It isn't difficult to attract hummingbirds to your garden and the payoffs are huge. The tiny birds with their brilliant colors, distinctive personalities and impressive aeronautics, are entertaining and irresistible. Although hummingbirds enjoy artificial feeders, they will also be attracted to certain flowers, especially those that bloom in shades of pink, orange and red. As an added benefit, hummingbirds will feed on insects and pollinate plants.
The trumpet-shaped blooms of the honeysuckle vine (Lonicera spp.) are perfectly shaped for attracting hummingbirds. Honeysuckle is a pleasure to have in the home landscape, with graceful vines that will twine around a trellis or fence. As an added benefit, the flowers that bloom in spring and summer will be replaced by berries in autumn, providing winter food for hungry songbirds. Honeysuckle is hardy in USDA Zones 2 to 8.
Nasturtium (Tropaeolum majus) delights hummingbirds with its vivid blooms in shades of red, pink, orange, yellow and white. An annual, nasturtium is usually propagated by planting seeds directly in the garden in early spring. Once established, nasturtiums are tolerant of poor soil and hot weather, blooming all summer and into the autumn with little attention.
Red Hot Poker
Red hot poker (Kniphofia uvaria) is a distinctive perennial plant, returning year after year with tall, spiky bright yellow and red blooms that appear like the flaming tip of a fireplace poker. Red hot poker, hardy in USDA Zones 5 to 9, is a long-lived plant that thrives in bright sunlight. Hummingbirds won't be able to resist the vivid blooms of the red hot poker.
Also known as beard tongue, penstemon (Penstemon spp.) will bloom from spring until late summer with bright, tube-shaped flowers in hummingbird-friendly colors, including red, orange, pink, rose and violet. A perennial plant that loves bright sunlight, penstemon is drought-tolerant and once established, is virtually maintenance-free. Penstemon is hardy in USDA Zones 5 to 10.
With its compact, rounded shape and lacy foliage, Coral bell (Heuchera sanguinea) will delight hummingbirds and their human observers equally. A perennial plant, coral bell likes bright sunlight, but in hot climates will benefit from morning sunlight and afternoon shade. Coral bell, hardy in USDA Zones 3 to 8, blooms from mid-spring to mid-summer in shades of red, white, salmon and pink.