Native Plants that Attract Hummingbirds

Hummingbird



When you want to attract hummingbirds to your landscape, consider native plants.

Plants that are historically native to your region. This provides the best food for hummingbirds in your area.  You can think of it like going home to Mom’s for some comfort food.  See our list below for some great flowers, shrubs, trees and vines that hummingbirds love. 

 

Native Plant Habitat Garden for Hummingbirds

It's not too difficult to attract hummingbirds to your garden, but keeping them there requires meeting their needs for food, water, shelter and adequate space.  This means planting a hummingbird habitat.

In general hummingbirds are most attracted to flowers that are red,   orange or pink.  They have learned that these colored plants have the most nectar. Hummingbirds also are fond of trumpet shaped flowers such as on the trumpet vine or honeysuckle.

Since nesting hummingbirds are rather territorial, it is best to arrange your garden so that there are different areas with groupings of the attracting plants.  This will allow for "personal space" for the hummingbird. 

You will want to have a varitey of flowers so that there will be bloom, and therefore food sources from March through September.

Humminbirds also feed on tree sap and the insects that feed on the sap.  Shrubs provide places to rest, since hummingbirds are succeptable to exhaustion, which leads to disease.

 

 

Why Choose Native Plants?

While there are exotic species and horticultural specimens that will attract hummingbirds to your garden, they don’t normally produce enough nectar in the flower to provide adequate food for the hummingbird. 

Another major reason to choose native plants when trying to attract hummingbirds is that exotic plants don't attract the native insects and spider species that hummingbirds depend on for essential fats and proteins in their diet. 

 

There is a mutually beneficial relationship between the hummingbird and many native species, too

Some native plants depend on hummingbirds for their primary pollination such as the Cardinal Flower, fringed Indian Pink and Columbine.   So, you can see that hummingbirds will not only keep your garden free of insects, but also help the plants there thrive.

With all the lovely native plants there are, choosing hummingbird attracting species should not produce any hardship to your garden. 

There are hundreds of easily available native plants that attract hummingbirds.  For more information on plants that are native to your location, contact your local Native Plant Society.

 

Some of the beautiful humningbird attracting native plants you may want to consider for your garden:

Flowers

Beebalm, Monarda didyma

Cardinal Flower Lobelia cardinalis
Canada Lily,  Lilium canadense
Columbine Aguilegia spp.
Coral-Bells Heuchera sanguinea
Indian Pink, Spigelia marilandica
Flowering Tobacco Nicotania alata
Purple Coneflowers Echinacea purperea
Spotted Jewelweed, Impatiens capensis
Wild Ginger  Asarum caudatum


Hummingbird at Bleeding Heart

 

Shrubs

Catawba Rhododendron, Rhododendron catawbiense                Bleeding Hearts, Dicentris                                                 Possumhaw
Red Buckeye, Aesculus pavia

Native Azeleas-

 

East Coast Native Azalea

R. vaseyi R. atlanticum
R. canadense R. calendulaceum
R. canescens R. prinophyllum
R. austrinum R. viscosum
R. flammeum R. arborescens
R. periclymenoides
R. cumberlandense
R. alabamense R. prunifolium
R. eastmanii  

West Coast Native Azaleas

R. occidentale

Trees

Catalpa, Northern Catalpa speciosa
Catalpa, Southern Catalpa bignonioides
Redbud, Eastern Cercis canadensis
Redbud, Western Cercis occidentalis
Silverbell, Carolina Halesia tetraptera
Silverbell, Two-winged Halesia diptera
Tulip Poplar Liriodendron Tulipifera

Vines

Crossvine, Bignonia caprilolata
Trumpet Creeper Campsis radicans
Trumpet Honeysuckle Lonicera sempervirens

 

Sources

Hummingbirds of Florida  University of Florida IAFS Extension

Attract Hummingbirds to Your Garden  Oregon State Extension Service

The Hummingbird Society

 

Other Articles You May Enjoy

How to Create a Wildlife Habitat in Your Landscape

Bring on the Bees-- How to Attract Native Pollinator Bees to Your Garden & Landscape

Plants that Attract Native Pollenating Bees

Architectural Bird Houses

 

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