Before this year, I had never seen so many requests for plants that attract and feed hummingbirds. It’s wonderful that we are beginning to understand that our gardens (no matter the size) are important not only for our own enjoyment but also for sharing with pollinators and other wildlife.
There are over 320 different hummingbird species, making them one of the largest bird families. The native habitat for most hummingbirds is equatorial South America. Only 12 species breed in North America, and in B.C. the most common ones are the Rufous and Anna’s hummingbirds.
On the West Coast, we think of the Anna’s as a winter visitors, but many are now being seen year-round. The Rufous migrate north from their winter home in Mexico, and we get to enjoy them through most parts of the province from mid-spring into the fall.
In terms of natural habitat, the Anna’s prefer woodlands, especially at the margin of streams and other waterways. As a garden preference, they are attracted to shrubby borders surrounded by trees, and they love perennial and annual flowers that contain nectar. Rufous are attracted more to mountain meadows, forest edges and woodlands near running water. In terms of garden preference, they love woodland edges, surrounding shrubs, and lawn and flower beds.
When creating a garden habitat for hummingbirds, it’s important to know they have some sources of nectar. Nectar from many flowers and small insects and spiders provide most of their nutritional needs. Also important is having an area with water, nesting sites and spaces where they can rest overnight or find protection during bad weather.
Creating a diverse garden that has a combination of taller deciduous trees and evergreens, lower shrubs, open lawn areas and colour beds with clusters of long-blooming perennials (particularly ones that have seed heads like echinacea), annuals, flowering shrubs and vines can make an attractive and safe habitat.
Nesting material would be helpful, and if you can plant a cattail, even a miniature one, in a damp spot, it would be an ideal source. The inclusion of a small pond or water feature is important as well. A garden with these elements is like recreating the natural habitats that are being lost to development.
Perennial Lobelia cardinalis offers striking red colour year after year. Minter Country Garden
So, what plants are of the most value to hummingbirds? Although there aren’t too many smaller trees that are particularly well-suited to hummingbirds, some larger ones are among their favourites, such as horse chestnuts (aesculus), catalpa species and robinias (which can be somewhat invasive).
The most well-known shrubs to attract the early hummers are the red flowering currant, Ribes sanguineum, a native species, as well as the native cross R. ‘King Edward’. Both provide the early nectar hummingbirds need. The salmonberry is a must, and many garden stores now carry some of these important native species.
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). 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.
If you can create a pergola in your vegetable garden or even a tripod or trellis area, the flowers of scarlet runner beans are a real treat for hummingbirds.
One of the last vines to bloom, the trumpet vine (Campsis radicans), especially the red flowering variety, is a wonderful late-summer hummingbird attractor. They can be invasive, but an annual root pruning in winter will easily keep them in check, and it’s so nice to have late summer colour in our gardens.
All the authorities that I have contacted feel comfortable with hummingbird feeding stations as long as they are kept clean and no honey is used as a sweetener. It is also important to be consistent with your feeding, and if you are going away, wean them off gradually. Currently, there is no evidence that feeding stations make hummingbirds dependent on sugar water and deter them from finding natural food.
I think it’s important to provide both habitat and as many nectar-producing flowers in your garden as you can. Even on your patio, make your containers hummingbird friendly.
- Hummingbirds And Trumpet Vines – Attracting Hummingbirds With Trumpet Vines
- Why Hummingbirds Like Trumpet Vines
- Planting Trumpet Flowers for Hummingbirds
- How you can help, right now
- FEBRUARY : Trumpet vine : Campsis spp.
- Hummingbird Vine
- Trumpet-Hummingbird Vine
- Yellow Trumpet Vine
- Trumpet Vine Collection
- Attracting Hummingbirds
- Plants to Attract and Feed Hummingbirds
- 10 Native Vines to Attract Butterflies in North America
- Five Annual Vines that Attract Hummingbirds
- Flowers, Shrub, Vines and Trees that Attract Hummingbirds
- Flowers That Attract Hummingbirdsh
- Flowering Shrubs and Vines that Attract Hummingbirds
- Trees that Attract Hummingbirds
How to Attract Birds – Ortho Books
The New Gardening for Wildlife – Bill Merilees (Whitecap Books)
Attracting Backyard Wildlife – Bill Merilees (Whitecap Books)
Book of North American Birds – Reader’s Digest
to report a typo.
Is there more to this story? We’d like to hear from you about this or any other stories you think we should know about. Email [email protected]
Hummingbirds And Trumpet Vines – Attracting Hummingbirds With Trumpet Vines
It’s no mystery why trumpet vine (Campsis radicans) is sometimes known as hummingbird vine, as hummingbirds and trumpet vine are an irresistible combination of nonstop color and movement. Trumpet vines are so incredibly easy to grow that attracting hummingbirds with trumpet vines is about as easy as it gets.
