Plants That Attract Hummingbirds to the Garden

By filling your garden with plants that attract hummingbirds, you'll entice these delightful "flying jewels."

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Here are five flowers that get the job done.

Plants That Attract Hummingbirds to the 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.

Plants That Attract Hummingbirds to the Garden

Fill your yard with plants that attract hummingbirds, then enjoy the show!

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

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.

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.

Azalea
A flowering shrub typically sporting deep pink flowers, this bush is related to the rhododendron, which also attracts hummingbirds.

Foxglove
The repeated bell shape of the foxglove flowers is ideal for providing a concentrated food source for hummingbirds.

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!

This post was first published in 2014 and has been updated.

Comments
  • 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.

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

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  • 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!

    Reply
  • I am blessed to have many hummingbirds visit my garden, and they especially like the small pink flowers on my many Coral Bells which bloom all summer long. It always brings a smile to watch them feeding on various flowers and also on a feeder on a porch off of my kitchen.

    Reply
  • Katherine

    A few years ago, jewelweed showed up in my garden. These seem to be the favorite of the hummingbirds. They come every day to these gorgeous flowers! 😉 They are attracted to the red spots and nectar. It is a small tubular shaped flower. It can become quite invasive. I pull it out where I don’t want it taking over and leave a goid supply for the hummers to feed on in July and August. They also seem to like the flowers on my hosta plants as well.

    Reply
  • My hummingbirds also like honeysuckle–I don’t have the invasive kind—and salvia, red and blue. I have a feeder suctioned to our big kitchen window, so we can watch while we are eating. ( :

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  • My recipe called for 1 cup sugar and 4 cups water. Am I hurting them with this mixture?

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  • Living here in Connecticut I await each year the arrival of the hummingbird to welcome in Spring. We have a thorny Flowering Quince bush that has dark red flowers. When the Quince blooms, that’s my signal to put out the two hummingbird feeders for the summer!

    Reply
  • I use my Quince to time putting up hummingbird feeders, also orange halves on nails in my oaks for the orioles. They both take to the quince, first big attractant .

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  • Above all, plant Bee balm, preferably ” Jacob Cline”. Give it some room and you will have a spectacular display of bright red flowers from June til late August. They seem to prefer that to all other flowers. Columbines will attract Hummers early in the season before Bee Balm, and Jewel weed seems to be a staple in their diet later in the season. I will try some of the other suggestions from some of the posters here, as I would prefer to feed and attract Hummingbirds with natural food sources.

    Reply

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