When it comes to attracting hummingbirds, everyone wants to know what types of flowers and plants do these birds like best. And with good reason These birds can be a joy to watch as they hover and flit from flower to flower.
I'm going to guess that you already know the very best way of attracting these birds to visit your yard is by providing a feeder. But now you're getting serious and want to provide more natural food sources.
You want to create a hummingbird garden, and I say, good for you! You're taking the next step to providing for these birds in a natural kind of way. But before you run out and get a bunch of flowers they love, A word of caution.
Be careful about what plants you choose. While the chart below offers several ideas, be sure to talk things over with your garden center folks.
Many plants that work the best for attracting Hummingbirds can get out of control and overtake your yard and garden. Consider the space you have to devote to this cause. Some vines like Trumpet Vine will pop up with little trees all over your yard if it isn't controlled. I speak from experience.
Some Columbine varieties will self sow and you'll end up with more than you want. On the other hand, it's a great way to add more without any more expense.
I would suggest that you also create several different locations throughout your property to plant flowers and shrubs. The reason for this is that Hummingbirds can be very territorial when it comes to feeding locations. If you provide several little pockets for them, all will have a better chance to feed and your birds will love you for this.
Don't forget that these birds are with us well into fall. Make sure that you offer nectar rich flowers that bloom late into the season. Migrating birds will need to bulk up for their long flights over the Gulf.
The most important part of attracting hummingbirds with plants is to plan. And of course, always provide Hummingbird feeders. That way you'll never have to worry if there is enough in the garden to take care of them.
Something to Keep in Mind
In general, birds have a weak sense of smell and hummingbirds are no exception.
Discovering food sources by sight rather than smell. With this in mind, fragrance of flowers has little effect on whether hummingbirds will like them.
Nectar rich flowers will be more inticing to them.
The chart below shows a few nectar rich plants that will help in attracting hummingbirds.
|Fuchsia||Bee Balm||Coral Honeysuckle||Butterfly Bush|
|Impatients||Canna||Cypress Vine||Flowering Quince|
|Jacobiana||Cardinal Flower||Morning Glory||Lantana|
|Jewelweed||Coral Bells||Scarlet Runner||Manzanita|
|Petunia||Four O'Clocks||Trumpet Creeper||Mimosa|
|Salvia||Foxglove||Canary creeper||Red Buckey|
|Shrimp Plant||Hosta||Carolina jasmine||Tree Tobacco|
|Snapdragon||Lupine||Glory vine||Turks Cap|
When gardening to attract hummingbirds, select a variety of flowers and plants with different bloom times, spring, early summer, late summer, and fall. Read the labels of any plants you purchase or ask the staff at your local garden center for this type of information.
Avoid using chemicals especially pesticides around any flowers you select for these birds. Hummingbirds eat tiny insects as part of their diet and these can kill the adults and their young.
You may want to provide nesting materials to encourage these birds to nest in your backyard.
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Downy like materials, spiderwebs, ferns, moss and lichens are the prefered nesting materials of the hummingbird. Willow and eucalyptus trees provide downy like materials as mentioned above.
Hummingbirds do not use traditional types of birdbaths. Instead, they prefer ones that spray a mist or have fountains. Rather than splashing in a bath like most of our back yard birds, Hummingbirds fly in and out of a spray of water. You may want to consider adding a misting type. They are usually sold for human use while sunbathing.
I see them around in the summer. They hook up to a hose and intermittently spray a mist. Probably not a good idea for humans but will work well for the birds.
Place them near your flowers. I would only use it while I was able to watch as it's probably not very economical.
By incorporating a few of these suggestions you'll greatly improve your chances of having hummingbirds filling your yard all summer long.
More Resources About Planting For Birds: Bird Gardening
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