cannas make a strong impression on any garden. With their tall stalks, bright colors that bloom mid-summer, and lush tropical foliage, cannas can easily brighten up your yard. Although technically perennials, most areas consider these beautiful flowers annuals. They are not terribly hardy, and only survive mild winters in Zones 9-10.
Cardinal flowers are a native wildflower that continues to be a favorite of hummingbirds. While they only bloom for a short while, their striking appearance earns them a place on the list of top flowers for attracting hummingbirds. They like to be kept moist and would do well placed near a water feature. Hardy in Zones 3-8.
Columbine flowers grow on a mid-sized plant that can get as tall as three feet (depending on the plant you buy). As comfortable in partial shade as in full sun, these plants are relatively low maintenance. Remember that red and yellow tend to attract the attention of hummingbirds, and since these flowers will usually come back year after year — you may want to look for bright colored flowers! While some types of columbines can be grown in more extreme weather, in general gardeners in Zones 4-8 have the best luck growing them.
Coral Bells are also called Heuchera, and are best known for their stunning foliage. They are a low-growing perennial that grace us with beautiful tiny flowers in mid-summer. Loved by bees and hummingbirds alike, they are a great addition to your yard. These plants do not do well in sunny areas, but quickly become a favorite part of shade gardens in Zones 4-9.
Foxglove groupings are dazzling, with majestic flowers that can reach up to four feet tall in sunny areas of your yard. While hummingbirds find these flowers irresistable, they are poisonous to pets and people. If you are considering planting foxglove, make sure you choose a location that ensures pets and people won’t accidentally eat it. The plants bloom every other year and grow best in Zones 4-9.
Fuchsias are a hummingbird favorite, and can bloom for months at a time. These plants have nectar-filled flowers, and the plants themselves create a nice shape in your garden or hanging planter. They grow to about two feet tall, and do best in a partially sunny area in Zones 6-9 (depending on the type of plant you buy).
Geraniums are a low-maintenance perrenial that comes in a wide variety of sizes and colors. Typically blooming in mid-summer, these plants have lots of colorful flowers for hummingbirds to enjoy. Because there are so many different types of geraniums, check the label on plants before you buy to make sure they will grow in your Zone.
Hollyhocks are a tall plant with stunning flowers that often grow on stalks over five feet tall. Different types of hollyhocks are either perennial or biennial. Our favorites are the perennial plants as they bloom every year, but you may find the biennial plants come in the colors you are looking for. These plants need lots of sunshine to reach their full potential, and do best in Zones 3-9.
Hostas are plants that were made for shade. These plants will do well underneath trees and their beautiful foliage adds unique texture to shade gardens. The flowers are often described as trumpet-shaped (just the perfect size for tiny hummingbirds) and bloom in mid-summer in Zones 3-9.
Impatiens are annual flowers that you can plant in an area left empty by biennial plants, or in a hanging basket near a window. Equally happy in shade or partial sun, these plants will provide weeks of beautiful blooms. The flowers on impatiens can be pink, white, lavendar or multi-colored but whatever the color, they provide a great meal for hummingbirds.
Depending on the plant, lantana is either a small bush or a larger shrub. With large clusters of flowers that lasts for weeks (and sometimes months), lantana is popular with butterflies and hummingbirds. Since lantana plants vary significantly, make sure any plants you buy are hardy in your Zone.
Lupines have a unique shaped flower that blooms vigorously once it’s established. A summer-blooming plant that tops out at twenty four inches tall, lupines also make beautiful dried flowers. They tend to grow best in moist soil in Zones 4-8, so plant them near a birdbath and you’ll save time watering.
Most Salvia Plants
Most saliva plants are less than eighteen inches tall but hummingbirds have no trouble finding them. Their brilliant spikes of color bloom in spring and early summer, and if you “dead head” the flowers they will often re-bloom late in the season. They are very durable plants, and require little maintenance in Zones 5-9.
Penstemons are a breathtaking sight. Their bright colored flowers bloom from late spring to early summer, with attractive foliage too. The trumpet-shaped flowers are easy for hummingbirds to feed at, and these drought-resistant plants will typically grow throughout Zones 3-9.
Petunias are pretty annual flowers that spread quickly when planted in the sun. Your hummingbirds are sure to notice. Petunias are also fragrant flowers that are a great addition to the garden (as long as you don’t mind planting more each year).
Yucca plants are heat-loving plants that thrive in dry conditions. They have an impressive show of flower blooms in the spring on attractive upright flower stalks. Some types of yuccas can be grown in Zones 6-11, but most are only hardy in Zones 8-10.
Not sure which Zone you are in? Check out the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map. Just enter your zip code to find your Zone.
Planting flowers and vines that attract hummingbirds naturally is a great way to provide valuable nectar during the blooming season. You might also want to consider supplementing the flowers with a few hummingbird feeders around your yard, which will provide food year-round.
