There are a lot of choices for plants that attract hummingbirds to the garden. The goal, of course, is not only to get their attention but encourage them to stay a while. Here are the plants they like most
If you’re a fan of hummingbirds, you probably like to see these birds flying around your garden. In the U.S., you’re more likely to see the ruby-throated hummingbird.
To bring hummingbirds to your garden, plant nectar-rich flowering plants, preferably with long, tubular flowers and ones which can be shorn back for more blooms later in the season. The longer your garden blooms, the more hummers you’ll see.
Attract beautiful hummingbirds to your yard by growing these 25 beautiful garden plants. Check out the list below:
1 Petunia (Petunia)
– Petunias are among the most popular flowering annuals for good reason.
Petunias are bright and lively, bloom from spring until frost, and scent the air with lovely fragrance.
Best of all, petunias are amazingly easy to grow, both in the garden and in containers.
2 Flowering tobacco (Nicotiana alata)
– Nicotiana plants are easy to grow. Flowers begin to appear and bloom in the early summer. The plant will rebloom all season. Flowers open up in late afternoon, and are on fragrant display all evening. Five pointed florets are trumpet shaped, with red, white, rose, pink, yellow, and lavender colors. Different varieties grow one to three feet tall, and produce flowers on slender stems.
3 Foxglove (Digitalis)
– Another staple of cottage gardens, foxgloves bear tall spikes of pink, purple, white, or yellow tube-shaped flowers in summer.
Name: Digitalis selections
Growing Conditions: Part shade and moist, well-drained soil
Size: To 6 feet tall and 2 feet wide, depending on type
Grow it with: Contrast foxglove’s tall, upright form with mounding coralbells.
4 Lily (Lilium)
– Lily bulbs are available to plant in both the fall and spring. They should be planted immediately, or stored briefly in a cool, dark space if you can’t put them in the garden right away.
Soil and Site
Sun or light shade, where they won’t be disturbed. Lilies are reliably perennial – reappearing for year after year – so bear this in mind when you choose where to plant them. Most colours stay better with some shade, particularly the pinks
I always plant lily bulbs in clumps of a minimum of three or five. Without these numbers, you get a very dotty effect. Dig a hole for each group at least 8in/20cm deep. I dig out a trench or shallow hole, taking up as much space as I have room for between other plants. It’s just one big hole, dug at the same time, not lots of mini cores.
In the garden
Lilies can be planted at any time during the autumn, winter or early spring. As long as they are in by the end of March, they will be fine.
5 Clove pink (Dianthus)
– This is a very beautiful annual flower that blooms abundantly all summer long.
Height – 20 to 32 inches (50 to 80 cm)
Exposure – full sun, part sun
Soil – well drained, ordinary
Sowing – February to June
Flowering – June to October-November (depending on the region).
6 Columbine (Aquilegia)
– Start the hummingbird season out right with the cheery red-and-yellow blooms of wild columbine. This easy-growing perennial is native to areas of North America.
Name: Aquilegia canadensis
Growing Conditions: Part to full shade and moist, well-drained soil
Size: To 3 feet tall and 1 foot wide
Grow it with: Columbine is a perfect partner for brightly colored coralbells.
7 Coral bells (Heuchera)
– Although hummingbirds and bees love the flowers of coral bells (Heuchera x hybrida), gardeners typically grow these plants for their mounding clumps of attractive foliage. Planted in a highly visible spot of the garden with complementary plants, red-leaf varieties of coral bells such as “Crimson Curls” and “Midnight Rose” are especially striking. These plants aren’t fussy, but should be planted in the right conditions to thrive.
8 Daylily (Hemerocallis)
– You can plant your daylily a bit deeper than most perennials. The crowns can be buried to a depth of about 1 inch below the soil line.
Water your daylilies a few times a week for 2-4 weeks after planting, but after a month or so you’ll only need to water once a week, tops.
After the first year of growth you’ll find that your daylily has become drought tolerant and only needs to be watered during the worst dry periods.
9 Larkspur (Delphinium)
– Larkspurs are among the easiest annuals to grow. Sow them in the garden in early spring – or fall in warm climates. They tolerate most soils, but grow best in light, well-draining soil. Amend heavy soils first with compost or manure.
Whereas delphiniums need cool temperatures, ideal soil moisture and plenty of babying, larkspurs are tough, hardy and resilient.
10 Desert candle (Yucca)
– Also known as Foxtail Lily or Desert Candle, this striking plant will light your garden with tall, fragrant, vertical flowers. Flowers range from white through the pastels of pink and peach, to the bright, lively yellows and golds that make gardens sing. Foliage clumps of strap-like leaves (up to 4 feet tall) surround the flower spires and die back in mid-summer once flowering is done and the plant goes into dormancy. Originating from Asia, these garden stars display stalks of flowers up to 8 feet tall.
11 Iris (Iris)
– With two native irises common for the MN area, “northern” and “southern” Harlequin Blueflag, the most predominant one is northern and can be grown in zones 3-10. These flowers can commonly be found in meadows, marshes, and along shorelines. Blooming from May to August, this plant can be identified by its blue to blue-violet drooping iris shape.
12 Beardtongue (Penstemon)
– The Plantaginaceae family is quite large, meaning there are many different types of Beardtongue. Large Beardtongue is commonly found in MN, and can successfully be grown in zones 3-9. In full bloom, the flowers appear lavender to pink with dark purple lines inside of the lower lip. A yellow-tipped white style also protrudes from the center of the flower. Blooming from May to July, these flowers can be identified in many sunny, dry, “wild” areas. Bees and hummingbirds will frequent your garden with this pretty addition.