Why Hummingbirds Like Trumpet Vines
You might think that hummingbirds are attracted to trumpet vines because of the high nectar content and the color – generally shades of red, orange or yellow, but you would be only partially right.
The other huge reason why hummingbirds like trumpet vines is the shape of the blooms, which accommodate the birds’ long tongues. Scientists have long been mystified about how the process works but, in recent years, they have determined that the tongues operate much like tiny, very effective pumping mechanisms.
Planting Trumpet Flowers for Hummingbirds
Place your trumpet vine where you can observe the hummingbirds, but beware of planting the vines too near your house, as the plant can become unruly. A site next to a fence, trellis or arbor is ideal, and a spring or fall pruning will help keep growth in check.
Plant trumpet vines in the vicinity of trees or shrubs, which will provide shelter and a safe place for breeding and nesting.
Never use pesticides, which can kill the tiny birds and will also kill gnats, mosquitoes and other flying bugs that provide necessary protein for the hummingbirds. Similarly, avoid herbicides and fungicides, which can sicken or kill the birds.
Provide a water source for the hummingbirds. A bird bath is too deep, but a concave rock or shallow plate works well. Better yet, use a bird bath with a dripper or mister, which hummers absolutely love.
Be sure to deadhead wilted blooms regularly to promote continued blooming throughout the season.
Can you please identify this vine for me? This vine is growing near the railroad track behind Parkway Place and the hummingbirds are really attracted to it. I purchased a couple of trumpet vines (to attract hummingbirds) but the leaves aren’t like this and I’m not sure that they will bloom this season. Thanks in advance for any help you can provide. — Jim P.
The picture you sent me is definitely what I would call a trumpet vine, also called trumpetcreeper (Campsis radicans KAMP-sis RAD-i-kanz). It has a very distinctive flower, tubular in nature, borne in clusters of 3 to 12 individual flowers at the terminals of stems. Typically we will see a vivid orange color but variations are found ranging from yellow all the way to scarlet red but usually the orange color is predominant.
Trumpet vine has what is called a compound leaf meaning that it has a single petiole (most people would think stem) with numerous leaflets arranged in different patterns around the petiole. This arrangement is known as pinnately compound since the leaflets are radiating out on each side of the central axis. One will usually find nine to 11 leaflets, serrated margins, oval in shape with a prominent apex or point at the tip. Color is a deep, glossy dark green. Fall color is nonexistent and the brown twigs in winter are very visible.
This vine is quite vigorous in habit growing up to 50 feet in length, given that it has a structure (or tree) to cling to. Aerial rootlets allow the plant to grab hold of the structure and keep growing. The vine also twists and twines as it grows and can strangle other plants after numerous years. I have seen vine trunks over 8 inches in diameter.
Trumpet vine is native to much of the eastern half of the United States and is not particular at all about sites. It is one of the most forgiving plants out there and can take almost all conditions except maybe submerged or flooded soils. There are no insect or disease issues and it spreads quite easily by seed – the seed pods are large bean-like pods with hundreds of seed inside that drift with the wind when the pods break open. One could say the plant is invasive but since it is a native it can’t be invasive – easy to say that it is aggressive and may grow in areas that it can overwhelm so be careful where you plant it.
One reason we do plant trumpet vine is the prolific flower production throughout the summer and its ability to attract hummingbirds. These wonderful winged creatures love brightly colored flowers, especially ones with a tubular design. This makes it easy for them to insert their long beak down in the flower to get to the sweet nectar. It is a must addition to anyone wanting to grow different plants for attracting hummingbirds. For those not having a large support structure to grow this vine it can be trained to grow on a post as long as you cut it back each winter – this keeps the plant in check and does not affect flowering since it blooms on new wood.
Lastly, without seeing the vine you planted in your garden, my guess is that you may have what is called Virginia creeper (often confused with trumpetcreeper). This is another native vine that does not have the showy flowers and the leaves on this plant are called palmately compound meaning that the leaflets radiate out from the petiole like the fingers on a hand. I hope this helps.
Things to do right now:
Apply systemic insecticide containing imidlocropid (MERIT) to azaleas, hibiscus and gardenias to control lacebugs and whiteflies.
Plant warm weather bulbs like caladiums, elephant ears and cannas for bold foliage effects
Water tomato plants regularly during fruit set to discourage blossom end rot – tomatoes should have uniform moisture – not periods of dry followed by wet.
