IntroductionHummingbirds and Flowers

Plants that attract hummingbirds usually have one thing in common, the flower! Most hummingbird friendly flowers are tube shaped. Consequently, the flower and beak shape match perfectly. The following article will show some hardy hummingbird favorites.

Why do Hummingbirds visit?

Hummingbirds sometimes choose to visit our gardens, which is always a treat! It is much easier than you think to attract them to your garden. Above all, it depends on the type of food you have available. They must eat almost continuously. Below is a list of four plants to attract humming birds.

Hibiscus ‘Holy Grail’

Photos courtesy of Walters Gardens, Inc.

It is easy to see why Hibiscus ‘Holy Grail’ made it to this list. It is a fabulous, fast growing, tropical looking perennial. This plant has much to offer considering it gets cut back yearly. Every flower and leaf is grown from the ground up each season. Which makes it even more impressive when Hibiscus produce a rather large flower that is 8″-10″ wide. This grand bright red flower is the perfect target for hummingbirds. A few things to know:

  • Height: 4′-4.5′
  • Spread: 4.5′-5′
  • Zone: 4-9
  • Flower color: Red
  • Part-full sun

Perovskia atriplicifolia ‘Denim ‘n Lace’

Photos courtesy of Walters Gardens, Inc.
Photos courtesy of Walters Gardens, Inc.

Russian sage is a hummingbird’s favorite because of the multitude of blooms and the shape of the flowers. It produces a nice fragrance that can attract humans too! This plant blooms mid to late summer and provides food for the hummingbirds during that time. A few things to know:

  • Height: 28″-32″
  • Spread: 34″-38″
  • Zone: 4-9
  • Flower color: Purple-Blue
  • Part-Full Sun

Syringa pubescens subsp. patula ‘Miss Kim’

There are many types of Lilac shrubs and even some trees. The Miss Kim variety is one of the most popular as it is a dwarf variety. This plant grows clustered flowers that are perfect for hummingbirds to snack on. Lilacs are common in our area mainly for their spring flowers and fragrance they emit.

  • Zone: 4-8
  • Height: 4′-5′ (Slow Growing)
  • Spread: 4′-5′ (Slow Growing)
  • Bloom time: Spring
  • Flower color: Pink/Purple shades
  • Part-full sun

Monarda didyma ‘Pardon My Cerise’

Photos courtesy of Walters Gardens, Inc.
Photos courtesy of Walters Gardens, Inc.

This perennial may be small but it is mighty! Monarda bloom from mid to late summer. They are a great plant to attract pollinators of all kinds. The variety shown above is Monarda didyma ‘Pardon My Cerise’. Be sure you have the proper environment for this plant when thinking of adding it to your garden. This includes full sun, consistent water, and average-fertile soil quality. A few things to know:

  • Zone 4-8
  • Height: 14″-18″
  • Spread: 10″-12″
  • Flower color: Pinkish/Red
  • Part-full sun

Hummingbird Retention

These plants are all zone 4 hardy and will continue coming back to feed our feathered friends year after year. Installing plants that will attract wildlife is always beneficial for a garden. The plants listed above will help attract hummingbirds to the garden throughout the growing season with the timing of each bloom period. The supplementation of hummingbird feeders can also be beneficial for a few reasons. One is, if you lack the amount of space or proper environment for the above mentioned plants. When using a feeder, keep in mind when hummingbirds migrate so the feeder can be removed at the proper time. Keeping them up for too long can cause hummingbirds to not migrate at the appropriate time.

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