Photo Credit: Hostas by WildAboutBirds.com photographer Judy_NMMI. Coral Bells, Geranium, Lantana, Salvia and Yucca by Hans, Hummingbirds at Bleeding Hearts by wollertz via .com, Bee Balm by ca2hill via .com, Begonias by BrianJClark, Cannas by Araleboy via .com, Cardinal Flowers by tpsdave , Columbine by stux, Foxglove by steho via .com, Fuchsias by petr kratochvil, Hollyhocks by Julietart, Impatiens by dexns31 via .com, Lupines by peter häger, Penstemons by kwiktor via .com and Petunias by bobbi jones jones.
WE ARE INCREDIBLY lucky to live in an area of the country where hummingbirds remain year-round. It’s a special treat to watch them perform their aerial acrobatics in all seasons. Hanging a feeder in winter helps attract overwintering hummingbirds and provides extra nourishment.
However, hummingbirds can become dependent on the nectar we provide for survival. If you travel during winter, or for any reason can’t be home to make sure there is fresh nectar available at all times, don’t hang a hummingbird feeder. These little birds can freeze to death in only a half-hour if the nectar they are relying on freezes. (Heated feeders are available online.)
When mixing the nectar, always use the recipe of 1 part cane sugar to 4 parts water. Clean the feeder regularly, using vinegar (dish soap can repel hummingbirds). Finally, make sure there is a full feeder hanging at the crack of dawn. After a long, cold night, the last thing we want to do is make these hungry little guys wait for their breakfast.
Even if you hang a feeder, hummingbirds are more likely to make your garden their year-round home if it contains a variety of winter bloomers with nectar-rich flowers. Among the best of the winter-flowering shrubs are the Mahonias (Mahonia x media). These Asian hybrids of our native Oregon grape are statuesque-looking, upright, drought-tolerant, shade-loving shrubs. Hummingbirds love the long-lasting, soft, yellow, candelabra-shaped flowers that occur in the heart of winter.
Mahonia x media ‘Lionel Fortescue’ is famous for the biggest and most frost-proof soft, yellow flowers of the clan.
‘Charity’, later-blooming and the tallest of the genus, towers to 15 feet, featuring beautiful sprays of pastel yellow flowers. The more-compact, 8-foot tall ‘Winter Sun’ scents the winter garden with large sprays of wonderfully fragrant light-yellow flowers.
By early December, another hummingbird favorite, witch hazels (Hamamelis), begin to bloom. These small trees light up the winter garden with colorful, spidery flowers on bare branches. It’s easy to find a spot for one of these gorgeous trees. Most hybrids rarely exceed 12 feet, and bloom well in sun or shade.
Another small tree that flowers on bare wood, and does equally well in sun or shade, is Viburnum x bodnantense ‘Dawn’. Drought-tolerant and extremely cold-hardy, these tough little trees produce pink, deliciously fragrant flower clusters prized by hummingbirds all winter long.
A shrub that provides holiday cheer and sustenance to hummers is Camellia sasanqua ‘Yuletide’. Given an open, sunny location, its bright-red flowers, centered with golden stamens, often open right on Christmas.
In January, sweetbox (Sarcococca), a great shrub for dry shade, bursts into bloom. The white flowers are tiny, but amazingly fragrant. Although hummingbirds lack a sense of smell, they zero in on the gazillions of nectar-laden flowers as soon as they begin to open.
Aromatic flowers are often nectar-rich, and winter daphne (Daphne odora) is no exception. You’ll see the Anna’s hummingbirds frequent the February blooms soon after their spicy scent fills the garden.
If you want to drive the Anna’s gaga with desire, try to find a Grevillea victoriae. These somewhat-rare shrubs often show up in spring at plant sales and, occasionally, at local nurseries. Planted in full sun and well-drained soil, these Australian natives have proved surprisingly hardy and long-lived, often exceeding 6 feet tall and wide. The abundant clusters of inch-long, scarlet flowers that cover the plant all winter are so spectacular, you’ll love this plant just as much as the hummingbirds do.
Finally, try not to be too fastidious about cutting back the plants in your mixed borders and perennial gardens in fall. Insects and spiders that inhabit the garden are high in protein and constitute an important part of a hummingbird’s winter diet. On warm days in winter, insects often hatch out and take to the air. There’s nothing more entertaining than watching the hummers snatching nutritional midwinter snacks right out of the air.
By Kenn Kaufman
photo credit: Oscar Palmquist
Could any birds say summer more clearly than hummingbirds? Dancing before flowers to sip nectar, flashing and glittering in the light, they seem like tiny sunbeams come to life. The very idea of hummingbirds in winter sounds almost like a contradiction. But some hummingbirds do spend the winter in North America, and in recent years their numbers and range have been increasing.
Anna’s Hummingbirds in Winter and Beyond
Anna’s Hummingbirds, seen year-round in coastal CaliforniaKathy Rowland
Of course, winter isn’t a harsh season everywhere. In coastal California, where the weather is moderate year-round, Anna’s hummingbirds have always been permanent residents. Historically, they were common from Baja north to the San Francisco Bay region. Around the 1930s, however, they began to spread. By the 1960s they were expanding eastward and beginning to nest in Arizona. At the same time, they pushed north through coastal Oregon and Washington and into southwestern British Columbia. Today you can see male Anna’s hummingbirds flashing their rose-red crowns and singing their scratchy songs in Vancouver, even on cold days in January.