I look forward to answering all of your gardening questions. Please send your inquiries via email or to Harvey Cotten c/o The Huntsville Times; P.O. Box 1487 West Station; Huntsville 35807.
How you can help, right now
Please welcome Audubon North Carolina’s Bird-Friendly Communities Coordinator Kim Brand. Launched in 2013, Audubon North Carolina’s Bird-Friendly Communities initiative is a partnership program involving more than 20 organizations with a vision for creating a more bird-friendly North Carolina. This vision statement guides the goals and projects of the group: “Bird-friendly communities give birds the opportunity to succeed by providing connected habitat dominated by native plants, minimizing threats posed by the built environment, and engaging people of all ages and backgrounds in stewardship of nature.”
These vines are among our Bird-Friendly Native Plants of the Year for 2015. Find this and other plants at your local participating retailer.
Confession: I am too lazy to mix sugar water and clean a hummingbird feeder every few days. I have never had my own hummingbird feeder. In my book, it’s much easier to plant flowers that give hummingbirds the sweet treat they seek. Vines are self-filling hummingbird feeders!
Flower nectar also provides micronutrients that are not present in sugar water, according to Susan Campbell, a hummingbird expert who has banded hundreds of hummers in North Carolina and beyond.
Planting for Humming Birds
Two great vines for attracting hummingbirds in North Carolina are cross vine and trumpet creeper. Once established, both will be covered in flowers during part of the time the Ruby-throated Hummingbirds are here in North Carolina. And they’ll attract bees and other insect pollinators too.
Cross vine, Bignonia capreolata, is native to our NC mountains, piedmont and coastal plain, but may be too tender for higher-elevation areas. It produces yellow to red-orange flowers during April and May, and bears fruit during July and August. It can grow 5 to 80 feet tall, depending on the substrate. Find a spot in sun to part sun and wet to dryish soil. This vine is semi-evergreen with good fall color as the leaves turn yellow. It will grow up a tree trunk, wooden post, arbor or even a brick wall (as it does at my kids’ school in an urban area).
Photo: Will Stuart
Trumpet creeper, Campsis radicans, is also native to our NC mountains, piedmont and coastal plain, but can spread aggressively in the piedmont and coastal plain. In those warmer areas, it’s a good idea to plant in areas where you don’t mind it taking over. A garden bed surrounded by concrete would work! Trumpet creeper produces orange-red flowers from June through October, and bears fruit during September and October. It can grow 6 to 80 feet tall. Find a spot in sun to part sun and moist-to dry, well-drained soil. This plant is drought-tolerant.
Photo: Will Stuart
Vines Take Hold
These two vines are not the tight-twining (think honeysuckle) type of vines. Instead, they send roots into the substrate to anchor themselves. Cross vine is unique in that it uses claws on the tips of its tendrils to climb up the tree. Later on, it will send roots into the trunk for firmer attachment. Trumpet creeper uses clinging roots to make its way up a tree or other support.
These vines made our list of Bird-Friendly Native Plants of the Year for 2015. Find this and other plants at your local participating retailer.
FEBRUARY : Trumpet vine : Campsis spp.
Top: Trumpet vine flowers & leaves. Bottom: Pod (Janice Tucker).
The Trumpet vine spreads both by seeds and underground roots. The Madam Galen does spread quickly when planted in an ideal location but it is not as aggressive as one of its parent plants, the Campsis radicans. The Santa Fe soils, which are not known for rich nutrients, help to keep its spread in check. Pruning is best if done in February or March. Long, bean-shaped pods follow the flowers. The pods will split to release many 2-winged seeds that are dispersed by the wind. Hummingbirds, butterflies and Sphinx Moths frequent this plant throughout the summer. Although it is generally pest free, the roots of a newly planted Trumpet vine could tempt gophers.
The American trumpet vine made its way to England in the 1600’s. John Parkinson, one of England’s eminent botanists during that time, mentioned the showy climber from the American Colonies in one of his many botanical writings. However, the American trumpet vine did not become popular in England until the mid 1700’s. In 1733, John Bartram, an early American botanist and horticulturist began sending seeds or plants from the American Colonies to Peter Collinson, an avid and influential gardener in England. The American trumpet vine, known as the Bignonia radicans at that time, was among the specimens or seeds that Bartram sent. Collinson planted the Trumpet vine so that it would grow up one side of his greenhouse, ensuring the bright orange, trumpet-shaped flowers would be presented at their head-turning best. Collinson’s garden was both well-known and frequently visited by influential plant-loving Britons. Collinson often gave plants and seeds to his friends or sold them to others. In addition to his own plant orders to Bartram, he would also include those of others. The arrival of the “Bartram Boxes” was cause for more than a little excitement from those who had waited months to receive coveted seeds and plants from the American Colonies. Learn more about the impact of American plants on England’s gardens by attending Santa Fe Botanical Garden’s February 7th lecture.
