If you grow flowers, you can’t help but attract some butterflies and hummingbirds. But if you would like to attract them in droves, you’ll need to make sure your garden provides special accommodations. Learn what plants are necessary to have in you yard to invite these highly desirable guests that respond beautifully to proper invitations.
It is always an exciting day when the hummingbirds return to your garden each year. The best way to attract hummingbirds is with a variety of flowers grown from flower seeds, perennials or bedding plants. Hummingbirds love a profusion of flowers in bright colors. They love lots of reds, pinks and yellows.
Flowers for a hummingbird garden include trumpet-shaped blooms like crocosmias, galtonias, fuschias and mandevillas.
Their favorite flowers are the ones with the tubular blooms. If you put your hummingbird feeders out near the flowers they will drink the nectar from both the flowers and from your feeders. Once they are accustomed to seeing the feeders you can move them closer to your house windows for better viewing of the tiny birds. Hummingbirds will return each year and those that do are accustomed to your feeders and you will not need to hang them close to the flowers year after year.
I’ve seen feeders need to be refilled 2-3 times a day when the hummingbirds are feeding thirstily. It is beautiful to see such tiny birds in such beautiful green and red feathers feeding and buzzing outside your window every summer.
Although hummingbirds love the red tubular flowers, they also enjoy the nectar from many others. If you plant a variety of flower seeds as well as perennials, shrubs and vines. A popular perennial that is loved is the red lobelia cardinalis. It grows to about 3′ high and has beautiful red flowers. If you plant a variety of flowers with the tallest ones in the back of the garden and the shorter ones in the front you will achieve the maximum effect.
Hummingbirds also like flowering trees. Some of their favorites include horse chestnuts, flowering quince, mimosa and citrus trees.
Following is a list of some of the best flowers and shrubs to grow in your yard to attract hummingbirds:
Annual Flowers Seeds:
- Flowering Tobacco
- Sweet William
- Bee Balm
- Coral Bells
- Day Lilies
- Trumpet Honeysuckle
- Trumpet Vine
- Butterfly Bush
- Japanese Honeysuckle
Making Hummingbird Syrup
The best recipe to attract hummingbirds to your feeder is 1 part white sugar and 4 parts water. Bring the mixture to a boil for 1-2 minutes until the sugar is dissolved. Add some red food coloring to further attract the birds. Let the mixture cool and store in the fridge so it doesn’t go bad, although if you have a lot of hummingbirds that won’t be a problem! Never use honey because it will go bad in the sun and the mold produced is lethal to the birds.
Remember to clean your feeder every few days to prevent any bacteria from growing. Use hot water and vinegar to clean them.
The sugar water solution will attract more than the hummingbirds including wasps, ants and bees. Ants will not be a problem if the feeder is hung from fine fishing line with vaseline on it. You may also wrap sticky fly paper around the branch that the feeder is attached to. To control wasps and bees put vaseline, mineral oil or salad oil around the opening of the feeder. This makes it too slippery for them to get a hold. Some feeders come with bee guards, but they don’t always work.