Invite hummingbirds into your garden!
It's easy to attract hummers if you provide the essentials; food, water and shelter. Then, enjoy the color, motion and entertainment they provide throughout the season. And don’t worry if planting space is limited. Add a feeder, source of water and grow a few of their favorite plants in containers on your patio, deck or balcony.
What You Need
- Nectar rich plants
- Select a variety of plants to provide season long flowers for you and the hummingbirds to enjoy
- Include a few plants with red tubular flowers. This helps attract them to the garden where they will feed upon a variety of different colored flowers.
- Include native plants, many of which are popular garden plants, whenever possible. Local hummingbirds have a longstanding relationship with plants native to the area. You will also find them feeding on cultivated plants as well.
- Fuzzy leafed plants. The hummingbirds harvest the soft plant fibers and use them to line their nests.
- Trees and shrubs if space allows...
- include them in or near the garden for birds to use as perches, collect lichens to camouflage their nests and use as springboards for their dramatic courtship displays.
- Perch within 10 to 20 feet of the garden if you are unable to add trees and shrubs to the landscape.
- Water for the hummingbirds to sip, preen and bathe. Drip fountains, garden misters and small waterfalls are great options.
- Feeder to help attract the birds & supplement garden’s nectar (optional). Hummingbird Mix – Must clean feeder every 2-3 days
1 part sugar (not honey) and 4 parts water
Boil for 1-2 minutes and cool and refrigerate extra nectar.
Design & Care Tips
- Create the garden near a patio or window where you can easily view these winged visitors.
- Include vines, hanging baskets and window boxes so hummingbirds have easy access to a wide variety of food and you will enjoy the additional bird watching locations.
- Plant in groups or masses providing hummingbirds with more nectar within a smaller area.
- Remove faded flowers as needed to keep plants blooming and providing nectar for the birds.
- Spread a thin layer of shredded leaves or evergreen needles over the soil surface to conserve moisture and suppress weeds for easy care of your plants.
- Skip the pesticides that can harm the birds and eliminate a food source whenever possible. Hummingbirds feed upon aphids and other garden pests.
Just a Few Plants to Consider
- Cuphea (Cigar plant, Mexican heather)
- Nicotiana (Flowering Tobacco)
- Anise hyssop (Agastache)
- Beebalm (Monarda)
- Bleeding heart
- Cardinal flower
- Catmint (Nepeta)
- Coral bells (Heuchera)
- Red hot poker
- Canary creeper (annual)
- Candy corn plant (annual)
- Cardinal vine (annual)
- Honeysuckle vine
- Hyacinth Bean vine (annual)
- Mandevillea & Dipladenia (annual)
- Passionvine (annual and perennial)
- Scarlet runner bean (annual)
- Trumpet vine
- Butterfly bush
- Rose of Sharon
- Summersweet (Clethra)
Written by gardening expert, Melinda Myers. Melinda Myers is a nationally recognized gardening expert with more than 30 years of horticulture experience. She is a wealth of knowledge and we are pleased to share Melinda’s Gardening How-To with you!