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Plants That Attract Hummingbirds to the Garden

Plants That Attract Hummingbirds to the Garden
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Planting flowers that hummingbirds are drawn to is a great way to attract them to your garden.

Planting flowers that hummingbirds are drawn to is a great way to attract them to your garden.

Hummingbirds are always welcome guests in gardens. It’s fascinating to watch them flit from plant to plant like tiny sprites, pollinating flowers as they pass.  So how can you lure these delightful “flying jewels” into your garden? By filling your beds with plants that attract hummingbirds naturally.

The tiniest of birds, a handful of hummingbird species make their homes in New England—the Ruby-throated and Rufous hummingbirds being most common. They select their food by sight and choose flowers that provide high nectar content, with native species being top choices. When choosing flowers for your hummingbird garden, keep in mind that cultivated hybrid plants may not produce the high nectar content these birds require. It’s also important to keep your garden pesticide free to allow a safe place for hummingbirds to gather, eat, and thrive. In addition to nectar, these tiny birds will also feed on small insects, which is another reason to stay away from insecticide and pesticide use in your garden. Hummingbird feeders, moving water sources, and garden decorations such as gazing balls and other ornaments swirled in hues that mimic those found in native plants will also aid in attracting the birds to your property.

5 Plants That Attract Hummingbirds to the Garden

  1. Bee Balm
A staple in most herb gardens, this plant is a member of the mint family, and, as the name suggests, it also attracts bees and butterflies as well as hummingbirds.
  2. Petunia
    An annual plant with waves of continually blooming flowers, these are particularly appealing to hummingbirds. Hanging pots dripping with petunias secured to a porch rafter can provide the ideal spot to watch hummingbirds gather to dine.
  3. Azalea
    A flowering shrub typically sporting deep pink flowers, this bush is related to the rhododendron, which also attracts hummingbirds.
  4. Foxglove
    The repeated bell shape of the foxglove flowers is ideal for providing a concentrated food source for hummingbirds.
  5. Morning Glory
    The twining blue flowers of the morning glory will attract hummingbirds to its opening blooms for their morning feed and throughout the day as well. When planted to grow around a lamppost or porch post near a window, great views of these fluttering feeders can be expected.

Have you planted flowers to entice hummingbirds to your yard? If so, we would love to hear which ones worked the best in the comment section below.

Shelley Wigglesworth


Shelley Wigglesworth


Shelley Fleming-Wigglesworth is a certified Maine Master Gardener and award winning newspaper columnist from Kennebunk, Maine. She has been writing for the York County Coast Star for more than a decade as a freelance columnist and features writer. In 2010 she began writing her own gardening column “The Master Gardener’s Notebook” for Tourist News. She also teaches gardening classes at local schools and colleges
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4 Responses to Plants That Attract Hummingbirds to the Garden

  1. Jeanne August 19, 2014 at 8:59 am #

    My hummingbirds love fushia, and are crazy for my hosta flowers. In August they seem to be crazy for almost anything that blooms. I think they are stocking up for their flights south.
    *** Do remember to keep the feeders clean. “My” recipe for feeders is 1 part cane sugar 3 parts water, NO coloring. Boil the water and melt the sugar in. I make a concentrate and store it in the fridge. I clean the feeders twice a week in the heat, a boring job but necessary. The black mold can kill them.
    I adore having them around. They are fearless and friendly.

  2. Petunia August 19, 2014 at 9:12 am #

    Hummingbirds are attracted to the lilies and cannas in my yard.

  3. Marion August 19, 2014 at 10:45 am #

    I was so happy to see the Hummingbirds feeding on my Gladiolus. I also have many Petunia plants for them too.

  4. Nancy August 19, 2014 at 8:57 pm #

    Funny you should ask. My family has been having this conversation most of the summer…the hummingbirds have been loving my red ivy geranium. Don’t know why. Not much nectar. I have moved the plant from one of our houses in another town to our permanent one and they have found it wherever it has been. So fun to watch!

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