What made it possible for these hummingbirds to expand their range so dramatically? The short answer is that gardeners did, by feeding hummingbirds well. With well-watered parks and yards boasting hardy plants blooming in every season, we created a landscape that would support more Anna’s hummingbirds year-round than most of their natural habitats. Add in a generous number of sugar-water feeders, and you have a hummer haven for all seasons.
Growing Numbers of Hummingbirds in Winter
A similar story has played out in the Eastern states. But the plot line there is more complicated and involves more different players.
Most kinds of hummingbirds in the U.S. live in the West, especially the Southwest. Originally, the only hummers east of the Great Plains were the familiar little ruby-throats. They were summer birds from the Gulf Coast to southern Canada, but almost all went to southern Mexico or Central America for the winter, with only a handful staying through the season in Florida. But recent decades have seen a virtual explosion in the numbers of Western hummingbirds wandering eastward.
The Rufous Hummingbird has been expanding its winter range in recent years.Dave Ryan
Leading the charge has been the rufous hummingbird. This copper-colored sprite is among the most numerous Western hummers, spending early summer in Northwestern forests, from Oregon and Montana to the edge of Alaska. In late summer and early fall, most of the population migrates south through mountain meadows of the Rockies, heading for a wintering range in Mexico. But every fall, a few rufous hummingbirds stray east out of the Rockies, winding up in the Southeastern U.S.
In centuries past, such strays probably would not have survived the winter—not unless they corrected their course and headed for Mexico. There simply weren’t enough wildflowers to sustain them through the season. But gardeners have changed that equation, too, by creating habitats made for attracting hummingbirds. Over the last century, legions of plant lovers throughout the South have developed year-round flower beds, using many flowers perfect for feeding hummingbirds. In the process, they have unwittingly changed the landscape to support hummingbirds in winter. Many people in the South now work at developing winter hummingbird gardens, putting up sugar-water feeders and planting any kind of red, tubular flower that will bloom when it’s cool, all in the name of attracting hummingbirds.
Rufous hummingbirds have now spread through Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia and Florida, with smaller numbers north along the Atlantic Coast to Virginia and beyond. And they seem to have brought their friends along. The calliope hummingbird, America’s tiniest bird at just over 3 inches, is now a regular in winter in the Southeastern states. So are the broad-tailed hummingbird, another bird from the Rockies, and the black-chinned hummingbird, the Western counterpart to the ruby-throat. During some recent seasons, 10 or more different species of hummers have spent the winter in the Gulf states.
Knowing that hummers will pause to investigate anything in their favorite color, one Louisiana birder even painted her house red! Any hummingbird that flew within a mile of that place probably detoured to check it out. Most people wouldn’t go this far, but if you live in a climate where it’s possible to keep some flowers blooming during the winter, why not try planting some hardy nectar sources for hummers? You just might make the joyful discovery that hummingbirds in winter aren’t that uncommon after all.
History of Hummingbirds in Winter
1950s: A few rufous hummingbirds show up in fall in Louisiana and stay through winter.
1970s: As people begin actively feeding hummingbirds, a few more hummingbirds start showing up and staying.
1990s: Dozens of hummingbirds are staying in Louisiana and beyond.
Currently: Hundreds of vagrant hummingbirds will likely winter all over the Southeast, including rufous, calliope and others, drawn by gardens designed with attracting hummingbirds in mind.
The Plant Lady: Want to see hummingbirds at your house? Put in these flowering plants | The Sacramento Bee
Sierra San Antonio sage, a hybrid, is featured in the UC Davis hummingbird garden. Renee C. Byer [email protected]
Have you been fortunate enough to be buzzed by a hummingbird in the garden? Maybe it’s their small stature or shiny colorful bodies – the fact is, everyone loves hummingbirds.
More important, you can add “pollinator to over 300 plant species” and “vigorous insect eater” to their resume. For these reasons, hummingbirds are an important aspect of California’s ecosystem. Northern California is home to two nesting species – known as Anna’s and Allen’s hummingbirds – and roughly 12 other species according to the Audubon Society.
Ideally, a hummingbird garden will include plants native to the bird’s local region, as those flowers tend to be compatible with native hummingbirds. But there are plenty of non-California natives that are more than adequate as food sources. Both are included here, focusing on staggered flowering times and ease of growing.
Hummingbirds consume nectar, so you will want to pick plants with tubular flowers, which indicates a flower contains nectar. These birds are voracious consumers, eating up to twice their weight in nectar a day. Flowers are tricky, however, in that they only provide a bit of nectar per flower to ensure hummingbirds move pollen. As such, hummingbirds need to visit a lot of flowers a day: 1,000 to 2,000 flowers a day according to the Audubon Society.
