Perennial Flowers That Attract Hummingbirds

Many gardeners are more than happy to plant flowers that hummingbirds find attractive. Even if no hummingbirds visit, the flowers themselves are pleasing because they are bright and showy. Planting perennials, plants that return the next year, means less work for gardeners. Use the U.S. Department of Agriculture Plant Hardiness Zone Map for guidance as to what plants may grow for you. The zone map segments the U.S. into 11 zones based on average annual minimum temperatures.

Bearded Penstemon

Bearded penstemon (Penstemon barbatus "Jingle Bells") is a herbaceous perennial in USDA zones 4 to 9. It is native to Southwestern North America, in particular to the rocky slopes and open woodlands. It produces a reddish-orange flower. The flowers are two-lipped and tubular. They stand erect on rigid stems. Flowers bloom from May through June. Bearded penstemon grows to a height of 1 1/2 to 3 feet with a spread of 1 to 2 feet. It grows in full sun in well-drained soil.

Cardinal Flower

Cardinal flower (Lobelia cardinalis) is a herbaceous perennial in USDA zones 3 to 9. It is native to North America. It grows to a height of 2 to 4 feet with a spread of 1 to 2 feet. It blooms July through September. Primarily, its flowers are scarlet red, although some plants will produce white or rose color flowers. The flowers stand erect at the tops of tall stems and green leaves grow along the stem. It prefers full sun in cooler environments and part shade in hotter places. Keep the soil moist throughout the growing season.


Columbine (Aquilegia spp.) is a herbaceous perennial in USDA zones 3 to 8. It grows well in full sun to partial shade. Columbine blooms in April through May. Colorado columbine (Aquilegia caerulea "Rostern") has a red and white bloom, its sepals and spurs are red and its corollas are white. It grows to a height of 18 to 24 inches and spreads to the same width. Canadian columbine (Aquilegia Canadensis "Little Lanterns") bears red and yellow flowers. It is a dwarf version, rising only to about half the height of the rest of the species. Its flowers are bright red and hang down in the shape of small lanterns. Yellow wild columbine (Aquilegia Canadensis "Corbett") has yellow blooms and grows 8 to 10 inches high. Its flowers resemble eagle claws.

Bee Balm

Bee balm (Monarda didyma) is a herbaceous perennial in USDA zones 4 to 9. It is native to Eastern North America, particularly in bottomlands, moist woods and along stream banks. It grows to a height of 2 to 4 feet and spreads out to 2 to 3 feet. It produces bright red flowers in July through August. The dense flowers put on the showiest display, and the best chance of attracting hummingbirds, when you use them in a mass planting. However, the plants suffer from powdery mildew if an insufficient amount of air circulates around them.

Keywords: hummingbirds perennials, attract hummingbirds perennials, hummingbird flowering perennials

About this Author

Lee Roberts has written professionally in different capacities throughout her career. She has written for not-for-profit and commercial entities since she received her B.A in sociology from the University of Michigan in 1986. She has been published on She is currently writing an extensive work of fiction.