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10 Plants That Will Attract Hummingbirds to Your Garden

By: Garden Gate staff
Wishing you had more hummingbirds in your garden? Add a few of these nectar-rich blooms to create a hummingbird haven in your yard!

Invite hummingbirds to your garden

The best gifts come in small packages. And hummingbirds are some of the sweetest small packages that you could ever receive. Not only are they beautiful to watch, they pollinate your flowers as they collect nectar and often eat small insects in your garden.

As gardeners, we have a unique connection to nature at its most basic. Growing and nurturing living plants is not only good for the planet, it’s good for our souls. Often our efforts are rewarded by the arrival of hummingbirds — beautiful flying ornaments. We can increase our chances of encountering these winged visitors by remembering the slightly altered adage, “The way to a hummingbird’s heart is through its stomach.”

What attracts hummingbirds?

Inquisitive hummers can spot the color red from great distances and are always checking out any possible food source. While red flowers, especially trumpet-shaped ones are common favorites, there are lots of blooms of other colors and shapes that will attract hummingbirds, as well. Grow a mix of plants with these qualities and you’ll be much more likely to have them zipping around your garden.

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Grow these plants to attract more hummingbirds

To help you entice these little birds, here are some nectar-rich hummingbird favorites that will grow in many areas of the country. Plant one of these blooms or a mix to increase your chances they will stop by your garden!

how-to-use-native-plants-in-your-garden-Canada-Columbine-Aquilegia-canadensis: The hummingbirds’s migration northward in spring is timed to just when 
the columbine, with its nectar-fi lled red spurs, begins to flower.

Wild columbine (Aquilegia canadensis)

Type Perennial Blooms Red and yellow drooping, bell-like flowers in late spring to early summer Light Part shade Soil Average or moist, well-drained Size 12 to 36 in. tall, 12 to 18 in. wide Hardiness Cold hardy in USDA zones 3 to 8

10-plants-attract-hummingbirds-Hyssop: Red tubular flowers of licorice mint hyssop are especially attractive to hummingbirds.

Licorice mint hyssop (Agastache rupestri)

Type Perennial Blooms Spikes of pink and orange blooms early summer into fall Light Full sun to part shade Soil Well-drained soil; Size 30 to 42 in. tall,18 to 20 in. wide Hardiness Cold hardy in USDA zones 4 to 9

10-plants-attract-hummingbirds-Penstemon: Tall stems of Parry’s penstemon 
are covered with blooms starting in late winter and continuing through mid-spring.

Parry’s penstemon (Penstemon parryi)

Type Perennial Blooms Pink blooms from late winter to midspring Light Full sun to part shade Soil Well-drained, humus-rich soil Size 1 to 3 ft. tall and wide Hardiness Cold hardy in USDA zones 8 to 11

10-plants-to-attract-hummingbirds-shrimp-plant: The smaller white 
true flowers on a shrimp plant hold the sweet nectar that visiting hummingbirds 
feed on.

Shrimp plant (Pachystachys lutea)

Type Tender shrub Blooms Yellow flowers all summer Size 1 to 5 ft. tall and wide Light Full sun to part shade Hardiness Cold hardy in USDA zones 10 to 11

10-plants-attract-hummingbirds-ScarletBetony: Scarlet betony is a little-known perennial that goes by several common names, including red-flowered  lamb’s ear, scarlet hedge nettle, Texas betony and Texas woundwort.

Scarlet betony (Stachys coccinea)

Type Perennial Blooms Spikes of red from midsummer to frost Light Full sun to part shade Soil Well-drained soil Size 14 to 16 in. tall, 15 to 18 in. wide Hardiness Cold hardy in USDA zones 6 to 8

10-plants-attract-hummingbirds-Cuphea: Another common name for cuphea is “batface,” which describes these unique blooms perfectly.

Cuphea (Cuphea llavea)

Type Tender perennial (usually grown as an annual) Blooms Red blooms from late spring to frost Light Full sun to part shade Soil Well-drained soil Size 18 to 24 in. tall, 24 to 36 in. wide Hardiness Cold hardy in USDA zones 9 to 11

10-plants-attract-hummingbirds-Salvia: Salvias in general are great plants for hummingbirds and butterflies, but this ‘Black and Blue’ cultivar is one of their favorites!

Salvia (Salvia guaranitica)

Type Perennial Blooms Blue blooms from summer through fall Light Full sun to part shade Soil Well-drained Size 2 to 5 ft. tall and wide Hardiness Cold hardy in USDA zones 7 to 11

10-plants-attract-hummingbirds-Honeysuckle: If you want to bring butterflies and hummingbirds swarming to your garden, a trumpet honeysuckle is the first thing you should plant!

Trumpet honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens)

Type Woody vine Blooms Clusters of red-orange or yellow trumpets from late spring through summer Light Full sun Soil Well-drained Size 6 to 20 ft. tall, 3 to 5 ft. wide Hardiness Cold hardy in USDA zones 4 to 9

10-plants-attract-hummingbirds-Cardinalflower: Cardinal flower is a North American native plant and an important source of nectar for hummingbirds later in the season.

Cardinal flower (Lobelia cardinalis)

Type Perennial Blooms Scarlet-red, white or pink blooms from midsummer into fall Light Full sun to part shade Soil Moist Size 2 to 4 ft. tall, 1 to 2 ft. wide Hardiness Cold hardy in USDA zones 3 to 9

10-plants-attract-hummingbirds-Rhododendron: Plant rhododendrons in a full-sun spot where they’re protected from strong winter winds to get the most vigorous  growth and the best flowers.

Rhododendron (Rhododendron spp. and hybrids)

Type Shrub Blooms Red, pink, lavender, purple, yellow or white blooms in spring Light Full sun to part shade Soil Well-drained, humus-rich, acid soil Size 2 to 15 ft. tall, 3 to 15 ft. wide Hardiness Cold hardy in USDA zones 4 to 9

10-plants-attract-hummingbirds-CypressVine: Scarlet-red 
flowers of cypress vine are a favorite nectar source for hummingbirds, blooming from early summer into fall.

Cypress vine (Ipomoea quamoclit)

Type Tender perennial vine (usually grown as an annual) Blooms Scarlet-red blooms in early summer to fall Light Full sun Soil Well-drained Size 6 to 20 ft. tall, 3 to 6 ft. wide Hardiness Cold hardy in USDA zones 11 to 12

Red-flowers-for-your-garden-Flowering-Maple-Patio-Lantern2: Flowering maple get part of their common name from the resemblance to the foliage of maple trees.

Flowering maple (Abutilon hybrids)

Type Shrub Blooms Bell- to cup-shaped flowers in red, pink, yellow, white and bicolors throughout the growing season Light Full sun to part shade Soil Average or moist, well-drained Size 10 to 12 in. tall and wide Hardiness Cold hardy in USDA zones 9 to 11

Published: March 6, 2018
Updated: Aug. 23, 2023
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annuals tender perennials bird friendly hummingbirds perennials shrubs vines

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