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In general, hummingbirds are attracted to red, pink and orange colored flowers, but they will visit other colors secondarily.
In addition to flower color, another attribute to consider when choosing plants is selecting ones with differing heights in order to provide nesting and resting habitats. Fuzzy leaves are also desirable for nest building.
Below are some of the easiest plants to grow that will have hummingbirds coming to your garden.
Aloes are native to South Africa where hummingbirds and other hovering birds do not exist. So what pollinates them in their native habitat? Hummingbird moths! Aloes contain nectar, which hummingbirds will consume when presented. Due to their late winter/early spring bloom period, Aloes are ideal as a food source when there are not many other plants in bloom. Two species I recommend are A. striata (Coral Aloe) and A. maculata. Both require very low water, even surviving with no summer water.
Ribes sanguineum (Red-flowering Currant)
One of the earliest flowers to bloom in spring, ribes will provide early season food for hummingbirds. These California native deciduous bushes grow roughly 6 feet by 10 feet. In hot inland climates, they do best in morning sun/afternoon shade or all-day dappled shade.
Hesperaloe parviflora (Red Yucca)
This southwest native is great for a xeriscape (minimal supplemental irrigation) garden. The plant itself only reaches 4 feet by 3 feet, but the tall flower spikes shoot up an additional 2 to 3 feet. The blooms open late spring into early summer. This is a very easy plant to care for.
There are many salvia species to choose from – California native and beyond – that will entice hummingbirds to your garden. The aptly named native pink hummingbird sage (salvia spathaceae) is great for a dry shade garden. Salvia nemorosa, salvia clevelandii, salvia leucantha, salvia canariensis and even the culinary sage, salvia officinalis, are ideal for the sun-loving dry garden.
Asclepias speciosa (Showy Milkweed)
This native milkweed not only provides food for hummingbirds but it’s also a food source for monarch butterflies. In addition, the fuzzy leaves and seeds can be used by hummingbirds as nesting material. The flowers, as the name suggests, are quite showy – bubble gum pink and large, about 3 to 4 inches across. Once established, this plant will spread throughout the garden; nicely, not in an invasive way. Requires full sun, low water.
Abutilon hybrids (Flowering Maple)
Flowering maples are the exception to the tubular shaped flower rule. Abutilons are not actual maples, but members of the hibiscus family (Malvaceae). Most members of this family – including hollyhocks – are visited by hummingbirds. I’m focusing on Abutilons because of their long bloom period (up to year-round). They work well in a partial-shade garden. Clementine is a reddish-orange variety that takes intense sun (unlike most) and blooms nonstop year-round.
Native and non-native penstemons are ideal for a hummingbird garden. Flowers range from white, pink, red to purple. The easy-to-grow California native P. heterophyllus (Margarita BOP) has vibrant blue/purple flowers spring through summer. Bright pink Parry’s penstemon is another easy to grow native which blooms starting in February (much earlier than hybrid varieties).
Zinnias are some of the easiest flowers to grow with the biggest return. Plant in spring and you will have flowers up until frost. Numerous flower colors entice hummingbirds to visit your garden. This is a full-sun annual, but will reseed in the garden.
Lonicera, Campsis Radicans (Honeysuckle, trumpet vine)
These two vines get an honorable mention. These vigorous vines can be a bit rambunctious in the garden, but if feeding hummingbirds is your goal then these are the two go-to vines. Lonicera (Honeysuckle) is abundant with nectar filled flowers. L. sempervirens is a showy orangish/red bloomer. The Trumpet vine can become weedy, but it has a long bloom period of large orange flowers.
Zauschneria californica (California Fuchsia)
This is a large sprawling shrub (2 feet by 4 feet), with a long blooming period. It will flower into fall when many other hummingbird flowers are done. It’s a low-water, no-fuss plant.
Zone 8 Hummingbird Plants: Attracting Hummingbirds In Zone 8
Enjoying wildlife is one of the joys of home ownership. Even if you just have a tiny patio or lanai, you can attract and enjoy numerous animals that will entice you to spend time outdoors. The antics of the hummingbird are some of the more charming activities to watch. By adding zone 8 hummingbird plants, you can lure these adorable little birds into your garden space. A zone 8 hummingbird garden is easy to plan and can be done in a big plot of land or scaled down to a small space.
Attracting Hummingbirds in Zone 8
Hummingbirds, or hummers as they are familiarly known, are about the cutest things for a bird watcher. These fast moving, tiny birds love brightly colored, nectar-rich plants. Choosing plants for hummingbirds in zone 8 simply requires paying attention to hardiness and then opting for plants that produce food enjoyed by the birds.
You can dispense with the sugary red feeder that requires cleaning and refilling if you just put out a couple of plants that attract them and also make your outdoor space colorful.
Whether you have year-round hummers or just winter visitors, there are large variety of these tiny birds to attract and watch. Ruby throated hummingbirds may be native to the area and are year-round denizens. Wintering species may be Rufous, Broad Billed, Buff-bellied, Blue Throated, Black Chinned, Allen’s, or the tiniest bird in North America – the Calliope.
