Adding flowers and plants to your yard or garden is a great way to attract hummingbirds. Not only will adding these plants make your outdoor area pop with color, but many of the flowers also offer lovely aromas and attract beneficial pollinators as well.
There are a few factors that plants and flowers that attract hummingbirds share. They tend to be bright and colorful, grow upward so hovering hummingbirds can easily sip their nectar, and have bell or tube-shaped blooms that easily hold nectar.
Consider planting these flowers and plants in the spring or summer to attract hummingbirds and help them prepare for their long migration in the fall. If you’re unsure of when hummingbirds migrate to your area, check out this article to know when to have plants and feeders ready.
20 plants and flowers that attract hummingbirds
1. BEE BALM
Bee Balm (Mondara)is perennial flower native to North America. It features round clusters of tubular petals that hummingbirds have no problem sipping nectar out of. Flowers bloom in a range of colors including pinks, reds, purples, and even white. Not only will it attract hummingbirds, but Bee Balm is famously popular among pollinators such as butterflies and bees.
2. CARDINAL FLOWER
Cardinal Flowers (Lobelia Cardinalis) are named for their vibrant, crimson red blossoms — a hummingbird’s favorite color. They’re wildflower perennials are native to central states in the United States like Iowa, Illinois, and Wisconsin. Like a lot of the other plants on this list, Cardinal Flowers grow in tall spikes and make a great addition to garden borders and backdrops.
Columbine (Aquilegia) has bell-shaped flowers that begin blooming in mid-spring. They’re available in a wide variety of shades, ranging from soft pastels to vibrant reds and oranges. Overall, Columbine is a pretty hardy plant — it can tolerate partial shade and drought, and it also deer-resistant.
4. CORAL BELLS
Coral Bells (Heuchera) offers the best of both worlds, interesting foliage and tall spikes of blooms that hummingbirds love. They are woodland plants and prefer partial shade, making them a great choice for filling in areas of the yard that don’t get full sun. Coral Bells are low growing plants that don’t require a lot of maintenance — they also do well in containers.
Crocosmia (Crocosmia), or Coppertips, are brightly colored members of the iris family. They bloom in the summertime, when many spring-blooming plants are at the end of their season. Crocosmia is native to South Africa, but it’s red, orange, or yellow flowers are perfect for attracting hummingbirds. Plus, it’s a hardy bulb that needs initial planting, but not much tending to once established.
The flowers of Daylilies (Hemerocallis) don’t survive for more than a day, but large sections of plants can produce hundreds of blooms within a month — so you won’t ever be short on flowers. They grow in clumps from tuber-like roots, and are easily divided for sharing with friends or spreading to other parts of your garden.
There are more than 30,000 varieties of Daylilies and as a result, many different flower shapes to choose from. Typical flowers are large and deep, with stamens similar to those of hibiscus flowers.
Like Lupines, Delphiniums (Delphinium)have spires of colorful, bell-shaped flowers. They’re also perennials, and a popular choice in cottage-style gardens and landscapes. Delphiniums come in blues, purples, pinks, and white, and they can be quite showy, reaching up to 5 ft tall. Blooms begin in late spring and last all the way to the end of summer.
Hollyhocks (Alcea) are another tall-growing, hardy plant that features large, round flowers. Though they’re biennials, they self-seed easily and often come back the next season without fuss. They love full sun and can tolerate most well-draining soils. Plant them in the back rows of gardens to add depth.
There are hundreds of species of Lupines (Lupinus), though not all of them are native to North America. They have tall spikes full of blooms that come in a range of colors. Consider adding the native perennial species, Wild Lupine (Lupinus Perennis) to your garden to attract hummingbirds and pollinators. Lupines also have interesting seed pods that explode once they dry out to spread their seeds further.
Tall Garden Phlox (Phlox paniculata) is an upright growing perennial that boasts large clusters of flowers. There are numerous varieties and cultivars available such as Volcano Ruby Tall Garden Phlox and variegated Nora Leigh Tall Garden Phlox. Phlox is native to North America and blooms for a long period in the summer.
Salvias are a huge category of plants that include many sages, annual salvia flowers, and perennial salvia flowers. One type of Salvia that’s perfect for attracting hummingbirds and pollinators is Blue Hill Salvia (Salvia nemorosa). This easy to grow perennial features spikes of purple-blue flowers and also gives off a pleasing aroma. It blooms for most of the summer and requires little care aside from full sun and some deadheading.
12. BUTTERFLY BUSH
Butterfly Bush (Buddleia davidii) may be famous for its popularity among butterflies and pollinators, but it’s also a top choice shrub for attracting hummingbirds. They bloom in the spring and summer, and still provide attractive foliage when they’re not flowering.
