Most flowering plants that attract hummingbirds bloom for part of each year. If you plan and plant hummingbird flowers that bloom in succession, you’ll have something for the little dive-bombers to eat throughout the year. In some areas, certain species of hummingbirds migrate south for the winter, but your birds might stick around all year if you offer them the foods they like.
Currants and Gooseberries
The flowers of these fruit-producing shrubs are favorite fall and winter foods of many hummingbird species. Members of the Ribes plant family usually produce nectar-filled flowers in winter, when many other plants are dormant. Some Ribes species are native to California and in addition to providing food for your little bird friends, they produce fruit that humans can enjoy.
The showy Penstemon species produces flowers that look like small snapdragons. They normally bloom from April through July, so are a good hummingbird food source from spring through mid-summer. Flowers range in color from blue to yellow, red, orange and pink. Native species of Penstemon often reseed themselves naturally and create more plants without your help. The more Penstemons you have, the larger your hummingbird population will become. The Humming Bird World website suggests the Penstemons as a hummingbird food source for the American Southwest.
The many varieties of plants in the Salvia genus bloom in summer and are a favorite food source of hummingbirds. Las Pilitas Nursery in San Diego County reports that when you grow several types of sages in your garden, eight or 10 hummingbirds can feed and fight for food at the same time. The hummingbird sage, or Salvia spathacea, grows to 1 foot tall and is a California native that will grow under cultivation in other parts of the country as well. With its whorls of red blossoms, this sage is an attractive addition to wildflower gardens. It is believed that this plant can help repel deer and gophers, according to Absolute Astronomy. Humming Bird World suggests the sages as a hummingbird food source for the American Northeast.
Blooming for a long period of time between July and December, this California native plant provides nectar-rich food to hummingbirds. If you want to grow the California fuchsia, it is well-suited to rock walls and other dry, sunny locations. Flowers can be pink, white or red and the foliage is gray-green. Some species are very small; choose a larger type that grows 2 feet tall or more if you want to attract the largest numbers of hummingbirds. Humming Bird World suggests fuchsias as a hummingbird food source in the American Midwest.
The many members of the Aquilegia genus occur throughout the United States and provide nectar-rich food to hummingbirds in the summer months. With their colorful flowers that resemble shooting stars, these tiny birds often pollinate columbines. Humming Bird World suggests the sages as a hummingbird food source for the American West and Southwest.