The colors and activities of these pretty birds are a birder’s joy, which can be enjoyed up close when plants that attract them are placed near your family hangout. Remember to keep plants that attract hummingbirds in zone 8 away from the proximity of the family cat, as you don’t want to be responsible for the demise one of these beautiful birds.
Planning a Zone 8 Hummingbird Garden
There are many options for zone 8 hummingbird plants. Instead of the high maintenance hummingbird feeder, planning a garden that has long season appeal to the birds is an easier option and one that affords you the opportunity to watch the birds in a natural setting.
Large plants that bloom annually are a long-term solution to attract the birds which doesn’t require annual planning and planting. Try some azaleas, flowering quince, or mimosa.
Vining plants that are perennials provide vertical feeding spaces that are out of the way of predatory animals and keep the birds at eye level. These may include:
- Trumpet vine
- Cypress vine
- Morning glory
Additional plants for hummingbirds in zone 8 include a number of perennials that provide year after year blooms, but annuals are also useful to attract hummingbirds. Hanging planters are a great way to keep the birds safe and bring them into the patio or deck space.
Petunias not only beautify the area but will attract hummers like magnets. Other annuals with long season blooms that bring in the hungry birds are:
- Tobacco plant
- Shrimp plant
- Beard tongue
Even your herb garden will be attractive to these little birds. Flowers that come up in spring and summer on your chives, sage or Echinacea provide the quick energy these small animals need. Almost any plant that flowers and has a sweet scent will bring in hungry hummingbirds. Plant them so there are blooms in the garden in most seasons.
If you take responsibility for hummingbirds, be aware, these little guys are territorial and will come back year after year. Keep a ready supply of blooms, or in the off season, provide them with a clean, sanitary source of homemade nectar.
Hummingbirds are a delight to watch in any garden as they sprint from one flower to the next, performing some pretty amazing air acrobatics. Inviting them into your garden is not all fun and games, however, as they are instrumental in pollination, making them a welcome visitor anytime.
Hummingbirds are attracted to the color red, but what really keeps them coming back to a particular garden spot is lots of flowers that produce nectar. Tubular flowers have a special relationship with these birds probably because of parallel evolution. The deep neck of the flowers ensures that nectar seekers stay around long enough to pollinate them. Only hummingbirds with long and narrow beaks and butterflies and moths with long feeding tubes can reach the nectar deep inside the corollary tube.
1. Bee balm – USDA Zones 4-9
No hummingbird can resist the sight of the red-flowered bee balm in all its summer glory. Their tubular flowers hold nectar that cannot be easily accessed by many other nectar lovers, so hummingbirds have a distinct advantage. Grow these native perennials in your garden, preferably in large groupings.
Although they are easy to grow, bee balm prefers slightly moist and very rich soil. Plant them in an area that receives plenty of sunlight or a partly shaded area in a very warm climate.
Not only the red flowered varieties but also the pink and purple ones have nectar, so don’t be hesitant to plant a wide variety. Remove spent flowers and prune plants after the first burst of flowers to encourage another bout.
2. Salvia – USDA Zones 8-11
The brightly colored blooms of salvia offer plenty of sweet nectar for hummingbirds who flock to their tubular flowers. Red salvia may be the favorite, but you will see hummingbirds feasting on the pink and purple types as well.
Salvia of all colors are easy to grow from seeds, most of them are self-seeding in the garden. Most varieties like average soil and a sunny or partly sunny location.
3. Cardinal flower (lobelia) – USDA Zones 3 -8
Cardinal flowers may have earned their name from another bird, but they are an excellent addition to any hummingbird garden.The 2 ft long flower spikes carrying bright red flowers stay well above the foliage, making them easily noticeable as well accessible to hummingbirds.
It is best to grow lots of these lovely flowers together in a group. They are easily raised from seed and from easy-to-care-for perennial clumps.
4. Coral Honeysuckle – USDA Zones 4-10
It’s not surprising that the pretty peach red blossoms of coral honeysuckle are attractive to hummingbirds. Many birds actually decide to set up house in large, rambling honeysuckle vines.
You can grow this plant from seeds or root cuttings. Once established and given a support to climb on, they happily produce flowers from late spring through summer without any kind of pampering. The plant is pretty drought tolerant as the name ‘sempervirens’ indicates. A winter pruning will help keep it in good shape.
5. Wild Columbine – USDA Zones 3-8
Hummingbirds may visit all types of columbines, but the beautiful, bicolor flowers of wild columbines are like magnets. Their brilliant color and an ample supply of nectar draw hummingbirds from far off into the garden.
The nectar spurs of the pendulous flowers are quite large, but more importantly, they are shorter and straight when mature. Hummingbirds prefer short and straight nectar spurs to the thin and long ones favored by certain moths.
Wild columbines are easily raised from seeds, and they self-seed freely, but they hybridize just as easily with other varieties of columbines.
