There are about 100 species of plants in the genus Fuchsia, the majority of which are native to tropical or subtropical areas, but these beautiful flowered shrubs have become popular plants in pots, hanging baskets, and gardens.
They can also be a good food source for hummingbirds as perennial plants in warmer climates or annuals in others.
Do Hummingbirds Like fuchsia?
Hummingbirds must consume a lot of calories in proportion to their tiny size to power their day-to-day activities.
Hummingbirds must consume between 3.14 and 7.6 calories per day, according to the San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance. While we humans can consume that many calories in one potato chip, for a hummingbird that’s the equivalent of a human consuming as many as 155,000 calories per day.
To get enough food to make it through the day, hummingbirds rely on both insects and nectar-rich flowers, which can include fuchsia.
The fuchsia plant’s tubular flowers are perfectly shaped for hummingbirds’ long bills, and while hummingbirds are known to be attracted to the vibrant colors red, orange, and yellow, fuchsia’s pinkish-purple flowers are also likely to entice these small, fast-moving birds to stop for sweet nectar.
Does Fuchsia Grow Well in the United States?
Fuchsia’s success varies by species a little bit, but generally, most fuchsia will grow well in USDA Zones 8 and 9, with some thriving within zones 7, 10, and 11 as well, according to Portland Nursery.
Among those with wider hardiness ranges, according to the nursery, are fuchsia ‘checkerboard,’’ beautiful red-pink flowers with white sepals, and fuchsia ‘aurea,’ with long, drooping red and purple flowers.
Growing Fuchsia To Attract Hummingbirds
Fuchsia is a shade plant, though according to Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens, they do need some light to grow and bloom, such as direct morning sun or filtered sun throughout the day.
The botanical garden, located in Fort Bragg, California, states that fuchsia does best where summer days don’t reach higher than 85 degrees Fahrenheit. The warmer the temperatures, the more shade these plants will require.
Fuchsia plants prefer “moist, but not soggy wet” soil, according to the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens, which suggests watering when the soil surface gets dry.
Tips for Getting More Hummingbirds To Visit Your Fuchsia Flowers
Attracting more hummingbirds to your gardens is not about one flower species. With all the food they must consume during the day, hummingbirds require more than just a potted plant or two and a hanging feeder.
Despite being known as birds that feed on flower nectar and sugar water from hummingbird feeders, the majority of a hummingbird’s diet is actually insects and spiders. With this in mind, creating a backyard with abundant native plants will go a long way to enticing more birds and wildlife to your yard.
Planting hummingbird feeders near your flower beds as well as providing a water source and trees for nesting can also help create a thriving backyard ecosystem. Hummingbirds can be quite territorial, so the more colorful flowers, feeders, and nesting spots you provide, the more birds can spread out and claim their own feeding range.
Other Flowers for Hummingbirds
The importance of native plants cannot be overstated. While non-native plants may be beautiful, chances are that they don’t support many native wildlife species.
Native oak trees and non-native ginkgo trees provide a salient example: the National Audubon Society references research from famed Entomologist Doug Tallamy that shows native oak trees in North America support over 500 species of caterpillars, whereas ginkgos, an attractive but non-native tree, supports only five.
Insects and plants are the foundation of backyard bird life. Hummingbirds and other birds require abundant insects to feed both themselves and their young.
Types of native plants that hummingbirds love include, but are not limited to:
Scarlet beebalm: Native across the eastern United States, scarlet beebalm features striking red flowers, which will be a theme on this shortlist.
Cardinal flower: Speaking of red flowers, the cardinal flower’s long flowers can be found across much of the eastern United States and Canada, as well as the Great Basin and Southwest.
Lobelia: Great blue lobelia grows from the eastern Rockies and eastward. It’s a member of the bellflower family, which has over 2,000 species, mostly in North America.
Columbine: Columbine is a well-known hummingbird flower that grows in the eastern woodlands of southern Canada and the eastern United States.
Honeysuckle: While there are well-known invasive honeysuckle plants like the Japanese honeysuckle, the vibrant flowers of native North American species like trumpet honeysuckle are ideal for hummingbirds.
Hummingbird trumpet: Native to the American West, the hummingbird trumpet is sometimes also referred to as California fuchsia, despite the fact that it’s not in the Fuchsia genus.
Fireweed: Fireweed grows into the far reaches of North America and as far south as western states like New Mexico and Arizona.
This is not a complete list of native plants that hummingbirds love, but rather a short sampling of the beautiful flowers that you can begin to introduce to your gardens as you shift to native plants.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where Is Fuchsia Native?
Most fuchsia species are native to South America, which also happens to be where most hummingbird species are found.
Is Fuchsia a Perennial?
Fuchsia may grow back in warm climates where there isn’t likely to be much frost, snow, or ice. In colder climates, fuchsia is an annual.
Which Fuchsia Plant Is Hummingbirds’ Favorite?
While hummingbirds will be attracted to many types of fuchsia, a nod might be given to Fuchsia magellanica, for which the common names include hummingbird fuchsia or hardy fuchsia.
For good reason, the beautiful fuchsia is a popular choice for gardeners, and it’s likely to be popular with hummingbirds across Native America as well.
Growing best in partial shade, the fuchsia plant’s long-lasting bloom can provide hummers with a consistent food source throughout the summer as part of your backyard nectar offerings.
While it’s not a native species in North America, a couple of fuchsias are likely to enhance your hummingbird garden as part of a potted or hanging plant.