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Planting for Hummingbirds

Updated: Sep 2, 2023

Six Flowers that will attract hummingbirds to your garden

When there’s a hummingbird sighting, it brings happiness and excitement and some even consider it a sign of luck. So, let’s plan out our gardens with plants that will bring more joy and provide more food for our little buddies.

I don’t know if you’re the same as me but I find more accomplishment in hummingbird visits when they find a flower they love vs feeders. Hummingbird feeders are a great supplement to our tiny but mighty friends but it has been found that hummingbirds prefer flowering plants over feeders when given the choice. (Project FeederWatch explains that flower nectar has between 22-26% sugar concentration compared to feeders that have 20% - this means more food energy).

The main flower characteristic that hummingbirds are attracted to is bright colors. Reds and oranges are the major colors you’ll see them feeding on, but I’ve also seen them go to purple quite a bit too. A little bonus, as they feed, they’re also helping pollinate,

Here’s my short list of native (or naturalized) plants that I have seen bring in many hummingbird visits. I will never recommend aggressive introduced plants.

#1 Bee Balm

  • Bloom Color - Lavender, Pink, Rose

  • Bloom Time - May - July

  • Height - Up to 4 feet

  • Full Sun to Light Shade

  • Spreads by Rhizomes - divide every 2-3 years

  • Zone 3 - 9

#2 - Wild Columbine

  • Bloom Color - Red, Yellow, Blue, White

  • Bloom Time - Late Spring to Early Summer

  • Height - up to 3 feet

  • Prefers Full Sun but Part Shade they still thrive

  • Easily Self Seeds

  • Zone 3 - 9

"The hummingbird is a symbol for accomplishing that which seems impossible. It will teach you how to find the miracle of joyful living from your own life circumstances."

- Ted Andrews

#3 - Bleeding Heart

  • Bloom Color - Pink and White

  • Bloom Time - Early Spring

  • Height - Up to 3 feet

  • Part Shade

  • Spreads by Seeds near the mother plant

  • Zone 3 - 9

#4 - Coral Bells

  • Bloom Color - Coral, Red, White, Pink

  • Bloom Time - Late Spring to Mid Summer

  • Height - 1 foot

  • Part Shade

  • Does not easily self seed or spread

  • Zone 4 - 9

#5 - Jewelweed

  • Bloom Color - Orange

  • Bloom Time - Late Spring to Early Fall

  • Height - 2 - 5 feet

  • Prefers Part Shade but can still thrive in Full Sun

  • Easily Self Seeds

  • Zone 3 - 10

#6 - Cardinal Flower

  • Color - Red

  • Bloom Time - Late Summer through Early Fall

  • Height - 2 Feet

  • Part Shade to Shade - but can survive in full Sun

  • Easily Self Seeds

  • Zone 3 - 9

If you want help planning out your hummingbird garden, contact Leigh at Project Meadow!

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