6. Flowering tobacco – USDA Zones 6 -11
The lightly fragrant flowers of this tobacco species appear in summer, attracting hummingbirds to trumpet-shaped flowers. The birds have to dig deep to reach the nectar, but they don’t seem to mind. Apart from the white and light pink varieties commonly seen, there are beautiful dark pinks and magentas that may be more visually attractive to hummingbirds.
Flowering tobacco is a short-lived perennial in USDA Zones 10 and 11, but they can be easily raised from seeds and treated as annuals elsewhere. The flowers close or wither fast in summer heat, so grow them in partial shade in places having intense summers.
7. Weigela florida – USDA Zones 4-8
This floriferous shrub attracts a horde of hummingbirds and bees when it is in flower. It is a spring bloomer, but may bloom again in summer. Individual flowers are funnel shaped and look like the flowers of foxglove.
Flower color ranges from shades of pink and purple to deep magenta and red, with some cultivars carrying flowers of different color on the same plant. Some varieties have colorful or variegated leaves, such as the W. florida ‘Foliis Purpureis’ that has dark colored leaves and deep mauve flowers. Grow these large shrubs in a sunny spot for best results.
8. Cosmos – USDA Zones 3-10
Cosmos can be found in beautiful shades of pink, yellow and orange. While hummingbirds will be attracted to these flowers, they love the ‘Ladybird Scarlet’ they best.
Cosmos are annuals that are easily grown from seed and have a long flowering season. They don’t need much maintenance, although deadheading will ensure more flowers. Grow cosmos in the garden along with other colorful, nectar-bearing flowers.
9. Hummingbird Petunia – USDA Zones 5-9
This is a petunia made-for-hummingbirds, or it would be more accurate to say that the flower and the bird are made for each other. These hummingbird-pollinated petunia flowers are bright scarlet in color, but they are not as large as the hybrids that are more commonly found in gardens. The exserta species has prominent stamens and produces more nectar than their modern counterparts.
Look for this particular variety to bring more wings to your garden. Hummingbirds are said to prefer them over their bright red feeders full of syrup.
10. Geranium – USDA Zones 9-11
Hummingbirds adore red geraniums but they will also feast on other colors such as peach and pink. If you plant some geraniums in pots around your back deck or patio, you will get a close up play-by-play of local hummingbirds. Unlike other birds, hummingbirds are social and quite friendly.
Geraniums can be propagated from cuttings, but allow the cut ends to dry out well for a day or two before sticking them in pot,
11. Yarrow – USDA Zones 3-9
White and yellow-flowered yarrow may be common, but these lovely flowers come in many beautiful shades of pink and in bright red too. The large flower heads consisting of a multitude of small flowers attract both hummingbirds and butterflies.
Yarrow is so easygoing and drought tolerant that it has weed status in many areas. Give it a place in your hummingbird garden, but take precaution to keep it confined to the designated area if you wish to keep a “neat” garden look.
12. Hollyhocks – USDA Zones 3-10
Hollyhocks can add vertical interest to your flower garden and give it a quaint cottage garden feel. What’s more, their tall stature makes it easy for the visiting hummingbirds to grab a meal without swooping too low. You can find hollyhocks in all kinds of colors but the darker, nearly red and burgundy colors work best to attract hummingbirds.
Although they are short-lived perennials, they put up a beautiful flower show during the 2-3 years they’re around. You can easily grow new plants from seeds.
13. Fuchsia – USDA Zones 7-9
The exotic looking fuchsia flowers come in jewel colors that attract hummingbirds. Not only that, they keep blooming from early spring until frost finally puts a stop to it. Fuchsias need at least half a day of sun to flower profusely.
Grow these popular plants in hanging baskets near windows so that you can watch the hummingbirds frequenting the flowers. Regular feeding and watering will keep these herbaceous perennials in good health.
14. Red hot poker plant – USDA Zones 5-9
These large, clump-forming plants are aptly named after their fiery red and orange flower clusters borne on long, sturdy flower stalks. Not only the flower color, but the nectar contained in them attracts hummingbirds from far and wide.
Kniphofia is easy to grow from seeds or divisions of clumps. There are many cultivars that flower at different times of the year, so growing several types ensures a continuous stream of flowers from early spring to late fall. Choose sunny, well-drained spots in the garden and plant them in spring.
15. Peacock flower (Caesalpinia pulcherrima) USDA Zones 8 -11
Butterflies and hummingbirds love this evergreen shrub when it is in flower. Select the orange-red variety to attract the winged beauties to your garden all through summer and fall.
If allowed to grow unchecked, the shrub can become a small, untidy tree. Prune it hard after a flush of flowering, and the new branches may bloom again. It may die down to the ground in frost-prone areas, but resurrects when warm weather arrives.
16. Orange trumpet flower – USDA Zones 4-9
The peachy orange and yellow trumpet-shaped flowers of this perennial, woody vine contain nectar that lures hummingbirds and other honey suckers. Although this vigorous plant is considered invasive in some areas, frequent pruning and prompt removal of suckers can keep the growth and spread under control.