The Trumpet vine will usually bloom a little later in the summer than other plants but once it begins to leaf out and then flower, it adds height and color to the garden. It can create a blanket of blooms as it wraps around a portal post or clings to a garden wall. The multitude of brilliant orange flowers adds one more dimension to the symphony in the garden landscape.
One fast way to attract hummingbirds is to plant a hummingbird vine.
There are two vines that are often called the “Hummingbird Vine”.
They are the “Cypress Vine” (Ipomoea) and the “Trumpet Vine” (Campsis radicans).
The “Cypress Vine” is an annual in colder zones.
You need to replant the seeds each year.
In warmer planting zones, it is a self seeding annual.
So there isn’t any need for replanting.
The “Trumpet Vine” grows well as a perennial in Zones 4-10.
These extremely hardy plants can grow tall the first year.
To the delight of the hummingbirds, the trumpet shaped flowers of either vine have a high nectar reserve.
Planting Intructions for the Hummingbird Vine (Trumpet Vine).
Plant vine in full or partial shade.
This is a climbing vine so plant it next to a wall, arbor, or fence.
It is usually not a good idea to plant too close to your house because they can grow to an invasive size.
Try a location that can be easily viewed in order to watch the hummingbirds as they come to feed on the luscious nectar.
It is a good idea to prune the vine in the spring or early fall.
Otherwise, it might become too large.
Deadhead (this simply means cut off the dead flowers) when the flowers die.
It will also look more attractive when you do this.
Water when you experience very dry periods.
Have you always wanted to attract charming little hummingbirds to your yard? Plant this old-time favorite — hummingbirds find it irresistible. The Hummingbird Vine has dark, shiny green leaves that are smothered in large, showy, orange-scarlet trumpet-shaped flowers from July to November. Hummingbirds appear to collect the sweet nectar and come back year after year. Hummingbird Vine is a vigorous grower — reaches 20-40′ tall. Covers almost any kind of support — arbors, brick walls, fences, even covers ugly utility poles. We send hardy plants that will grow in poor soil, sun, or partial shade. Deer resistant and drought tolerant. Attracts hummingbirds and butterflies.
BUY Hummingbird Vine
Yellow Trumpet Vine
Plant this old-time favorite — hummingbirds find it irresistible! Yellow Trumpet Vines have dark, shiny green leaves that are smothered in large, showy, sunny-yellow trumpet-shaped flowers from July to November. Hummingbirds appear to collect the sweet nectar and come back year after year. The Yellow Trumpet Vine is a vigorous grower that reaches 20′ or more. Covers almost any kind of support — arbors, brick walls and fences. We send hardy plants that will grow in poor soil, sun or partial shade. Drought tolerant. Attracts butterflies. Deer resistant.
BUY Yellow Trumpet Vine
Trumpet Vine Collection
This Trumpet Vine Collection includes 4 Orange and 2 Yellow Trumpet Vines.
BUY Trumpet Vine Collection
You may need to know that in some climates people find this vine to be too invasive.
It can be difficult to destroy once this happens.
Again climate can be an important factor.
You can ask your nursery for advice about your particular climate in regard to this vine.
We have heard of a trick used by some people to prevent this problem.
They cut out the bottom of a large planter and planted the vine underground in the planter.
If you try this trick or any other, please let us know how it works.
We would like to pass the results on to our readers.
A particularly wonderful feature of this gorgeous vine is that it sometimes provides a cozy place for hummingbirds to hide their nests.
That in itself can be a major payoff……………
Lots of Hummingbirds!!
Another popular vine that can be labeled a hummingbird vine is the morning glory vine. In the northern planting zones where the trumpet or cypress vines will not survive, and alternative is the morning glory.
Here is a close-up of our morning glory vine growing on the corner of our log house:
The morning glory is an annual and needs to be re-planted every year. However, we have found them very easy to grow and quite prolific.
Planting instructions for the Morning Glory Vine:
1. In the Fall, after the frost has killed the plant and the leaves and seed pods have dried up, pick the seed pods.
2. Spread them in a flat sheet or container to dry them.
3. Once they are dry, they can be store in a plastic sandwich bag in a dry
4. In the Spring, pick a spot where there is structure for the vine to climb.
For example: the corner of a house, an arbor or a fence.
