Hummingbirds depend on the blossoms from plants to produce the nectar that sustains their life.
Providing Hummingbird Plants: If you love a flower garden you will be one step ahead of everyone else because Hummingbirds love flowers too!
The bright colours of the blossoms are like a neon sign advertising a delicious meal.
Flower gardens hold two of the most important foods for a Hummingbird's diet:
1. Bugs &
Hummingbirds love flowers not just for the nectar that the blooms provide either. Plants and flowers attract insects, sometimes tiny ones, which are needed by Hummers to survive.
They require a good dose of “bug” on their menu each day to keep up their busy lifestyle.
And Hummingbird plants provide the little birds with a culinary assortment of bugs to eat.
Hummingbirds eat the bugs attracted to the plants too and this will in turn provide longer viewing for you.
Flowers also provide an ideal location for spiders to spin their webs. This is a double bonus for attracting Hummingbirds. They will eat the spiders and then use the spider’s web to build their nests.
Spider web provides the glue to keep the nesting material collected by the female Hummer together. She will weave the spider silk into the nest material to hold it all together.
Spider silk also serves another purpose. It's elastic quality allows the nest to expand a little to accommodate the growing nestlings. For a more complete description of the material in Hummers nest click here.
There are also many other small bugs that thrive around plants that will be eaten by Hummers.
Just like royalty, food and drink served in high style together!
Providing a continuous blooming flower garden during “hummingbird season” will act as a magnet for attracting the Hummers.
They will have all the bugs and nectar they need from your feeder and flower garden.
And nesting material as well!
There are five lists of native plants below from different hardiness zones in North America. All of these plants are well liked by Hummingbirds.
These websites provide maps for the hardiness zones in NA:
There are many other sources available that can assist you in choosing the plants that will grow well in your growing zone. You could ask at your local gardening center or someone in your local birding group who is also an avid gardener could help with this knowledge.
Hummingbird plants produce a good supply of nectar which Hummers love. They are also adorned with bright colours and are very often in a tube shape suitable for long bills to penetrate to the part of the blossom that holds the flower nectar.
Most birds have very little smell and rely to a large extent on what they see and hear. Hummingbirds are no exception so fragrant flowers are not criteria when choosing which Hummingbird plants to use.
Many of the plants below will also provide nesting material for the female Hummer as she constructs her nest.
It is also significant to know that native (indigenous) plants that are properly selected for a given area produce more nectar than cultivated hybrids.
So planting wildflowers will give Hummingbirds more nectar to drink per blossom which helps them conserve energy. They will not need to visit as many flowers to get the fuel needed for further activities.
Bee Balm (Bergamot)
Cowslip (Virginia Bluebells)
Gay Feather (Blazing Star)
Milkweed (Butterfly Weed)
Concerned you won't be able to identify the plants on the lists?
Watch this video which gives you a picture of the bloom and what the entire plant looks like.
Knowing what it looks like will assist you in placing the plants in just the right spot in your garden.
Red Morning Glory
Scarlet Runner Bean
Trumpet Vine or Creeper
Azalea, Beauty Bush
Common Witch Hazel
Rose of Sharon
Mimosa (Silk Tree)
Necklace Pod (Silverbush)
Siberian Pea Tree
Plan your garden to begin blooming in spring before your Hummingbirds are expected to return so there are blossoms waiting for them.
Then plan to have plants producing flowers throughout the summer that Hummingbirds will enjoy.
If you can keep Hummingbird plants flowering into the autumn that will be a big bonus for hummers too as they stock up on energy reserves for migration.
Watch this video to see how each of us together can make a big difference.
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