One of the most stunning pollinators you might be lucky enough to attract is the energetic hummingbird! All you need to do to make your yard a hummingbird hangout is plant what they love. Here are a few of our favorites!
Because Mandevilla comes in both climbing and mound-shaped forms you can use it in an almost unlimited number of ways, including hanging baskets, window boxes, mixed containers, or planted directly in garden beds and borders. Multitudes of large, trumpet-like flowers cover Mandevilla from spring to fall. Flower colors include pink, red, white, peach, and apricot. The showy blossoms are also attractive to hungry hummingbirds (and butterflies!).
As a tropical beauty, hibiscus is a favorite of hummingbirds in part due to its fantastic color. Vibrant colors draw hummingbirds, so Hibiscus is a good choice for a hummingbird garden. It needs routine watering to maintain balanced but not wet soil. Water your hibiscus daily when the temperatures warm, and bring it inside when the temperatures fall below 50 degrees.
If you’re looking to add some tropical flair to your patio or garden while bringing in more hummingbirds, fuchsia is the way to go. This fantastic flower blooms throughout the growing season but will need some cool shade during the hotter months. Watering them will also help keep them cool, but overwatering will lead to root rot. If you’re growing fuchsia in a pot, make sure it has holes and good drainage. Bring your fuchsia indoors during the winter months to allow it to go dormant and preserve it for the next growing season.
Easy to grow and colorful, the calibrachoa is a great option for pots and baskets due to its trailers that spill out over the edge. This flowering plant reaches a height of between eight and ten inches and grows well in full sun or partial shade. Hummingbirds love the vibrant orange, pink, purple, red, and yellow flowers, as do butterflies. Plant calibrachoa in window boxes and they’ll provide a front-row seat to the high-energy acrobatics of this fascinating tiny bird.
Hostas are large, leafy perennials that attract hummingbirds with their spikes of lily-like flowers that bloom in the summer. Some varieties are fragrant and others aren’t, but hummingbirds and bees love their nectar and will return while the flowers are in bloom.
Petunias like partial shade to full sun, although if you’re looking to attract hummingbirds, you’ll want the latter location for better blooms. Petunias will provide color all summer and need soil with compost worked in for a strong performance. Deadheading petunias and keeping them out of extreme heat will encourage blooms continually. Petunias are annuals in our zone, and they are fast-growing and will provide plenty of food for your local hummingbirds.
Bee balm is a late summer-blooming perennial that attracts hummingbirds, butterflies, and bees. The tubular flowers are white, pink, or red. Bee balm tolerates wet soil, making it a smart choice in areas where other flowers would struggle. It does well in full sun to partial shade. Some varieties are prone to powdery mildew, but there are resistant options, too. Bee balm is hardy from zones 4 to 9.
An annual that can also be grown as a perennial in frost-free regions, the cuphea produces small but vivid, orange, red, or yellow flowers that are rich with nectar. It works well in garden beds or containers and blooms throughout the summer.
The cuphea is both heat and drought tolerant, requires no deadheading, and doesn’t easily fall prey to pests or diseases, making it a super easy plant for gardeners of any skill level.
Lantana’s hummingbird appeal and clusters of blooms make them a great choice for any gardener, but they’re especially well-suited to beginner gardeners. Lantana needs full sun and well-draining soil, and doesn’t require heavy or regular watering once established. Its blooms are made of multiple smaller blooms and are attractive to nectar-drinking critters.
Salvia is a favorite not only of hummingbirds but of butterflies as well. There are both annual and perennial varieties, and the colors range widely, though the pink and red varieties may attract more hummingbirds because of their bright hue. Plant it outside after the last frost date in an area with full to partial sun. Salvia prefers dry soil, so let it dry out between waterings of about half an inch.
Zinnias' showy flowers can be many colors, including orange, purple, pink, lavender, yellow, and white. This annual is a nice choice for a low-maintenance garden. It does well in full sun to partial shade and is not attractive to deer. Zinnias do not require rich soil to thrive and are tolerant of drought conditions. They do well in nearly any zone.
Generations of gardeners have planted daylilies to add vibrancy to their flower beds. Choose from a rainbow of bloom colors that hummingbirds find irresistible, from shades of pink, red, and purple, to yellow, orange, or cream. Daylilies aren’t lilies, despite their name. They produce a variety of flower sizes, from three to 15 inches across. This versatile plant works well in beds, borders, and meadow gardens, with many miniature varieties that are perfect for containers. They require regular deadheading and prefer well-drained soil.