5. Loosen the soil, break open the pods to release the seeds and plant them about 1 to 2 inches deep.
We enjoy the hummers visiting our Morning Glory Vine every day.
We picked the seed pods from the year before, planted the seeds in the Spring at the corner of our log house and here is the result in July:
Our Morning Glory Vine
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Hummingbird Guide › Hummingbird Flower Garden › Vines
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One good way to enjoy the company of hummingbirds is planting a hummingbird garden. In addition to providing them a natural diet, a hummer garden is an excellent way to attract birds to your nearby feeder: since hummingbirds feed by sight on regularly-followed routes – called traplining – their inquisitive nature will quickly lead them to investigate any possible new source of food. A hummer garden is also a great way to capture the birds on film or video, and makes a much nicer backdrop for your photos than the typical plastic feeder. If you plan carefully and select a variety of plants that flower at successively later dates, you will be rewarded with happy hummers throughout the season.
Using pesticides around hummingbird plants is a very bad idea. Killing garden pests will also eliminate the small insects hummingbirds rely upon for protein. In addition, hummers might directly ingest pesticides sprayed onto flowers, which could sicken or kill the birds. Remember: if you wouldn’t eat it yourself, don’t feed it to a hummingbird! (Well, maybe not the bugs…)
Since hummers, like most birds, have virtually no sense of smell, the flowers that attract them tend to have little or no fragrance, apparently directing their resources instead toward high visibility and nectar production. Note also that cultivated hybrids often make much less nectar than wild strains. While you should visit your local nursery for suggestions specific to your climate and area, here are some of the best plants to consider if you’re planning a hummingbird garden:
Plants to Attract and Feed Hummingbirds
Trees and Shrubs
- Butterfly Bush (Buddleia)
- Cape Honeysuckle
- Flame Acanthus
- Flowering Quince
- Red Buckeye
- Tree Tobacco
- Turk’s Cap
- Coral Honeysuckle
- Cypress Vine
- Morning Glory
- Scarlet Runner Bean
- Trumpet Creeper
Photo © Ann D. Martin
Some may be annuals or perennials depending on climate.
- Bee Balm (Monarda)
- Cardinal Flower
- Coral Bells
- Four O’Clocks
- Hummingbird Mint (Agastache)
- Little Cigar
- Beard Tongue (and other penstemons)
- Various Salvia species
- Shrimp Plant
NOTE: Japanese Honeysuckle attracts hummingbirds, too, but it’s an invasive and troublesome exotic species that’s no longer recommended.
Other sites with good gardening advice:
Operation RubyThroat: Hummingbird Gardens
Hummingbird Gardening in the Upper Midwest
See also this book review.
In addition to food sources, convenient perching opportunities will make your yard more hospitable to hummingbirds, since they spend around 80% of their time sitting on twigs, leaf stems, clotheslines, etc., between feeding forays and sorties against trespassing rivals.
Another way to get hummingbirds’ attention is to festoon (be tasteful, now!) your feeder with red or orange surveyor’s tape, available in hardware stores. It is thought that hummers are sensitive to ultraviolet light, which these fluorescent tapes reflect in abundance. Regardless, if you hang a feeder, sooner or later a hummingbird will come to investigate; it has been conjectured that, in a given year, not a square meter of the U.S. or southern Canada goes unchecked by hummers in their relentless quest for food.
10 Native Vines to Attract Butterflies in North America
Native vines are an important but often overlooked component of butterfly habitat. Many vines serve as larval host plants (food sources) for caterpillars.
Purple passionflower (Passiflora incarnata) is one of many attractive vines that provide butterfly habitat in North America.
Photo by Bill Johnson, National Park Service
They provide cover for butterflies and caterpillars, and the flowers provide nectar for butterflies (and many other pollinators, including hummingbirds).
Most native vines also have attractive foliage and colorful flowers that would provide an aesthetically-pleasing addition to your site’s landscaping.
Spring is generally the best time to install native plantings, so if you’d like to add vines for pollinators, now is the time!
Here are 10 examples of native vines you could plant to attract butterflies in North America:
- Dutchman’s pipe (Aristolochia spp.)
- Trumpet creeper (Campis radicans)
- Coral honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens)
- Passionflower (Passiflora spp.)
- Pipevine (Aristolochia macrophylla)
- Virginia creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia)
- Virgin’s bower (Clematis virginiana)
- Carolina jessamine (Gelsemium sempervirens)
- American wisteria (Wisteria frutescens)
- Crossvine (Bignonia capreolata)
It’s important to remember that these examples are not native to all of North America, so when choosing vines to plant, you should always choose species that are native to your region. Also, some species like coral honeysuckle and American wisteria have non-native, invasive counterparts, so you should be sure that you’re planting the native vine species.
