You don’t need a big garden to lure in hummingbirds — even a relatively small garden like this one will bring them in. They’re attracted to bright-colored flowers, so this garden includes lots, both in the ground and even in a hanging basket. The tree in the front yard is great for offering this sunny garden some cooling shade during the hottest part of the day. But the yard still gets plenty of sun to let these plants grow and bloom vigorously. Check out the details below to attract hummingbirds to your garden.
Include a variety of plants to attract more hummingbirds each season
This design includes nectar-rich flowers with different bloom times for a constant food supply. Starting in spring with the blooms of trumpet honeysuckle and pineleaf penstemon, to summer flowers of daylily, bee balm and red hot poker, right up until the last flowers of summersweet, there’s plenty for the birds to eat.
Remember to stay clear of insecticides and herbicides. You don’t want to poison your visitors as they eat treated insects. And systemic herbicides absorbed by the plant can also be present in the nectar the little birds feed on.
Plant large masses of flowers
A strong splash of color created by five to 10 plants together is much more visible to passing hummingbirds and improves the odds of attracting them to your garden. Chances are, once one visits, it’s more likely to return the following year — adding even more color to your garden!
Setup a view
A birdbath with a dripper in front of a window offers lots of entertainment. When pruning shrubs or trees, leave a few small bare branches or twigs on the plant. These are favorite hummingbird perches (and give you a clear view of the little birds).
Consider feeder placement
Two hummingbird feeders hang a few feet in front of the windows, where you can enjoy watching the birds. Position them with space between — these are 7 ft. apart — and higher than 6 ft. off the ground (to protect them from hungry cats). Place the posts close to the path to make cleaning and filling convenient. Use a mixture of one part white sugar to four parts water. Don’t use honey, brown sugar or artificial sweeteners, which aren’t good for the birds.
In northern climes leave feeders out two weeks after you’ve seen the last hummingbird in fall to feed any late-comers. Then clean and store them inside for the winter. In the South, leave feeders out all year.
In addition to having beautiful blooms, these plants are very easy care. Check out the tips below to keep this garden looking great.
- The main task is deadheading the faded blooms of the red hot poker, starflower and penstemon.
- And though it won’t promote more flowering, snap off the faded daylily blooms to tidy up the plant.
- Once the bee balm’s flowering finishes, if you spot powdery mildew, cut back the plant to about 6 inches tall or to the fresh foliage.
- ‘Ruby Spice’ summersweet’s casual-looking habit and fragrant blooms, like the other plants in this garden, will provide a lot of flower power without needing a lot of man (or woman) power.
- The nectar of butterfly weed attracts butterflies, as well as hummingbirds. Remove the seed pods if you don’t want it to reseed.