10 Plants That Attract Hummingbirds To Your Garden - Backyard Boss
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10 Plants That Attract Hummingbirds To Your Garden

Looking to enhance the aesthetic of your garden while enticing nature’s most beautiful pollinators? Creating a hummingbird-friendly backyard is the way to go! Hummingbirds begin to show up in our gardens as early as March. The remainder reach the northern ranges of North America by late April into early May. Hummingbirds are best known for their wing-speed, stamina, and attractive coloring. In addition, they have excellent memories of previous food sourcing. This means that once you successfully attract hummingbirds to your garden, they will likely return. A traditional hummingbird feeder can be a great tool when backyard space is an issue. However, the best way to keep your garden healthy is by attracting hummingbirds using these brightly colored, nectar-rich, flowering plants.

1. Bee Balms

pink bee balms on greenery
Image credit: JessicaJoh via Pixabay

Bee balms are native to North America and grow best in USDA Plant Hardiness Zones four to nine. They bloom in July and continue throughout the late summer. Hummingbirds are most attracted to the Scarlet Bee Balm, as they produce the bright red flowers and sweet nectar that these birds love the most! Bee balms grow well in full sun to partial shade, reaching heights up to four feet tall. You can encourage a second flowering by deadheading throughout the season. The first perennial on our list, bee balms will continue to attract your hummingbirds season after season. Not only are bee balms great for the hummingbirds, but you can also use their leaves in teas, as well as a natural, topical antiseptic.

2. Lupines

blue and purple lupines in field
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Lupinus, commonly referred to as “lupines,” attract hummingbirds with their tubular-shaped flowers and the multitude of colors. Lupines are another great perennial plant with over 199 species. They flourish through zones four to eight, where there is full sun exposure and well-draining soil. Lupines will attract hummingbirds in early spring before other flowers have emerged and insect food sourcing is scarce. They are deer-resistant when well established, and will grow up to three feet tall.

3. Columbines

pink columbine flowers
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Columbines are another easy-to-grow perennial plant. They produce what looks like a flower within a flower. There are approximately 60 to 70 species, which grow well in zones three to eight. Columbines thrive when planted in well-draining soil under full sunlight to partial shade. The flowers of a columbine range in color from light pastels to vibrant reds. These alluring blooms will attract hummingbirds as well as butterflies throughout the spring and into the summer. Behold a beautiful display of some of nature’s most attractive creatures!

4. Trumpet Honeysuckle

red trumpet honeysuckle flowers
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Another tubular-shaped flowering plant sure to attract hummingbirds is the trumpet honeysuckle. This perennial will add distinct curb appeal to your garden. It is a climber vine that clings by use of its aerial roots to heights up to twenty feet. It is native to North America, thriving in zones five to nine. Trumpet honeysuckles will bloom during late spring in moist, yet well-drained soil, with access to full sunlight. Hummingbirds will adore the ideal shaped, reddish-orange blooms that this beautiful perennial offers!

5. Catmint

blue catmint plant with bee
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While catnip has a somewhat weedy appearance, catmint has a lovely delicate texture making it a great addition to your perennial flower beds. Straying from the typical red color known for attracting hummingbirds, catmint, especially Siberian catmint, produces lavender-blue flowers that hummingbirds go crazy for! This hardy perennial grows in full sun or partial shade, with adaptivity to both dry and moist locations. Thus catmint is a great, easy-to-grow option for your hummingbird oasis!

6. Hostas

green hosta plant with purple flowers
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Hostas are the last perennial on this list and may be the hardiest of the bunch. These low-maintenance flowering plants are found in gardens from Canada down to northern Florida. Hostas are ideal for their ability to grow in shade; a necessary feature when looking to create a hummingbird-friendly environment. This beautiful foliage grows tubular-shaped, nectar-rich flowers that hummingbirds love. They are also great to use as greenery and filler in your garden. Depending on the variety, hostas bloom for approximately three weeks between May and September with light purple, pink, blue, or red flowers.

7. Petunias

Red, purple and white petunias in hanging basket
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On to the annuals! If you are interested in diversifying your garden year to year, a great plant option for attracting hummingbirds are petunias. These flowering plants boast a multitude of colors and hybrids. Petunias bloom from spring until the first frost and are a favorite amongst gardeners as an addition to flower beds or hanging baskets. Hummingbirds will find your petunias as they journey north for mating season. The flower’s nectar provides these energetic birds with the energy needed to continue on their course.

8. Cleomes

Pink Cleome Flower
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Cleomes, commonly referred to as “spider flowers,” are known for their long petals and spidery stamens. They bloom in the summertime, providing hummingbirds with a great opportunity to collect nectar as they journey south. Cleomes are deer and rabbit resistant; a great feature when you’re trying to establish a backyard garden close to the woods! In addition to attracting hummingbirds, cleomes also attract butterflies, bees, and other pollinating insects. The unique white, pink, lavender, and rose colored flowers of a cleome look rather distinguished when used in floral arrangements!

9. Impatiens

Purple impatien flowers with greenery
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Impatiens are a great addition to the shadier parts of your yard, where other flowering plants may find it hard to flourish. The unique way in which they shoot their seeds from their pods has garnered them the name, “touch-me-nots.” These plants produce flowers in a rainbow of hues, from pastels to vibrant colors, sought after by hummingbirds in the spring and summertime. Impatiens grow easily from seed if sown early to mid-February. There are more than one thousand species of impatiens and they are found all over the Northern Hemisphere as well as the tropics.

10. Morning Glory

Purple morning glory flowers in sunlight
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If you are looking to enjoy a hummingbird show with your morning coffee, then planting some morning glory is key! These gorgeous blue or purple flowers will attract hummers first thing in the morning while their blooms are open. Their trumpet-shaped, nectar-filled flowers will attract not only hummingbirds but a multitude of other pollinators as well. Morning glory can be a great addition to your backyard space near decks, fences, and trellises as their vines grow quickly. They can also be used to cover up ugly spaces in your garden, or even as a natural privacy screen.

To Sum It Up

Regardless of the type of flowering plant you use, creating a friendly environment for hummingbirds is a great way to keep your garden evolving. Hummingbirds make a beautiful spectacle of pollination. It is no wonder we want to attract and keep them coming back year after year. To summarize, choose brightly colored, tubular-shaped flowering plants.  It is important to note that hummingbirds do need some shade and enough space between plants to allow them to hover. By following these general rules and choosing any plant from this list, you’re well on your way to creating a hummingbird haven right in your own backyard!