If you’re outside of North America, we encourage you to consult with local native plant experts to select appropriate native vine species.
If you would like specific recommendations for your site, please contact a WHC Biologist or your local Cooperative Extension agent.
Five Annual Vines that Attract Hummingbirds
Hummingbirds in the garden are special and if we want them to visit we can plant some annual vines that will entice them. The nice thing about vines is that they can be grown in a rather small space near the house so we can watch the hummers come to feed. The nice thing about annual vines is that they grow quickly in one season and don’t have to wait until next year for results.
Here are some annual vines that are sure to attract some of the hummingbirds in your neighborhood.
Canary Bird Vine/Canary Creeper (Tropaeolum peregrium)
Closely related to nasturtiums, canary bird vine is a native of Ecuador and Peru where it is a perennial. In areas colder than zone 9, however, it is grown as an annual. The yellow flowers are 1” across and have fringed petals and red centers. Flowers are edible and have a peppery taste. Leaves are blue-green and lobed. Fast growing, canary bird vine will quickly cover a fence.
- Size: 8-10’
Flowering Period: Summer to fall
Light: Sun to partial shade
Soil: Fertile, moist
Cardinal Climber (Ipomoea x multifida)
This popular vine with its bright red tubular flowers and deeply cut foliage is a relative of morning glories and sweet potato vine but with a fine texture. Like its relatives, it grows rapidly and thrives in heat and humidity. It readily reseeds. Collected or purchased seeds whould be scarified and soaked in water for 12-24 hours to aid germination.
- Size: 10-20’
Flowering Period: Mid summer to frost
Light: Sun to partial shade
Soil: Average, well-draine; fertile soil produces to lots of foliage and fewer flowers
Chilian Glory Flower (Eccremocarpus scaber)
A native of Chile and Peru, this tender perennial is usually grown as an annual but plants may over winter in zones 8 or warmer. The exotic flowers are borne in clusters in shades of scarlet, rose, and golden yellow. Leaves are small, oval, and light green. The vine thrives in heat and grows rapidly by twining and tendrils with small hooks. Plants do not like to be transplanted.
- Size: 10-12’
Flowering Period: Mid-summer to frost
Light: Full sun
Soil: Fertile, well-drained, slightly acidic
Firecracker Vine/Spanish Flag (Mina lobata)
If the name Firecracker Vine and Spanish flag don’t get your attention, perhaps Exotic Love Vine will. They are all the same plant and related to morning glories so are rapid growers with twining stems and are best grown on wire or small lattice. Appearing in late summer, the flowers startout as vivid red buds and fade to orange, yellow, and white. The trident leaves are attractive all growing season. Seeds should be scarified and soaked in water for 12 to 24 hours to aid germination.
- Size: 10-20’
Flowering Period: Late summer to frost
Light: Sun to partial shade
Soil: Rich, moist, well-drained
Snapdragon Vine (Asarina antirrhinifolia)
A tender perennial in Zones 9-10, this beauty is usually grown as an annual. Flowers may be red-purple with a white throat, pink, or white, but the blue ones are a standout. Leaves are small and ivy-like in shape. The vine climbs by twinning and leaf-wrapping. It is relatively small and so is an excellent choice for containers. Deadhead to prolong bloom.
- Size: 8’
Flowering Period: Mid-summer-frost
Light: Sun to partial shade
Soil: Fertile, moist, well-drained
These five vines are known to attract hummingbirds and will be beautiful for most of the summer. Because they grow vertically they take up only a little room in the garden. They all need a substantial amount of light for a good bloom but vary in their soil and water requirements, and all can be started from seed.
Flowers, Shrub, Vines and Trees that Attract Hummingbirds
Hummingbird Information … Hummingbird Species … Hummingbirds by US State
Attracting Hummingbirds to your Garden
Flowers, Shrubs, Vines and Trees That Will Attract Hummingbirds
The following is a list of flowers, shrubs, vines, and trees that hummingbirds are attracted to. Note: none of these need to be red in color, although the color red is attractive to hummingbirds.
It is important to choose plants that occur naturally in your area (natives). Once established, these plants only require little care (unlike non-natives). You should do well without fertilizers. They are also more likely to be resistant to local pests and diseases. Altogether, they will save you time and money in their maintenance. This will benefit the environment as well.
If in doubt as to whether any of the following will do well in your area, please check with your local nursery.
Hummingbirds are particularly fond of red, tubular flowers. However, yellow, orange and violet flowers are also accepted.