Plant it a bit away from the house, though, to prevent its roots damaging the walls, but give it a location where you can watch the hummingbirds feasting on the flowers. Cut back the vine after its summer flowering, and refrain from feeding it.
17. Abutilon – USDA Zones 6-9
The bell-shaped pendant flowers of abutilon or flowering maple, come in various colors, and resemble half opened hibiscus flowers although much smaller in size. Like hibiscus, they are tropical plants. They grow as perennials in USDA Zone 9 -11, but can be grown as annuals elsewhere.
Easily raised from seed, these fast-growing shrubs attract hummingbirds with their red, peach, orange and yellow flowers. You have the option of growing them in pots and overwintering them indoors as well.
18. Begonia – USDA Zones 6-9
Begonias are not usually considered hummingbird plants, but those with brightly colored blooms attract butterflies and hummingbirds, especially when grown in hanging baskets. Place hanging baskets in strategic locations that allow you to watch the winged beauties up close and personal.
Start your tuberous begonias early because it takes them up to 3 months to start flowering. Bring them out when all danger of frost has passed, and hang them up where they will get early morning sun. Keep them away from full sun, though. Too much heat can adversely affect this plant.
19. Penstemon – Zones 3 to 9
If you plant penstemons in you garden you can expect to have hummingbirds early in the season and keep them around till they depart in the fall. The red colored firecracker penstemons are early bloomers, so they can invite the birds in, but the pink-purple flowered Parry’s penstemon is equally attractive to them and will provide plenty of food throughout the growing season. Barbed penstemons provide a nectar source from late spring to early fall, but it is the cardinal penstemon that holds the sway throughout the hot months of summer.
Hummingbirds feast on penstemons of all color variations, so you can grow any of them, or all of them if you wish. They usually thrive on neglect, so once you plant them, they may come back year after year to delight your winged friends.
20. Coral bells – USDA Zones 3-8
Coral bells are grown for their beautiful foliage that adorns shade gardens as well as the airy mass of flowers held well above the foliage. The leaves may come in different colors and attractive shapes, but the flowers are usually in shades of pink, red and peach. Individual flowers are tiny, but the large spikes make them quite conspicuous.
If you have a shady garden, coral bells may be the best plant to bring in the hummingbirds. Pick from the wide variety of foliage and flower colors available and your local hummingbirds will be thrilled and well-fed.
21. Oriental poppies – USDA Zones 3-8
These stunning perennials with large, brightly colored flowers cannot escape anyone’s attention, let alone hummingbirds’. Depending on your area, they flower continuously from mid-spring to late summer.
Oriental poppies are easily raised from seed, and the clumps are long lasting, enlarging a bit every year without being overly aggressive. The deep red and orange-red varieties like ‘Fireball’ may be your best bet as far as hummingbirds are considered, but the purple, pink and peach flowered ones are also worth having. Grow them in a sunny spot where their silky petals can catch the light and reflect it.
Of course, be sure to offer plenty of water in and around your hummingbird garden. Plant a wide variety of flowers for best results. Keep in mind that larger plantings create a more alluring impact on hummingbirds and butterflies rather than a single plant here and there. Scatter wildflowers in with the above-mentioned flowers for a complete hummingbird buffet!
Planting hummingbird flowers and turning your garden into a hummingbird habitat will bring long term enjoyment to you and a healthier habitat for your visiting hummingbirds. Here’s what you need to know to choose the best flowers for hummers, so they’ll come back year after year.
Many people feed the hummingbirds that visit their yard with a feeder and homemade hummingbird nectar. Feeding hummers is fine during times of migration when the birds need extra strength but have you considered a long-term alternative that is healthier and less work for you?
When you make your garden a nectar-rich environment and plant with a plan, you will find hummingbirds visiting your garden from early spring through to frost. Studies show that hummingbirds will choose flowers over feeders when there are more flower options in the area.
Hummingbirds are attracted to plants with red or orange tubular shaped flowers that are fragrance-free. They find the flowers by sight, not smell, so plant in groupings and the plants will stand out. Large masses of flowers attract both bees and hummingbirds. Insects that crawl into the flower tubes also form a significant part of the hummingbird’s diet. So by planting flowers in your hummingbird habitat you’ll be giving your visiting hummingbirds a more balanced diet to sustain them.
Select plants that bloom longer
Select longer-blooming plants for all seasons, so your hummers know where to look for a continuous source of nectar. You’ll find that most of these plants are suitable for container gardening. Both perennial and annual plantings of red flowering herbs are suitable for hummingbird habitat.
We’ve chosen 15 of our favorite hummingbird flowers by bloom season, to get you started.
