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Attracting Hummingbirds to your Garden

Attracting Hummingbirds


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Hummingbirds are a welcome sight in the garden. Their brightly colored feathers have earned them the title flying jewels. Here is some information on bringing these brilliant birds to your garden.


Plant Selection


Hummingbirds are drawn to bright red, orange, and pink flowers. They associate these colors with nectar so strongly that a red piece of plastic will be enough to get their attention.




Begonia spp.  (Begonia)

Cleome spp.  (Spider Flower)

Impatiens spp. (Impatiens)

Nicotiana spp.  (Flowering Tobacco)

Pelargonium spp.  (Geranium)

Petunia spp.  (Petunia)

Salvia coccinea  (Scarlet Sage)

Zinnia spp. (Zinnia)




Aquilegia canadensis (Columbine)

Asclepias tuberosa (Butterfly Weed)

Delphinium spp. (Larkspur)

Dianthus spp.  (Pinks)

Hemerocallis spp. (Daylily)

Heuchera spp.  (Coral Bells)

Hibiscus moscheutos (Rose Mallow)

Kniphofia spp.  (Poker Plant)

Lilium spp.  (Hardy Lily)

Lobelia cardinalis (Cardinal Flower)

Lychnis chalcedonica  (Maltese Cross)

Lychnis coronaria  (Rose Campion)

Monarda didyma  (Bee Balm)

Nepeta spp.  (Catmint)

Phlox paniculata  (Garden Phlox)

Salvia spp.  (Sage)

Saponaria ocymoides  (Rock Soapwort)

Verbena canadensis  (Creeping Verbena)




Campsis spp.  (Trumpet vine)

Lablab purpureus  (Hyacinth Bean)

Lonicera sempervirens  (Honeysuckle)

Tropaeolum majus  (Nasturtium)


Trees and Shrubs


Aesculus pavia  (Red Buckeye)

Abelia spp.   (Abelia)

Arctostaphylos uva-ursi (Bearberry)

Buddleia davidii  (Butterfly Bush)

Camellia spp.  (Camellia)

Hibiscus syriacus  (Rose of Sharon)

Rhododendron maximum  (Rosebay Rhododendron)

Weigela florida  (Weigela)





Once a hummingbird finds your garden it will return as long as the nectar supply lasts. Since flowers have a limited period of nectar production, a hummingbird feeder ensures that a constant supply is available. A simple nectar substitute can be made by boiling a 4:1 water to sugar ratio for two minutes.  Avoid using honey because it spoils quickly and can spread bacteria that are fatal to hummingbirds. Feeders should be cleaned regularly.



Sources: Compiled from experience and Attracting Hummingbirds and Butterflies (ed. James D. Blume). For more information visit us on the web at