How to Get Hummingbirds in Your Garden
Do you love to watch hummingbirds fly around your garden? Learn which types of plants will attract hummingbirds and how to create a friendly environment for them.
- They are the tiniest of all birds, weighing less than an ounce and measuring only 3 inches long.
- Their brightly-colored, iridescent feathers and quick movements make them appear as living sun catchers—hence their nickname, flying jewels.
- They have a unique ability to fly in any direction, even backward, with their wings beating up to a blurring 80 beats per second.
- Plus, they can hover in midair when sipping nectar from brightly–colored flowers with their long, slender beaks.
- While whizzing about the garden, hummingbirds expend so much energy that they must eat at least half of their body weight each day to replace the 12,000 calories that they can burn up. This means eating almost constantly from sunrise to sunset and visiting over a thousand flowers every day.
- You can hear the call of a ruby-throated hummingbird here.
- Learn more about hummingbirds here.
For centuries, gardeners have been fascinated with the beauty and aerobatics of hummingbirds. The key to attracting hummingbirds to your yard is to plant lots of flowers and provide the habitat that will give them shade, shelter, food, and security.
- Herbs, flowering shrubs, dwarf trees, and vines all can be used to create an ideal tiered habitat from ground level to 10 feet or more.
- Provide lots of space between plants to give hummingbirds enough room to hover and navigate from flower to flower.
- Hummingbirds love water, especially if it is moving. A gentle, continuous spray from a nozzle or a sprinkler hose is perfect for a bath on the fly.
- Hummingbirds do not have a keen sense of smell and rely on bright colors to find their food.
- They are particularly fond of red and are often observed investigating feeders with red parts, red plant labels, red thermometers, and even red clothes on a gardener. Note: Do not use red dye in a hummingbird feeder; there is concern that it may harm the birds. Instead, use plain, clear sugar water (1 part white sugar mixed with 4 parts water). The birds love it! If your feeder does not have red on it, attach a red label or other item to attract them.
- Brightly–colored flowers that are tubular hold the most nectar, and are particularly attractive to hummingbirds. These include perennials such as bee balms, columbines, daylilies, and lupines; biennials such as foxgloves and hollyhocks; and many annuals, including cleomes, impatiens, and petunias.
- Find more tips for introducing hummingbirds to your garden here.
An often–asked question is, “Why do hummingbirds hum?” We really aren’t sure, but suspect that it might be because they don’t know the words.
Plants that Attract Hummingbirds
Here are more plants that attract hummingbirds. Choose varieties in red and orange shades.
Many of the plants that attract hummingbirds also attract butterflies. Learn more about attracting butterflies to your garden.
|Common Name||Latin Name|
|Flowering tobacco||Nicotiana alata|
|Scarlet sage||Salvia splendens|
|Scarlet trumpet honeysuckle||Lonicera sempervirens|
|Summer phlox||Phlox paniculata|
If you’re a fan of hummingbirds, you probably like to see other birds flying around your garden. Explore these tips for a bird-friendly garden. Do you have hummingbirds or other birds in your garden? Let us know below!