7 Red hummingbird flowers that bloom in the summer
Scarlet Bee Balm (Monarda didyma) Perennial plants grow vigorously, forming colonies if allowed to spread. Watch for powdery mildew in late summer. Bee balm has medicinal properties. Height to 3 feet, zones 3 to 9
Beardtongue (Penstemon pinifolius Compactum) Excellent naturalizing plants when left to re-seed themselves. Its nectar-rich flowers are indispensable to pollinators like bumblebees and hummingbirds. Height 12 inches, zones 4 to 9
Red Hot Poker (Kniphofia) Drought tolerant perennial, likes full sun. Grasslike foliage needs protection with winter mulch in cold areas. Height 2 to 5 feet, zones 5 to 8
Cardinal Flower (Lobelia cardinalis) A relatively common wildflower. Overpicking this has resulted in its scarcity in some areas. The Cardinal Flower has long tubular flowers and depends on hummingbirds for pollination. Height 2 to 5 feet, zones 2 to 9
Yarrow (Achillea millefolium) This long blooming, easy to grow perennial is popular in formal borders and cottage gardens. Yarrow has medicinal properties. Height 2 to 5 feet, zones 3-9
Sage (Salvia) this useful genus includes annual, perennial and biennial plants that provide long periods of bloom. Sage has medicinal properties. Height 18 inches to 6 feet, zones 4 to 10
Coral Bells (Heuchera sanguinea) Low growing perennial, blooms all summer when deadheaded. Heuchera prefers well-drained, rich soil in partial shade. Height 1 to 2 feet, zone 4 to 8
4 Red hummingbird flowers that bloom in the spring
Hollyhock (Alsea rosea) Short-lived perennial, blooms quickly from seed and can be grown as an annual. Hollyhock has medicinal properties. Height 6 to 10 feet, zones 4 to 8
Columbine (Aquilegia) These short-lived perennial plants require little care and are self-sowing. Height 2 to 3 feet, zones 3 to 8Lupine (Lupinus Russell hybrid), This perennial member of the pea family, attracts hummingbirds and also helps fix nitrogen in your soil. Start indoors 8 to 10 weeks before last frost date and transplant to the garden after danger of heavy frost has passed. Height 3 feet, zones 3 to 8. Lupines come in a variety of colors including red, pink, purple, and blue.
Trumpet Vine (Campsis radicans) A vigorous fast-growing perennial vine with red, tubular, 3-inch flowers throughout the summer. Make sure you have room for it because Trumpet Vine will climb quickly over structures and nearby trees, attaching by aerial rootlets. For the most flowers, plant in full sun and give regular moisture. In the early spring, it can be cut back to promote bushier growth. Height 30 to 40 feet (without pruning), zones 4 to 9
4 Red hummingbird flowers that bloom spring to fall
Fuchsia (fuchsia) Annual or perennial types. Plant trailers in hanging pots in a well-drained potting mix, and keep consistently watered. To help maintain the constant blooms of fuchsia, pinch off spent flowers. Height 1 to 8 feet, zone 7 to 10Daylilies (Lillium) Queen of the perennial bulbs, Daylilies provide flowers for many months. Choose from many colors and hybrids. Daylilies are edible. Height 2 to 8 feet, zones 3 to
Anise Hyssop (Agastache rugosa) Prolific flower spikes with a pungent licorice scent. Anise hyssop has medicinal properties. Height 5 feet, zones 3 to 9Foxglove (Digitalis purpurea Polkadot Polly ) The long-blooming foxglove loves rich garden loam and regular watering. Full sun to partial shade. Foxglove is toxic to humans. Height 2 to 3 feet, zones 5 to 9
Think of the beauty you’ll have when you plant these 15 red hummingbird flowers for your garden! Not only will you attract a regular group of hummingbirds to your perennial garden but you will provide the natural nectar they need, as well as insects.
But does this mean you should take down your hummingbird feeder? Maybe not. The feeder doesn’t just feed hummingbirds, it also allows you to interact with them, observe them, and enjoy their comical antics. Feed them organic sugar in the hummingbird feeder but also provide an abundance of organically grown flowers for the best hummingbird oasis.
Would you like more hummingbirds in your garden?
I created this short ebook to help you attract more hummingbirds to your garden. Download it now for FREE.
The ebook, How to Attract Hummingbirds to Your Garden offers tips to help you welcome more hummingbirds into your garden and information to help YOU enjoy them more.
In this short ebook you’ll learn:
- 25 little known hummingbird facts
- The best flowers to plant to keep them coming back year after year
- The best hummingbird feeders to use to keep these tiny birds healthy and protect them from injury
- How to keep ants and bees out of the hummingbird feeder
- The best recipe for the healthiest hummingbird nectar
- Why some folks use fake science to keep you buying GMOs
- What hummingbirds eat beside sugar water
- How to support our native hummingbirds so they don’t become endangered
- What else besides sugar water you need to have in your garden so they can raise their babies safely
- How hummingbirds can make YOU a better gardener
- How hummingbirds can increase your yields and give you more vegetables, flowers, and fruit
This is a guest post by Shelle Wells
Shelle Wells is the author of Prepper’s Dehydrator Handbook. She loves gardening, preserving the harvest, and planning her new 11-acre homestead in Central Texas. Visit her website Rockin W Homestead.