Hummingbirds are the smallest migratory bird species in the world. These adorable birds are native to North America and are also called flying jewels. If you want to observe these closely, the most heartwarming way can be by planting flowers that attract hummingbirds, so as to hit two targets at the same time: to increase aesthetics around yourself and to be attractive to hummingbirds.
1. Hummingbirds: The Agile Flying Jewels
1.1. Family and Structure
These tiny birds belong to the Trochilidae family and have an average weight of 5 grams (approximately). However, their flight capacity and Agility are no joke. Hummingbirds are known to be able to fly non-stop for an average distance of 800 km. They do not migrate in a company, making them the only migratory bird that does not fly in flocks.
Named after the humming sound formed by the rapid flapping of their wings, a hummingbird flaps its wing about 88 times per minute. They have a highly color-sensitive vision, which explains their fascination with bright colors.
A hummingbird’s typical lifespan lies somewhere between 3-5 years, which is considered to be unusually long based on its exceptionally small size. While the first year of their lifespan is considered delicate, those who make it through life long. ‘
During fall, hummingbirds of Northern America migrate to Southern areas to spend their winter. Some species are also known to stay year-round in one place, in areas like Florida, California, and the desert areas of the United States.
1.4. Eating Habits
Hummingbirds love gaining nutrition from small insects, including mosquitos, fruit flies, gnats, and spiders. The lower beak of hummingbirds, thus, is highly flexible, which enables them to catch insects easily.
Hummingbirds love visiting flowers and collecting nectar, visiting more than 1000 nectar-rich blooms per day. Taking into consideration that flowers are the primary source of energy for hummingbirds, it is no surprise that there are some special flowers that attract hummingbirds more effectively than others.
Let’s take a look at some of the flowers that attract hummingbirds.
2. Flowers that Attract Hummingbirds
Flowering plants that bear brightly colored flowers are primarily known to attract hummingbirds. Many other pollinators also follow the same pattern; brightly colored flowers with huge amounts of nectar are known to attract butterflies as well. These flowers are particularly laden with nectar, being their prime source of energy.
Some of the flowers that attract hummingbirds are:
2.1. Bee Balm (Monarda)
Hot pink and Red flowers of Bee Balm species are among the favorite flowers of hummingbirds, which places them at the top of the list of flowers that attract hummingbirds. Bee Balm belongs to the mint family, which gives its tubular flowers a minty aroma.
The most famous and attractive foliage of Monarda for hummingbirds is the Sugar Buzz Cherry Monarda and Sugar Buzz Grape Monarda, known for their vibrant and deep red color and purple flowers, respectively. and sweet nectar. This particular species can grow to be about 2-4 feet tall.
2.1.1 How To Grow Bee Balm
Bee Balm is among the low-maintenance species of brightly colored blooms. The plant is considered to be easy to grow. It blooms from summer till early fall.
Monarda prefers full sun to partial shade, with well-drained soil but can also tolerate moist soil. Always plant Bee Balm in airy regions with plenty of sunlight, as they are prone to plant diseases, such as Powdery Mildew. Also, encourage the use of organic fertilizers, as chemical fertilizers are toxic for hummingbirds.
Since it belongs to the mint family, Monarda is used as an ingredient in various herbal teas. It is undoubtedly among the flowers that attract hummingbirds but is also deer-resistant. So, aside from increasing the aesthetics of your garden, Monarda will keep it safe from deer interventions as well.
2.2. Cardinal Flower (Lobelia Cardinalis)
Also called the hummingbird magnet, the tubular red flowers of these species also top the list of flowers that attract hummingbirds. It is a native plant, which bears wildflowers in clusters of tiny flowers. Feeding hummingbirds love this vibrant flower because it is nectar-packed and very showy. It mainly attracts Ruby-throated hummingbirds.
It is majorly found in areas with the most soil, like streambanks, swamps, and marshy areas; they grow particularly well and are beautiful if grown around ponds. It is a herbaceous perennial plant, meaning it does not wither away after one bloom, and blooms repeatedly. However, It is a short-lived perennial. It is found in heavy quantities in Eastern North America, mid-summer long. It can be 3-6 feet tall.
2.2.1 How To Grow Cardinal Flower
Cardinal Flowers commonly like full sun to part shade with moist soil. It grows 2-4 feet tall spikes and 2 feet wide foliage. It blooms from mid-summer to fall. It grows well in open areas, and can not survive in a hanging basket or an indoor pot.
Apart from being among flowers that attract hummingbirds, the Cardinal flower also attracts other pollinators such as butterflies and bees. It is also rabbit and deer-resistant, and thus, safeguards your garden from destruction by their feeding.
2.3. Trumpet Honeysuckle (Coral Honeysuckle)
Trumpet Honeysuckle is found in clusters of ruby-red flowers, mainly in North America. It is considered a large vine that is composed of tubular flowers, which can grow to be about 10-20 feet tall.
2.3.1 How To Grow Trumpet honeysuckle
Coral Honeysuckle is among hummingbird flowers that grow in slightly acidic soil that is well-draining with full sun to partial shade. It can tolerate clay soil and dry sites as it is drought tolerant. It is an early blooming flower, which blooms from late spring till mid-fall.
The expressed juice of Trumpet Honeysuckle is used in the treatment of bee stings. The dried leaves are can be smoked for the treatment of Asthma and other similar problems. It is also among the top flowers that attract hummingbirds.