Flowers That Attract Hummingbirdsh
Beardtongue, Penstemen, Penstemon digitalis – Spring and early summer growing. Grows up to 5 feet tall. Produces white, two-lipped, tubular flowers
Bee Balm, Monarda didyma – summer blooming with red flowers.
Begonia, Begonia spp. – Summer-flowering plants with white, pink, red and bi-colored blooms.
Carolina lily, Lilium michauxii – Mostly found in Southeastern United States from West Virginia in the north to Florida. Summer blooming with flowers that are yellow to reddish-orange, spotted with brown
Cardinal Flower, Lobelia cardinalis – Summer blooming flowers. Produces large, red, rose or white tubular flowers.
Common Foxglove, Digitalis purpurea – Spring bloomer with pink, white or purple flowers.
Common Fuchsia or Lady’s Eardrops – Produces red, pink, white, violet, purple and bicolored flowers
Daylily, Hemerocallis (family Liliaceae) – Named for their daytime flowering properties. Come in myriad colors, including yellow, orange, fulvous (a pale, rusty orange hue), pinks, purples, pastels, near-blue and a variety of patterned colors.
Hollyhock, Alcea rosea (single) – summer blooming with white, pink and red flowers.
Indian Pink, Spigelia marilandica – spring blomming with red and yellow flowers.
Jewelweed, Impatiens capensis – summer blooming with orange to orange-yellow flowers with red spotting.
Montbretia, Crocosmia – Summer bloomer. Produces red flowers.
Petunia, Petunia spp. – Bloom from May to frost. Come in most colors.
Prairie Blazing Star, Liatris pycnostachya – summer blooming with lilac-purple flowers.
Ruellia, Katie, Ruellia brittoniana – summer blooming plant with bluish-purple flowers.
Scarlet Sage, Salvia splendens – Summer bloomers with red flowers.
Turkscap Lily, Lilium superbum – summer blooming with orange, spotted flowers.
Wild Bergamot, Monarda fistulosa – summer blooming with pink / lavender flowers.
Shrubs, vines and trees can also provide food and cover for hummingbirds. Cover is needed to raise their young and for some protection from the elements and predators.
Flowering Shrubs and Vines that Attract Hummingbirds
Azaleas, Rhododendron spp. – Colorful, blooming shrubs
Beauty Bush, Kolkwitzia amabilis – an arching, spreading shrub, with bell-shaped, light pink flowers, dark pink in the bud
Butterfly Bush, Orange Eye, Summer Lilac, Buddleja davidii – fragrant small lavender, lilac, purple, white, yellow or pink flowers
Brigadoon, Aaron’s beard or St. John’s Wort, : Hypericum calycinum – a shrubby ground cover with yellow flowers.
Brown’s Honeysuckle, with clusters of orange-red to red, tubular flower in summer. Produces red berries in late summer (often hidden among the foliage).
Cape Honeysuckle, Tecoma capensis – A shrub that grows to 2–3 m (7–10 ft) in height and produces tubular, narrow flowers that range in color from orange to orange-red to apricot.
Cardinal Climber – a flowering vine known for its red, tubular blossoms
Common Flowering Quince, Chaenomeles speciosa – shrub that produces pink, red or white flowers from early to mid-spring
Coral Bells, Heuchera sanguinea – These spring bloomers produce attractive red flowers
Coral or Trumpet Honeysuckle, Lonicera sempervirens – a vine that produces tubular red flowers
Cypress Vine, Morning Glory, Cardinal Creeper, Cardinal Vine, Star Glory, Hummingbird Vine, Ipomoea quamoclit – flowers are trumpet-shaped and can be red, pink or white.
Flowering Quince, Chaenomeles japonica (a Japanese Quince) – a thorny deciduous shrub, with colorful spring flowers of red, white, pink or multi
Jasmine Tobacco or Flowering Tobacco, Nicotania alata – shrub or vine with small, white, tubular flowers
Honeysuckles, arching shrubs or twining vines in the family Caprifoliaceae – fragrant, tubular white, red or pink flowers in May and June
Fly honeysuckle, Lonicera canadensis – a flowering deciduous, perennial shrub which typically flowers from the last week of April until the third or fourth week of May.
Flowering Quince, Chaenomeles speciosa – produces red, pink, or white flowers
Hagley Hybrid, Hybrid Clematis – vine of the Ranunculaceae family. Blooms from June to September. Produces pink flowers with purplish anthers, and white flowers with purplish brown anthers.
Lantana hybrids – Crosses between Lantanas camara and montevidensis.
Lemon Swirl: yellow variegated foliage with lemon yellow flowers.
