Attracting hummingbirds to your yard can be easy…if you plant the right flowers!
Humminbird feeders may get all of the credit within birding communities, but keeping feeders clean and full requires constant vigilance and attention.
However, planting flowers that hummingbirds love is an easier strategy that usually yields promising results! Now, you may be wondering, are zinnias an option? Let’s take a look at the benefits of planting zinnias to attract hummingbirds!
What Kinds of Flowers Do Hummingbirds Prefer?
A hummingbird’s diet consists of two main elements: nectar and insects.
There really isn’t a way to provide them with extra insects, aside from the fact that you can avoid using chemical pesticides. But you can provide them with nectar via flowers!
These beautiful creatures enjoy flowers that produce a lot of nectar. Vibrant flowers are easier for them to spot, and tubular blooms produce the most nectar. That’s why their most preferred flowers are those that produce colorful, tubular-shaped blooms.
Some popular hummingbird flowers include:
- Bee balm
- Coral honeysuckle
Do Hummingbirds Gather Nectar from Zinnias?
Zinnias are popular and beautiful flowers that come in a wide range of colors, which makes it easy to match them to your existing landscape.
They are also quite easy to grow! If you are new to gardening, zinnias are a great option.
But do hummingbirds like them? Absolutely!
One aspect that makes zinnias so appealing to hummingbirds is that they grow quite tall. They are typically up to four feet in height, which means they are at the perfect height for hummingbirds, who don’t really want to be too close to the ground.
Zinnias also produce a lot of colorful blooms, which means there is less competition for resources among territorial hummingbirds.
When Do Zinnias Bloom?
Zinnias bloom in late spring. Unlike other flowers that hummingbirds like, they keep blooming throughout the whole season–and continue to bloom until the first fall frost.
That means that hummingbirds can enjoy them from their arrival until their departure. After their long migration, hummingbirds benefit from being greeted by zinnia blooms that help them recover from how much energy they have spent.
When they prepare for their fall migration, zinnias are still there, blooming and giving them the calories they need!
Talk about a great strategy for not just spotting more hummingbirds, but also making sure they have the resources they need!
What is a Hummingbird’s Favorite Flower?
There may not be a single flower for every hummingbird species, but zinnias are a great choice for your garden. It’s no denying that hummingbirds and zinnias are a perfect match!
Even if you are a novice gardener, zinnias are easy to grow. Most gardeners have a lot of success with zinnias, regardless of where they live. Zinnias can be grown in Zones 3-11, which covers nearly all of North America.
Do Zinnias Attract Hummingbirds and Butterflies?
Zinnias don’t just attract hummingbirds. They are also wonderful additions to any North American butterfly garden!
Having a garden or yard with plenty of zinnias will help you see an increase in all kinds of lovely flying critters, including honeybees, bumblebees, hummingbirds, and butterflies.
How to Plant Zinnias
Ideally, you should plant zinnias in a spot where they will receive full sunlight.
Zinnias thrive in soil that is moist and well-drained. They are annual flowers and will need to be re-planted every year. You can plant them as soon as the danger of spring frost has passed. Planting season will depend on which zone you live in.
When you first plant your zinnia seeds, you can plant them in clumps or place the seeds in rows, a few inches apart. They will need to be thinned to prevent over-crowding. Don’t thin too early; allow the seedlings to grow four leaves before you pull some to discard them.
Larger varieties need to be thinned to about 18 inches apart. Smaller varieties can be planted as close as eight inches from one another.
Should You Plant Zinnias to Attract Hummingbirds?
I hope I’ve convinced you that zinnias may just be the perfect companion plant to plant if you want to encounter more hummingbirds.
Homeowners with zinnia-filled gardens often don’t need to use any sort of hummingbird feeders at all, because the zinnias are hummingbird magnets by nature.
I love that zinnias are so easy to plant because you don’t have to commit to a complicated garden full of different varieties of flowers.
Even if you just have room for a few zinnia plants and little else, give it a try and see how many more hummingbirds you see this season!