Blooms form in clusters on long branches called panicles, and come in reds, pinks, purples, and white. Just make sure to give it lots of space when planting as they can grow up to 12 ft tall and spread up to 15 ft across (without pruning).
13. CYPRESS VINE
Cypress Vine (Ipomoea quamoclit), also known as Cardinal Vine, features unique, star-shaped flowers and thin, airy leaves. It’s a member of the Morning Glory family and another eager climber that wraps itself around tall stakes and poles. It blooms from summer and into the fall. Choose bright red flowers, or pinks to attract hummingbirds and pollinators — it’s sometimes referred to as Hummingbird Vine, because it’s so popular among them.
Fushcia (Fuchsia) is an excellent choice for containers and hanging baskets thanks to its cascading blooms of large, droopy flowers. They are a little more delicate than other plants, and prefer cooler temperatures and part-shade conditions.
Though they’re most often planted in containers, Fuchsias are actually flowering shrubs. Certain perennial cultivars can even grow as large as trees. Some varieties feature bi-colored flowers, but most often they’re found in pinks, reds, and purples.
Honeysuckle (Lonicera) is known for its sweet fragrance and clusters of delicate, bell-shaped flowers. They prefer full sun, but can tolerate some shade. Like Trumpet Vine, they do well when supported on a trellis or similar support, but can also be planted in containers. There are over 100 varieties of Honeysuckles — one kind, the Magnifica Honeysuckle, has large, bright red flowers that are perfect for drawing hummingbirds in.
Lantanas (Lantana camara) are easy to grow and bloom all year long in areas that don’t frost. They’re perennials in warmer growing zones, but are typically used as annuals in colder climates. They display some vine-like behavior, but are technically shrubs when grown in warm areas. In cold areas they’re often places in hanging baskets.
Either way, they’re popular with hummingbirds and will surely attract them to your yard. Their flowers bloom in round clusters and come in reds, oranges, yellows, purples, and whites, and often feature multiple colors on one plant.
Rhododendrons are technically an entire genus of woody plants, but there’s one in particular that’s very attractive to hummingbirds, Catawba Rhododendron (Rhododendron Catawbiense). This variety is a large, spreading, evergreen shrub that blooms in spring through early summer.
Its flowers come in red, white, and purple shades and form dense clusters. Catawba Rhododendron does best in part shade, with moist, acidic soil.
18. ROSE OF SHARON
Rose of Sharon (Hibiscus syriacus) is a bush with large, showy flowers that have a stamen protruding from their center. It’s a late bloomer, but offers many blooms throughout the season. Rose of Sharon has an upright growing habit and does well propped up against a trellis or arbor. It’s easy to care for and can handle neglect, though pruning it is important for creating a desired shape. Find it in reds, blues, and whites.
19. SILK TREE
Silk Tree Mimosa (Albizia julibrissin), also called Mimosa Trees, are native to Asia, and can be invasive in some parts of the country. However, they’re easy to grow in large containers to avoid spreading. Their pink or rose colored flowers are fluffy, full of nectar, and have a lovely fragrance that attracts hummingbirds.
Its foliage is lacy and somewhat fern-like. Growing Silk Tree is relatively easy, though be sure to give it some room if planting in the ground, and be prepared for its wide canopy and arching habit.
20. TRUMPET VINE
The orange and red flowers of Trumpet Vine (Campsus radicans) are ideal for bringing hummingbirds into your yard. This fast-growing perennial is easy to grow, so easy that some gardeners find it bothersome when it aggressively spreads and self-seeds. Its tube-shaped flowers bloom from summer throughout the fall and loves full-sun and even partial shade. Place it along a trellis or other support structure to give it plenty of room to climb.
HOW TO MAKE YOUR OWN HUMMINGBIRD NECTAR
Setting up a hummingbird feeder in addition to these plants and flowers will make your yard irresistible to these tiny birds. Plus, you can make your own nectar — it’s a very simple process and only requires two ingredients; sugar, and water.
1 cup of white table sugar (refined sugar only)
4 cups of water
- Heat your water to help the sugar dissolve more easily. Microwave the water for a minute, heat it up in a saucepan, or just use the hottest tap water your faucet can produce. Avoid using a coffee machine to heat water as caffeine is toxic to birds.
- Mix the sugar and the water in a clean container. Stir the water with a large spoon while slowly adding the sugar.
- Once all the grains of sugar are fully dissolved, allow the solution to cool. Once cooled it’s ready to be poured into the feeder.
- Store any extra sugar water in the refrigerator for up to one week. Storing extra nectar will make refilling the feeder quick and easy.
Check out this article for even more information about making your own hummingbird nectar.