What flowers attract hummingbirds the best? June 05 2014

My last post was dedicated to explaining why hummingbirds prefer red flowers. When I went to buy my flowers for spring planting, I was in the early stages of launching HummingbirdHQ.com so I found myself buying lots of flowers with tags that indicated they attracted hummingbirds with hopes of attracting more to my own backyard.

Of the dozens of flowers you can plant to help attract more birds to your garden, here are some of the best.

  Bleeding Hearts - a perennial in zones 2-11, this plant grows 24-36 inches tall and does best in lightly shaded locations. The delicate blooms are white or pink and the plants can be divided to transplant.
Bee Balm - a perennial in zones 4-9, it is also called bergamot, horsemint and monarda, and thrives best in full sun and will grow 12-36 inches high.
Columbine - a perennial in zones 3-8, this plant does best in partial shade and comes in many colors, including white, pink, purple, and even yellow. Most varieties have two colors, as the one pictured. It can grow up to 20 inches tall.
Lupine - this perennial in zones 9-10 is an early bloomer and ideal for spring migrating hummingbirds. It is drought-tolerant and does best in full sun. The Texas Bluebonnet is a type of Lupine that can only grow in areas with very hot weather.
Salvia - a perennial in zones 4-11, the flowers on this relative of mint can range from pink to red to purple to blue. Tall stalks of flowers make it ideal for the back of flower beds. It does best in full sun and will come back larger each year.
Trumpet Creeper - a perennial in zones 4-10 and also known as the trumpet vine, this hardy plant climbs just about anything and can easily overtake an area without pruning (we had one that almost pulled down a portion of our fence and also tried to take hold of the vents under our eaves). It thrives in sun to partial shade.
Zinnia - this annual comes in many colors and grows best in full sun. It's compact size makes it ideal for containers and it will bloom into fall, making it an ideal flower for hungry migrating birds.
Petunia - this inexpensive annual comes in all colors and does best in full sun. The abundant flowers provide plenty of nectar for hungry hummers.
Butterfly Bush - this perennial in zones 5-10 with its thick elongated flowers attracts butterflies and hummingbirds. It is a drought-tolerant plant that does best in full sun and will grow into a large shrub over time.
Cardinal Flower - a perennial in zones 2-9, it is also called lobelia and grows best in moist, well-drailed soil, growing up to 48 inches tall.
Scarlet Honeysuckle Vine - this perennial in zones 4-9 produces scores of fragrant blooms and does best in full sun. It climbs just about anything and can become invasive.
Summer Phlox - this perennial in zones 4-9 produces fabulous fragrant blooms and comes in more than 100 varieties. The plants can grow 36-40 inches tall, with flower panicles from 6-9 inches long and 6-8 inches wide. It does best in sun with some mid- late-afternoon shade.


 Plan your gardens, yards, and containers to include plenty of these flowers, and soon your yard will be humming!