New Gold: golden yellow flowers and a dark green foliage.
Confetti: multicolored colored – yellow, pink and purple
Lavender popcorn – purple flowers
Lilacs, Syringa vulgaris – This upright shrub blooms from April to May – produces flowers in dense clusters. The blooms range in color from purple to wine red, and have white edges.
Miss Huff, Lantana Camara – orange and pink flowers. Grows up to 5 feet tall and up to 10 feet wide
Morning Glory, Ipomea ssp. Plants with flowers that come in myriad colors. Most are treated as perennial plants in frost-free areas and as annual plants in colder climates
New Jersey Tea, Ceanothus americanus – a shrub that grows up to 42 inches high and produces white flowers
Old–fashioned Weigela (Bristol Red, Red Prince), Flame acanthus – produces pink, funnel-shaped flowers
Red Buckeye, Firecracker Plant,, Scarlet Buckeye, Woolly Buckey, Aesculus pavia – Shrub is native to the southern and eastern parts of the USA. Produces 10–17 cm long clusters of dark red tubular flowers. A yellow-flowering variety also occurs.
Rhododendrons (shrubs and small trees) – Some species are known for their clusters of large flowers. Other species have small flowers. Colors: range from pinkish to purple, orange and red. Includes the popular Azaleas
Rose of Sharon. Hibiscus syriacus, a deciduous flowering shrub, produces pink blooms with red eyes
Scarlet Runner Bean, Phaseolus coccineus – most varieties have red flowers
Scarlet Trumpet Vine – an evergreen vine with large, blood red, trumpet-shaped flowers and a yellow throat
Tree Tobacco, Nicotiana glauca – This shrub has produces long, tubular yellow flowers that are favored by Allen’s (Selasphorus sasin), Anna’s (Calypte Anna) ,Blue-throated (Lampornis clemenciae) and Costa’s Hummingbirds (Calypte costae)
Trumpet Vine or Trumpet Creeper, Campsis radicans – the flowers are orange to red in color with a yellowish throat
Virgin’s Bower (Climbing Clematis), Clematis viticella – There are two varieties of this shrub: 1 blue / purple-blue and a red.
Vines Honeysuckle, Lonicera heckrottii – vine grows up to 15 feet high. Blooms from June to August, producing rose pink flowers with yellow interiors.
Weeping, Lantana montevidensis – best used in hanging baskets or containers. Flowers are white to lavender purple.
Weigelia, Weigela florida. This shrub grows up to 5 meters (15′) tall. Its flowers are 2–4 cm long, with a five-lobed white, pink, red or yellow corolla.
Zinnia – a genus of plants of the family Asteraceae found in Southwestern United States. Produces solitary long-stemmed flowers in a variety of bright colors
Trees that Attract Hummingbirds
Argyle-apple, Eucalyptus, Eucalyptus cinerea – trees grow up to 10.00 feet tall. Rarely bloom, but may produce small white flowers on occasion.
Apple Trees and Crabapples Malus – Grown in the temperate zone of the Northern Hemisphere. Produces five petalled flowers, which may be white, pink or red.
Black Locust, Purple Robe, Robinia – tree family: Fabaceae Zone. Gross up to 40 feet tall. bloom in May / June. Produces violet purple pea-like flowers.
Cherry Trees, Prunus serrulata – Produce white to pink flowers
Cockspur Hawthorn Tree, Crataegus crus-galli – Small trees that grow up to about 10 meters tall and 8 meters wide, and produce white flowers.
Flowering Crab, Malus sylvestris, Low round-crowned tree with white or pink flowers that grow in clusters.
Horse Chestnut Tree, Aesculus hippocastanum – Blooms in May / June. Produces white flowers with red or yellow markings.
Manzanita Trees – best grown in Western United States. Produce urn-shaped flowers that vary from pink to white
Mimosa or Silk Tree, Albizia julibrissin) – mostly found in Eastern USA. This fast-growing, exotic tree produces fragrant, pink powder-puff flowers.
Northern Catalpa, hardy catalpa, western catalpa, cigar tree and catawba-tree, Catalpa speciosa – Produces white flowers purple and yellow interior spotting
Tulip Tree, American Tulip Poplar, Whitewood, Fiddle-tree and Yellow Poplar, Liriodendron Tulipifera – Blooms from May to June. Produces yellow flowers with orange band at petal bases.
Washington Hawthorn Tree or Washington Thorn, Crataegus phaenopyrum – found in the US from Virginia to Alabama. Produces fragrant, 5-petaled, white flowers in clusters that bloom in late spring. In fall and winter, this tree produces red fruits
Species Research by Sibylle Johnson
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