2.4. Sunflowers (Helianthus Annuus)
Out of the many flowers that attract hummingbirds, sunflowers definitely are at the top of the list. The tube-shaped receptacles of sunflowers will definitely attract more of the bird in your hummingbird garden, due to the abundance of nectar it has to offer and the brightest of almost all flower colors. Their tall stems make them easily accessible to flying species; they are one of the long tubular flowers found.
Being heliotropic, they face the full sun, which makes them appear brighter than they already are, automatically attracting hummingbird visitors. Apart from all these advantages, sunflowers are also known to attract many insects on which hummingbirds feed, providing these little hungry hummingbirds with additional food.
2.4.1 How To Grow Sunflowers
The bright tubular blooms of sunflowers are easy to take care of because they are heat tolerant, pest resistant, and fast growing. These are annual plants that bloom for several weeks during mid-summer. They grow the best in pots in full sun, in loose and well-drained soil that is slightly alkaline. Organic fertilizers will further benefit the bright repeating bloom as they tend to be heavy feeders.
However, if you’re adopting taller varieties, make sure to plant them as a yard plant in an area that faces the full sun, with slight support (maybe along the fences) to save them from breaking due to harsh winds.
Sunflowers, apart from being on the list of flowers that attract hummingbirds and other pollinators, have plenty of uses. Their bright pigment serves as a great dye. The seeds of sunflowers are filled with edible oil, which is known to be healthy for heart health and provides plenty of energy. The oil extracted is also used in soaps and paints. The seeds of sunflowers, when roasted, can also serve as a healthy snack!
2.5. Firecracker Plant (Russelia Equisetiformis)
The fiery-red tubular flowers of this plant will undoubtedly work wonders in your garden since it is also among the beautiful flowers that attract hummingbirds! The shape of the bloom is like a bursting cracker, thus is called the Firecracker plant. Though this plant likes to grow freely without any constraints (being a wild plant), it will still make your garden worthy of pollinators, especially hummingbirds. It is an ornamental perennial shrub, famous for its texture and fiery-red color. It is also known as a coral fountain.
2.5.1 How To Grow Coral Fountain
This red beauty prefers full sun but survives well in part shade as well. It flowers throughout the year, on and off. However, it does not do well in colder climates. It also becomes drought tolerant once it reaches maturity and likes a balanced fertilizing pattern (in springtime). It can also be placed in window boxes, hanging baskets, or pots, just make sure that it receives plenty of sunlight.
These grow to be around Being a wild plant, they can grow well in almost every soil type- from sandy and well-draining soil to clay soil, and alkaline to acidic; this aesthetic free-spirited bush loves them all!
Many medical studies have claimed that this plant bears anti-inflammatory properties. It is also anti-microbial, anti-diabetic, hair growth-promoting, and anti-malarial. It will keep you healthy and attract visiting hummingbirds!
2.6. Butterfly Bush (Buddleia Davidii)
This beautiful plant bears clusters of bright flowers that attract hummingbirds, butterflies, and other pollinators and insects. The foliage is evergreen and has great aesthetic value even when it is not blooming.
2.6.1 How To Grow Butterfly Bushes
This bush loves full sun to partial shade, in an area with well-draining soil (moist soil may lead to rotting). It rarely requires fertilizer. This plant too does not like to be constricted within a short space, so make sure it is planted in an open and airy place. However, it can be tamed with proper pruning. It grows to be around 15 feet tall.
Apart from attracting spring hummingbirds, Butterfly bush is known to hold great herbal properties. It is great for liver and eyesight and is used in the removal of the nebula (corneal opacity) and in treating presbyopia.
2.7. Hummingbird Vine (Campsis Radicans)
These easy-to-grow, trumpet-shaped flowers are loved by hummingbirds. This woody perennial is mostly found in warm and wet places and is considered to be an invasive weed. It is found in a variety of colors: from bright orange to salmon red, these will make it hard to stop clicking pictures.
7.1 How To Grow Hummingbird Vine
The trumpet vine is mostly found in arid climates and blooms from mid-summer till fall. It prefers well-draining soil and does not require fertilizers. They like part shade to full sun but bloom most vibrantly in full sun. It also has creeping roots, so it does not like to be crowded.
This creeper is at the top of ornamental creepers, and is great among the flowers that attract hummingbirds, butterflies, and other useful insects with the amount of nectar it has to offer!
2.8. Red Hot Poker (Kniphofia)
Red Hot Poker is a herbaceous perennial known for its variety of flower colors such as red, orange, and yellow, which grow as tall flower spikes. These are also known as Torch Lilies (but are not a part of the family). It’s found in more than 60 species and varieties. It is native to South Africa, and displays bloom repeatedly.
2.8.1 How To Grow Red Hot Poker
Torch lilies like full sun with a well-draining soil, that is neutral in pH. They can also tolerate light shade, but it can hinder their blooming capacities. Since it is a tough perennial, poor draining of moist soil may lead to root rotting. It does not require fertilizer if grown in nutritious soil. It can grow to be around 2-3 feet tall.
It produces an extravagant amount of nectar, attracting hummingbirds and other flying species. In many cultures, it is considered to symbolize good fortune. It also has an amazing aesthetic value.
Hummingbirds might be small and adorable, but they have amazing flying and survival capacities. Hummingbird flowers consist of many colors, like red, yellow, orange, and purple flowers.
Apart from those listed above, many other varieties such as flowering tobacco, hardy fuchsia, and garden phlox, among others are also some beautiful plants and flowers that attract hummingbirds. Most of the plants are more than 3 feet tall, and thus easily accessible to flying species.
Do you know about any flowers that attract hummingbirds? Do you want to share any stories or experiences about hummingbirds or flowers that attract hummingbirds? Let us know in the comments!