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Four plants guaranteed to attract hummingbirds

By: Garden Gate staff
You might be surprised to learn that these easy-to-grow plants also attract hummingbirds. If you want to bring in the hummingbirds, these four plants are the way to go.

Hummingbirds are quick creatures. In flight, they can reach speeds between 20 to 30 miles per hour and flap their wings up to 70 times per second. All this activity makes them voracious eaters, and because they have extremely fast metabolisms, they must keep moving in order to consume enough nectar, pollen and sap each day. Here are four plants you might not realize hummingbirds love. Scroll on to learn more about each plant and the flower colors and shapes that keep them well-fed.

Follow this garden plan to Grow a Garden Hummingbirds will Love

Petunia (Petunia hybrids)

Multiseason color doesn’t get more low-maintenance than long-blooming, sun-loving petunia. Since you can choose from vigorous trailers or more compact mounds, hummingbirds will have lots of options — from mass plantings to containers — when they visit your yard. And with so many bright colors to choose from, there’s a petunia for any full sun garden spot.

Type Tender perennial (usually grown as an annual) Blooms Flowers in all colors from spring to frost Light Full sun Soil Moist, well-drained Size 4 to 24 in. tall, 8 to 96 in. wide Hardiness Cold hardy in USDA zones 10 to 11

Hosta (Hosta spp. and hybrids)

Some gardeners prefer to cut back hosta’s flowers, to keep the focus on the leaves. But even though this foliage favorite’s blooms only open in white, purple or lavender, they’re hummingbird magnets. And you can always bring hummingbirds to the area more quickly by planting other nectar-rich red flowers close by, just like the fuchsia (Fuchsia triphylla) behind ‘Fragrant Bouquet’ above.

Type Perennial Blooms White, purple or lavender in late spring to fall Light Part sun to full shade Soil Moist, well-drained Size 3 to 72 in. tall, 6 to 72 in. wide Hardiness Cold hardy in USDA zones 3 to 9

Coral bells (Heuchera spp. and hybrids)

Coral bells are often grown for their good-looking mounds of foliage, but don’t forget that hummingbirds love their blooms. Once the stems of small tubular flowers fade, deadhead them back below the leaves to encourage more.

Bright pink ‘Paris’ above is a reliable rebloomer with silver-overlaid green leaves, but other cultivars can have ruffled, mottled or variegated foliage in shades from burgundy to chartreuse.

Type Perennial Blooms White, pink or red blooms from late spring to summer Light Full sun to part shade Soil Moist, well-drained Size 6 to 24 in. tall (up to 36 in. in bloom), 10 to 36 in. wide Hardiness Cold hardy in USDA zones 3 to 9

Canna (Canna spp. and hybrids)

When canna is in bloom, it doesn’t just draw the attention of your guests — hummingbirds love the nectar-rich flowers, too. To attract the most hummingbirds, plant red cultivars, like Cannova® Rose here.

Hybridizing has made shorter cultivars more common, which means you can plant cannas closer to the front of the border or in containers positioned for the best view of visiting hummingbirds.

Type Tender rhizome Blooms Red, orange, yellow, white, pink or salmon in late summer Light Full sun Soil Moist to wet Size 18 to 96 in. tall, 12 to 48 in. wide Hardiness Cold hardy in USDA zones 7 to 11

Petunia (Petunia hybrids)

Multiseason color doesn’t get more low-maintenance than long-blooming, sun-loving petunia. Since you can choose from vigorous trailers or more compact mounds, hummingbirds will have lots of options — from mass plantings to containers — when they visit your yard. And with so many bright colors to choose from, there’s a petunia for any full sun garden spot.

Type Tender perennial (usually grown as an annual) Blooms Flowers in all colors from spring to frost Light Full sun Soil Moist, well-drained Size 4 to 24 in. tall, 8 to 96 in. wide Hardiness Cold hardy in USDA zones 10 to 11

Coral bells (Heuchera spp. and hybrids)

Coral bells are often grown for their good-looking mounds of foliage, but don’t forget that hummingbirds love their blooms. Once the stems of small tubular flowers fade, deadhead them back below the leaves to encourage more.

Bright pink ‘Paris’ above is a reliable rebloomer with silver-overlaid green leaves, but other cultivars can have ruffled, mottled or variegated foliage in shades from burgundy to chartreuse.

Type Perennial Blooms White, pink or red blooms from late spring to summer Light Full sun to part shade Soil Moist, well-drained Size 6 to 24 in. tall (up to 36 in. in bloom), 10 to 36 in. wide Hardiness Cold hardy in USDA zones 3 to 9

Hosta (Hosta spp. and hybrids)

Some gardeners prefer to cut back hosta’s flowers, to keep the focus on the leaves. But even though this foliage favorite’s blooms only open in white, purple or lavender, they’re hummingbird magnets. And you can always bring hummingbirds to the area more quickly by planting other nectar-rich red flowers close by, just like the fuchsia (Fuchsia triphylla) behind ‘Fragrant Bouquet’ above.

Type Perennial Blooms White, purple or lavender in late spring to fall Light Part sun to full shade Soil Moist, well-drained Size 3 to 72 in. tall, 6 to 72 in. wide Hardiness Cold hardy in USDA zones 3 to 9

Canna (Canna spp. and hybrids)

When canna is in bloom, it doesn’t just draw the attention of your guests — hummingbirds love the nectar-rich flowers, too. To attract the most hummingbirds, plant red cultivars, like Cannova® Rose here.

Hybridizing has made shorter cultivars more common, which means you can plant cannas closer to the front of the border or in containers positioned for the best view of visiting hummingbirds.

Type Tender rhizome Blooms Red, orange, yellow, white, pink or salmon in late summer Light Full sun Soil Moist to wet Size 18 to 96 in. tall, 12 to 48 in. wide Hardiness Cold hardy in USDA zones 7 to 11

Related Tags

backyard bird-friendly hummingbirds plant-recommendations pollinator-friendly

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