At first glance, the plants the hummingbirds in your yard prefer and the ones they avoid might seem random. You might be wondering, “How can I attract more hummingbirds?”
Hummingbird feeders can help, and it’s important to have plenty of cover where hummingbirds can lay nests and roost at night.
The most important aspect of attracting hummingbirds is planting the proper native flowering plants. Ensure you have a workable list of hummingbird plants in your plant breeders.
Flowering plants provide hummingbirds with nectar for food and are also home to bugs that provide hummingbirds with food. Colored blooms during late summer help in attracting birds.
The absence of shades in the original container helps in attracting these beautiful birds. Ensure you have moist and well-draining soil for growing these gorgeous blooms. Lilac in bloom is a perfect garden plant.
Native plants are best, if possible. While hummingbirds may be attracted to any number of plants in your yard, hummingbirds have evolved with native plants, which have adapted to local conditions such as soil and climate, according to the U.S. Forest Service.
Generally, hummingbirds prefer large, tubular flowers and are attracted to the colors red, orange, and yellow, though they may also frequent other colors. A sunny location is ideal for setting your flower beds.
What plants each hummingbird prefers may also depend on the types of birds in your area. So, what plants are right for your region? This is not an exhaustive list but a good place to start.
What Hanging Plants Should I Buy?
Hummingbirds like tubular, brightly-colored flowers, especially colors such as orange, yellow, and red. The best type of hanging plant will depend on your location, but it can often include flowers like honeysuckle, petunias, begonias, and salvia.
Hummingbirds love downward-facing flowers, so any flower that hangs over the edge of the basket can be a good one, and native plants are great. Plant your beautiful flowers in a tubular shape to attract more birds.
Many of the best plants for your garden listed below can thrive in a hanging basket for the season, and a seasonal planter can provide you with more options for adding a splash of color in spots where flowers wouldn’t otherwise grow.
What Plants Do Hummingbirds Avoid?
It’s not so much that hummingbirds dislike the flowers as they don’t have a high enough nectar content to provide them with nutrients, but many of your favorite plants may not be a bird’s favorite. There’s nothing wrong with that.
Many plants that don’t attract hummingbirds may benefit other pollinators like bees or butterflies. And with the substantial population declines some bees have seen, that’s also a noble cause.
Some flowers that aren’t so popular amongst hummingbirds include tulips, marigolds, roses, and lilacs. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t plant them in your garden; it just means those won’t be the hummingbird hotspot that a tubular flowering plant will be. It’s good to have a balance.
What Flowers Should I Plant in My Garden for Hummingbirds?
Fireweed: This tall flowering plant produces pink flowers that are a favorite of black-chinned hummingbirds, according to the U.S. Forest Service.
Bearded penstemon: A Costa’s hummingbird favorite, via the USFS, describes the plants as “a little finicky, but well worth the effort.”
Desert honeysuckle: This isn’t the only honeysuckle on the list, but it grows well in the southwest.
Golden currant: These yellow tubing bushes can grow across much of the United States, growing to a shrub height of about four or five feet tall.
Wild bergamot: Bergamot is more popular with butterflies, but hummingbirds may find these lavender-colored flowers interesting.
Western columbine: Hummingbirds love a downward-facing tubular-like western columbine. For those in other states, other columbine species are native to the rest of the country, such as eastern columbine.
Columbia lily: The Columbia lily, also known as the tiger lily, thrives in areas up to 9,800 feet, according to the USFS.
The Northeastern U.S.
Cardinal flower: Cardinal flower can grow up to six feet, giving your garden some height.
Trumpet Honeysuckle: Trumpet honeysuckle proliferates with scarlet flowers that bloom throughout the summer. In warm winter regions, these plants can grow year-round.
Coral bells: Also known as alumroot, these perennials feature colorful leaves and flowers growing out of the plant.
Eastern columbine: Eastern columbine can grow across the United States west of the Rockies.
Fire pink: Also known as scarlet catchfly, this member of the carnation family is popular amongst ruby-throated hummingbirds, the midwest’s most common hummer.
Black and blue salvia: It’s not just the frequent red, orange, and pink tubular hummingbirds. Ruby-throated hummingbirds are known to visit plants like black and blue salvia.
Great Plains States
Jewelweed: Jewelweed prefers semi-moist areas and is native across the entire great plains area.
Cardinal flower: Cardinal flower is native to much of the United States except the Pacific Northwest area inland to the Dakotas.
Royal catchfly: Royal catchfly has been extirpated in much of its range but is a good choice for states like Oklahoma, Kansas, and Missouri.
Coral honeysuckle: Like other honeysuckle plants, coral honeysuckle grows quickly and flowers continually throughout the year. It’s popular amongst birds and insects alike.
Scarlet salvia: Native to Florida and other parts of the southeast, the scarlet salvia produces brilliant red flowers.
Summersweet clethra: These flowering shrubs are rather small, with white flowers, unlike many other red flowers on this list.
Rocky Mountain States
Hummingbird trumpet: Aptly named, the hummingbird trumpet is native to much of the American West. These red and orange flowers are perfect for hummingbirds and can be grown at elevations up to 7,000 feet across the west.
Scarlet Gilia: Lewis and Clark reported seeing this plant in the mountains of northern Idaho, according to the USFS. Residents of the area can continue to rely on this plant to attract hummers.
Red hot poker: These hardy plants rely on well-drained soil and add something different to your hummingbird offerings.
Chaparral currant: This plant is endemic to California, thriving in coastal areas. Its pink flowers are amongst the top offerings for hummingbirds that make their home in the area year-round.
Bigberry manzanita: The manzanita is a drought-tolerant plant that can withstand the year-round warmth of the west coast.
Hummingbird trumpet: Like the rocky mountain states, the hummingbird trumpet is native to states like California and Oregon.