10 Plants That Attract Hummingbirds To Your Garden

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Hummingbirds are fascinating pollinators who bring their buzzing beauty to the garden every spring and summer when they leave the safety of their nests. Their signature rapid wing activity draws a lot of energy, and they need consistent food sources to keep their energy high. The best way you can support them? Ensure these food resources are abundantly available in your garden! These plants attract hummingbirds and other pollinators and provide a long-standing food source to keep their population robust and entice them to return year after year.

Here, we’ll dive into our favorite hummingbird plants that keep your garden buzzing all season long!

What attracts hummingbirds?

First things first! There are a few key things hummingbirds look for when choosing their next meal. According to National Geographic Explorer Anusha Shankar, a human would have to eat 300 hamburgers to match the equivalent of what hummingbirds consume to survive every day. These small yet hefty eaters have evolved to quickly identify sources of fuel to keep them on the move. Some traits hummers are attracted to in plants include the following:

  • Tubular flowers accommodate long bills and tongues of hummingbirds. Plants with tubular flowers attract these beautiful creatures; add a bright color into the mix, and it becomes a hummingbird magnet!
  • Bright colors like red, pink, yellow, orange, and purple. This is why you’ll often see brightly colored birdhouses or baths filled with colorful rocks. Hummingbirds can easily perceive these bright colors and associate them with high-value energy sources.
  • Ripe and overripe fruit can attract hummingbirds and fruit flies, which hummingbirds also eat as a source of protein.

10 Plants To Attract Hummingbirds You Can Add To Your Garden Right Now:

Cardinal Flower

(Lobelia cardinalis)

Cardinal flower is a native perennial that combines the three things that hummingbirds love: the color red, tubular flowers, and an abundance of nectar. Hummingbirds love red flowers, and their attraction to the color has evolved over thousands of years, with red becoming a highly visible signal to these pollinators that the object is rich in nectar.

Pink, orange, and red tubular flowers

Firecracker Bush

(Bouvardia)

While firecracker bush may be a small shrub, its pollinator-attracting power is mighty! Hummingbirds love the bright trumpet-shaped flowers, which make the perfect pathway for their beaks to the sweet nectar. Firecracker bush is also compact and long-blooming, making it a vibrant addition to a hot and sunny garden hedge.

Hummingbird Mint

(Agastache)

The love hummingbirds have for this plant is in the name! Hummingbird mint, or Agastache, is a native perennial that is drought-tolerant and sun-loving, with fragrant flower spikes delighting in the landscape. Pollinators find the showy flowers irresistible, and the tiny florets make the pollen and nectar easy to access.

Hummingbirds feeding on pink rose of Sharon flowers

Rose of Sharon

(Hibiscus syriacus)

The massive, flat flowers of rose of Sharon allow hummingbirds easy access to the abundance of nectar in the middle. Rose of Sharon grows in a tall, columnar habit, which makes it a great shrub planted alongside privacy fences, hedges, or walls. It’s no wonder that this surprisingly cold-hardy shrub has gained so much popularity among gardeners and pollinators like hummingbirds and bees!

Bee Balm

(Monarda)

Bee balm is a native perennial with firework-like flowers in an array of red, pink, and purple colors that bloom in the summer. While it may have “bee” in its name, it also attracts hummingbirds and butterflies! After flowers fade, they fall off, exposing the seed heads, which birds can enjoy at the end of the gardening season.

Up close image of yellow honeysuckle flowers

Honeysuckle

(Lonicera)

The sweet nectar waiting at the bottom of honeysuckle flowers is irresistible to hummingbirds and butterflies. This vigorous vine twines around any structure, exploding into hundreds of trumpet-shaped golden blooms in early summer. Honeysuckle is also deer-resistant and perfect for trailing up trellises, arbors, and more!

Salvia

(Salvia)

Are you looking to attract hummingbirds but don’t have time for high-maintenance plants? Consider adding salvia to your garden! Salvia’s stiff, upright, colorful tubular flowers and rich nectar are long-blooming and easily attract hummingbirds and other pollinators. Once established, this perennial is drought-tolerant and easy to care for, making it a low-maintenance addition to sunny gardens.

Pink azalea flowers near a bird bath

Azalea

(Rhododendron ×)

The vibrant colors of azaleas attract hummingbirds, and the rich nectar will surely make them stay! Azaleas feature massive tropical flowers that bloom from spring through fall. Depending on the variety, azaleas can be grown as a vibrant flowering ground cover or paired with other southern shrubs in a privacy hedge. No matter where it’s planted, it will become a major focal point for the pollinators.

Seven Sun Flower

(Heptacodium miconioides)

Need to pack a bigger punch with your hummingbird plants? Consider adding seven son flower to your landscape! This large shrub is often used as a small tree along garden hedges and features big, thick, leathery leaves and lovely white flowers that bloom in summer. They provide shelter and abundant nectar for pollinators in hot summer temperatures. 

Hummingbird buzzing near seven sun flower
Up close image of red hot poker flowers

Red Hot Poker

(Kniphofia)

Red hot poker is a fiery, long-blooming perennial with bottlebrush-shaped spikes and tubular blooms that thrive in nearly any sunny garden. The timing of the blooms is almost perfect, too, as red hot poker will bloom with ease as hummingbirds and butterflies begin migrating back for the summer season. Enjoy this plant’s vibrant blooms stress-free, knowing they are also deer-resistant!

Written by: Lindsey Griffith, click here to read bio.

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