13 Scarlet trumpet honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens)
– Typically blooming between May and June each year, this plant can be grown in zones 3-9. It appears as a high-climbing twining vine with flowered clusters of red, tubular blooms followed by bright-red berries. The Trumpet Honeysuckle requires proper air circulation, adequate drainage, light, and structural assistance in the beginning to establish its climb successfully. Aside from hummingbirds, this plant also attracts bees, butterflies, and a variety of birds.
14 Butterfly bush (Buddleia)
– Don’t let its common name fool you; hummingbirds love butterfly bush’s fragrant flowers as much as butterflies do. This long-blooming shrub offers blooms in shades of white, purple, blue, and pink.
Name: Buddleia selections
Growing Conditions: Full sun and moist, well-drained soil
Size: To 10 feet tall and 12 feet wide
Grow it with: Butterfly bush looks great paired with summer-blooming bee balm varieties.
15 Catmint (Nepeta)
– Acting as quite a weedy plant at its mature state, catmint can spread quite quickly and sporadically over the years and is very difficult to destroy. Successfully grown in zones 3-9, this plant blooms in July to October with a white to pale lavender flower with darker purple or pink dots. The leaves are generally heart-shaped or oval, which provides a whimsical, dainty look for your garden. Due to its extreme resiliency, catmint can be found in a variety of environments throughout the area.
As catmint attracts several pollinators, hummingbirds will become a regular visitor, and you may even spot a few friendly felines visiting as they, too, enjoy catmint as a treat now and then.
16 Bee balm (Monarda)
– Choose this easy-growing, summer-blooming perennial to make a bold statement in your landscape. While red is the traditional color for bee balm, you can also find varieties with pink, violet, and white flowers; all are good for attracting hummingbirds and butterflies.
Growing Conditions: Full sun or part shade and moist, well-drained soil
Size: To 3 feet tall and 2 feet wide
17 Soapwort (Saponaria)
– With its pretty blooms and long blooming period, soapwort is a beautiful addition to any garden. Soapwort can grow anywhere from one to three feet high. It blooms midsummer to late fall with small five-petaled flowers. The flowers of the soapwort plant are extremely fragrant and tend to attract hummingbirds. The most common varieties of soapwort bloom pink flowers, but there are a few other varieties that sport white or yellow flowers.
18 Summer phlox (Phlox paniculata)
– Garden phlox blooms in mid summer and is a great addition to casual cottage garden landscapes, pollinator gardens, and is also at home in the shrub and perennial garden.
The Creeping form blooms in mid spring and looks great as an edging plant to gardens, or falling casually over a low wall. Both Garden phlox and Creeping phlox produce fragrant blooms that attract a variety of pollinators, including butterflies and hummingbirds.
19 Verbena (Verbena)
– There are about 250 annual and perennial species of Verbena
but there are only about a half dozen that are commonly cultivated.
These easy to grow, long blooming plants are both heat and drought tolerant.
Some perennial Verbenas tend to be short lived due to their extended season of prolific blooms that begins in their first year, so they are often grown as annual plants.
Typically, Verbena have narrow, lance shaped or deeply cut, green foliage growing on square or angular stems.
Trailing forms of Verbena are excellent for growing in containers and hanging baskets. They also attract hummingbirds.
20 Weigela (Weigela)
– The traditional Weigela plant is an attractive shrub, producing abundant bell-shaped or trumpet-shaped flowers in late spring and blossoms sparsely during the early summer.
They appear delightful to the eye and provide sustenance for hummingbirds, bees, butterflies and other pollinators.
21 Lupine (Lupinus)
– A cottage-garden classic, lupines offer colorful spires of blooms in early and midsummer. Enjoy their hand-shaped foliage even when they’re not flowering.
Name: Lupinus selections
Growing Conditions: Full sun or part shade and moist, well-drained soil
Size: To 3 feet tall and wide
Grow it with: Daisies, for a long-blooming, cheery combination.
22 Pentas (Pentas)
– Pentas plant is fairly easy to take care of as you long as you water it regularly and take it inside during cold winters. When given enough sunlight, Pentas will produce beautiful flowers of various shades in a star-shaped pattern. These flowers are perfect for attracting hummingbirds.
23 Pincushion flower (Scabiosa)
– Scabiosa are one of the flowers that we love to grow because of their ease of growth, ease of care, and the character that their stems bring to any arrangement.
Hummingbirds and bees love the pincushionlike, domed flowers of this Teasel family member, also known as Scabious. The genus, primarily Mediterranean, is of easy culture in well-drained soil and includes annuals, biennials, and perennials. Low-growing species are suitable for rock gardens while the larger ones are long-blooming additions to sunny borders and wild gardens.
24 Red-hot poker (Kniphofia)
– The red hot poker is a showy and dramatic plant. A fine architectural plant with striking vertical blooms, topped by blazing red, orange and yellow tapering flower heads, that really do resemble fiery hot pokers. Kniphofia are tough, long-lived plants, with a long flowering season (spring to late autumn). If you love growing perennials that give color all summer long, this is the plant for you.
Hummingbirds love to feed on these plants.
25 Scarlet sage (Salvia splendens)
– Scarlet sage blooms continuously whenever the weather is warm (including indoors in a greenhouse during the winter). Flowers are produced in loose whorls in an upright, terminal racemose inflorescence up to 10 inches long.
The showy flowers produce a lot of nectar so are highly attractive to hummingbirds, giving rise to yet another common name of hummingbird sage. They are also visited by butterflies and bees.