Hummingbird Gardens

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Hummingbirds like bright-colored flowers with lots of nectar.
Different plants work best in different regions.

Southeast | Southwest | West Coast | Northeast | Midwest
What is a Hummingbird Flower?

Southeastern United States: Good Plants for a Hummingbird Garden

Texas Sage (Salvia coccinea)
Anise Sage (Salvia guaranitica)
Pineapple Sage (Salvia elegans)
Blooms in winter.
Ugly Shrimp Plant (Justicia brandegeana)
This is the winter blooming shrimp plant.
Mexican cigar plant (Cuphea ignea, C. micropetala, C. David)
Giant Turk’s Cap (Malvaviscus arboreus var. mexicanus)
Abutilon (A. pictum)
This is the original flowering maple (not a hybrid); flowers are pale orange bells with red veins.
Cardinal Flower (Lobelia cardinalis)
Butterfly Bush (Buddleia alternifolia)
Firebush (Hamelia patens)
Jewelweed
Bee Balm
Native Trumpet Creeper (Campsis radicans)
Cypress Vine (Ipomoea quamoclit)
Orange Justicia (Justicia spicigera)
Bourardia (Buourvardia ternifolia)
Mexican Bush Sage
Sultan’s Turban
Pagodia Plant (Clerodendrum speciosissimum)
Pentas (Pentas laceolata)

Coral Honeysuckle, or Trumpet Honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens)

The Southwest : Some Good Hummingbird Plants

Penstemon
Columbine
Delphinium
Autumn Sage
Four o’clock (Mirabilis jalapa)
Shrimp plant (Justica brandegeana)
Western coral bean (Erythrina flabelliformis)
Mexican honeysuckle (Justicia spicigera)
Scarlet monkey flower (Mimulus spp.)
Texas sage (Salvia coccinea)
Chuparosa
Ocotillo
Tree Tobacco (Nicotiana glauca)
Baja fairy (Calliandra californica)
Bottlebrush
Cape honeysuckle (not hardy about 3000 feet)
Desert willow
Indian paintbrush (Castilleja spp.)
Scarlet gilia (Ipomopsis aggregata)
Lantana
Agave
Lily of the Nile (Agapanthus) – a personal favorite

The West Coast: Recommended Plants for Hummingbirds

Red flowering currant (Rives speciosum
Grevillea “Robyn Gordon” (Grevillea canberra, Grevillea sericea
Justicia incana
Salvia (Salvia gracilistyla, Salvia guarantica, Salvia leucantha)
Cardinal Climber (Quamoclit sloteri)
Zauschneria (upright growth varieties)
Alstroemeria pulchella
Ribes (Ribes speciosum, Ribes sanguineum, Ribes glutinosum)
Wolly Blue Curls (Trichostemma lanatum)
Woodland Orchid (Impatiens glandulifera)
Tree Mallow (Lavatera assurgentiflora)
Shrimp Plant (Beloperone guttata
Tree Tobacco (Nicotiana glauca)
Flowering Maple (Abutilon)
Penstemon (western species)
Eucalyptus (many species)
Iochroma cyaneum
Monarda didyma
Bottle Brush (Callistemon)
Erica (Erica speciosa, Erica mammosa)
Lonicera ( Lonicera heckrotti, Lonicera sempervirens
Malvaiscus
Cuphea (Cuphea micropetala, Cuphea ignea)
Salmonberry (Rubus spectabilis)
Fuchsia (Fuchsia magellanica)
Cape fuchsia (Phygelius capensis)
California fuchsia (Zauschneria spp.)
Honeysuckle
Cardinal flower (Lobelia cardinalis)
Columbine (Aquilegia spp.)
Red-hot-poker (Kniphofia uvaria)
Beebalm (Monarda sp.)

For Fall and Winter (If you have Anna’s Hummingbird) try these:

Witch hazel
Hardy fuchsia
Bottlebrush
Vestia
Camellia (Camellia sasanqua)
Viburnum
Strawberry tree (Arbitus unedo)
Winter Jasmine (Jasminum nudiflorum)
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Hummingbird Plants for Northeastern Regions of the United States

Cardinal flower (Lobelia cardinalis)
Bee Balm
Salvia (Salvia spp.)
Foxglove
Impatiens
Red morning glory (Ipomoea spp.)
Trumpet creeper
Lilac
Forsythia
Hollyhock (Alcea rosea)
Jewelweed
Buddleia
Blue lobelia (Lobelia siphilitica)
Scarlet Sage (Salvia splendens)

Hummingbird Flowers for the Midwest

Coral honeysuckle
Bee balm
Coral bells
Cardinal flower
Ohio buckeye
Red-hot-poker
Impatiens
Delphinium
Foxglove
Hosta
Browallia
Fuchsia
Phlox
Lilac
Trumpet Honeysuckle

What is a Hummingbird Flower?

There is a strong interdependence between hummingbirds and certain flowers. The hummingbird needs nectar and flowers need to be pollinated. While some flowers are structured so as to accommodate bees or butterflies, other flowers are structured to accommodate hummingbirds. At least 150 North American flowering plants seem to be specialized to attract hummingbirds.
The hummingbird’s bill fits neatly into the long, tube-shaped flowers of these plants. The tongue laps up nectar at the lowest place in the tube. As the hummingbird takes in nectar, its forehead rubs against the stamens and pistils.

Hummingbird plants are not attractive to bees. Hummingbird flowers usually have no platform on which to land. Often they are red–a color bees have difficulty seeing. Since insects use smell more and birds us vision more, hummingbird flowers usually have little or no scent.

Also the flowers of plants are usually spaced apart so that they can accommodate the whirring wings.

The corolla of a hummingbird flower tends to be thick enough to resist the beaks of other birds that may want to pierce their way through to get nectar. Hummingbird flowers tend to bloom for a longer period of time than other flowers. They bloom in the daylight hours.

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